Renee Conoulty: May 2015

Books

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford

It should have been a time of acquiring confidence, building self respect and independence, of fostering a connection with the natural world through long hikes... 

A gripping, compulsively readable memoir of bullying at an elite country boarding school.




Hey! Here's my review.

The true story of Rebecca's journey of self discovery from trying to fit in at an exclusive rural boarding school to understanding and accepting her own sexuality. Bad behaviour deals with everyone's deepest desire - to be accepted. Themes of bullying and being bullied are explored as well as body image and sexuality. 

I didn't really like 14 year old Rebecca, but then I don't think she really liked herself at that point either. I could relate to her weaknesses at that age, not having the strength to stand up for a friend. Standing up to bullies is scary.

The writing style was all in the present tense, but flicked back and forth between timelines, which I found a little confusing as it wasn't clearly marked.There were a couple of quotable passages that I related to in particular.

"She's a nice girl, someone I would like to be friends with if I knew how."

"What I'd had with most of my school friends hadn't been friendship at all. That had been the habit of the familiar, the reassurance of the unchanged."

  ★★★★   

  • Where: Borrowbox
  • Format: ebook
Purchase links

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Intensive Care by Nicki Edwards

Escaping to the country was meant to be easy …

On the surface it looks like busy intensive care nurse Kate Kennedy has it all: a long-term relationship, a great career and a sleek inner city apartment. But appearances are deceiving, and in one fell swoop everything comes crashing down around her. In a moment of spontaneity, Kate leaves her city life and takes a new role as Nurse Unit Manager at Birrangulla Base Hospital, but her dream move proves harder than expected.

Local cafe owner Joel O’Connor finds himself increasingly drawn to the gorgeous new nurse, but like Kate, he’s been scarred by love and isn’t looking to jump into anything. Yet their chemistry is hard to deny and after a near fatal incident, Joel and Kate find themselves opening up to one another.

Just when Kate thinks she’s found love again, their fragile relationship is thwarted by their pasts. Can they both let go of their guilt and grief to move on to a bright new future?




Hey! Here's my review.

A fantastic rural medical romance from debut Australian author Nicki Edwards.

I loved the country town setting and all the Australian references. I related to Kate. She is a likable character who I could imagine being friends with in real life. She isn't perfect and chose to run away from her problems rather than confront them. I also hate confrontation, and although I was frustrated with her for not communicating with her boyfriend, I could empathise with that decision. I also related to Kate's feelings of exclusion when she started her new job as I have felt similar when starting new jobs.

Joel is a gentleman and a true friend. I loved how he introduced more animals into Kate's life. I was cheering for him the whole way through.

I enjoyed all the drama in the ICU and the medical references. Nicki was able to portray the hospital environment realistically as she has lots of experience working in that field. The medical references were accurate, but also explained in layman's terms so anyone could follow what was going on. As in real life, not everyone who was admitted to hospital had a Happily Ever After, but Kate does. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
 


 ★★★★   

  • Where: Borrowbox
  • Format: ebook
Purchase links

Friday, 29 May 2015

One Way by Jeff Lane

Barry Griffith doesn’t know it yet, but tonight is the night fate has chosen to be the night of his death… his murder. At a gas station in the middle of nowhere, late at night, his wife Jenny appears… no car… no coat and looking older than when he saw her last. That’s because this is not the woman he received a good-bye kiss from this morning. This woman has been a widow for over four years and has made an impossible journey back in time to try to stop her husband’s murder. Will they be able to escape the killers or does fate only have one plan… one possible outcome… ONE WAY?



Hey! Here's my review.

This book had me enthralled the whole way through. The time travel aspect had me intrigued and the serial killer tension had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't work out what was going to happen until it happened. 

The story is told in two alternating parts which come together at the end. One part is the story of Barry, whose wife turns up at a gas station and tries to help him avoid being killed. The other part is Jenny's story of dealing with her grief from Barry being murdered and how she was able to travel back through time to try to stop it. I was fascinated to discover the method of time travel Jenny was able to use. Does fate only have One Way, or can you change the past? You'll have to read it to find out! I was happy with how it ended and all the threads were tied up neatly. 

I listened to the audio version of this book, which is available for free via podiobooks.com. Jeff Lane did a fantastic job of narrating his own book. He spoke clearly, at a good pace and put all the emphasis where it was intended. The music at the beginning and end of each section enhanced my listening experience. It added to the tension and suited the book.


 ★★★★ 

Purchase links 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

From the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected, comes a heartfelt novel about an accidental friendship that gives a grieving mother a priceless gift: the ability to understand the thoughts of her eight-year-old autistic son and make sense of his brief life.

Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.
Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.
Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.
 




Hey! Here's my review.

This is a story about a boy with autism. Once you have read it, you have read about one autistic boy. 

It is so much more than a book about autism. It is a book about a boy. A book about a mother. A book about a wife. A book about a woman. A book about marriage. A book about adultery. A book about family. A book about friendship. A book about a photographer. A book about an author. A book about communication. A book about the meaning of life. 

Read it.


★★★★★ 
Purchase links   

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Northern Heat by Helene Young **Guest Post & Review**

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to introduce you to Australian author Helene Young. Her latest book, Northern Heat, was released today. Happy launch day Helene!


Conor, one of the characters in Northern Heat, lives on a yacht. Helene has had some personal experience with this lifestyle. Here's what she has to say.



Helene Young on living aboard a yacht

Living aboard a catamaran was a long term dream of ours and it’s everything we hoped it would be. I love writing onboard when we’re under sail. There’s something intensely soothing about the hiss of the water against the hull and the hum of the wind in the sails and rigging.  I slip into my imaginary world and it’s very easy to stay there. I did worry that it might be tricky finding space to write - and I do have friends who’ve suggested I could always trail Capt G and Zeus behind us in the dinghy if they were interrupting me - but so far it hasn’t been an issue. Because the internet is also a little more inconsistent over a mobile device it limits my habit of procrastinating on social media. And that’s definitely a good thing.
As with my stories which involve flying I think it’s important to make sure any technical sailing details are accurate. I do have to remind myself that I’m telling a story, though, and not trying to sell someone a boat. On a previous book when I waxed lyrical about the engine size of the aircraft my editor pointed out she didn’t want to buy the darned thing so she didn’t care . . . Since then I’ve kept the information concise and appropriate.  I also know sailors are an irreverent lot so they’ll show no mercy if I make a mistake!
The other delight of living aboard is the ever changing view. We’re casting off again in July to go cruising indefinitely. I can’t wait to explore the amazing Australian coastline. So many new places and people to meet. It’s this writer’s idea of heaven.
Head over to Penguin Books Australia to read an interview with Helene, an extract from Northern Heat or to find out about all her other books.


Connect with Helene via:


Northern Heat by Helene Young 

In steamy northern Queensland, Conor is living under an assumed name and rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown's youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and a chance to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark.

After tragedy tore her family apart, Kristy fled to Cooktown with her feisty teenage daughter, Abby. She hoped being part of the small community would help them both heal, but Abby's sports coach is turning out to be a compelling distraction.

When a severe cyclone menaces the coast, threatening to destroy everything in its path, tensions come to a head – and the weather is not the only danger in Cooktown. Cut off from the world and with her life on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they'll both lose someone they love.


Hey! Here's my review.

I was immediately drawn to this book because of the setting. I live in a similar climate in the tropical north of Australia. I loved reading about the wet season, cyclone warnings, crocodiles and curling up with a good book in the air conditioning - all concepts familiar to me. 

I loved both Connor and Kristy. They were both strong characters who had baggage from their past, but they were still kind and likable characters. I enjoyed seeing their romance unfold and hoped they would be able to fall in love. The underlying suspense surrounding a murder was heightened by the cyclone. Once the cyclone got real, the tension had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't put the book down (well not quite edge....I was actually snuggled up on a recliner with a cup of tea and the air conditioner on).


This book also dealt well with the issue of domestic abuse. It demonstrated how isolating and controlling the abuser can be and how difficult it can be to get out of a situation like that. 


This is the first book I have read by Helene Young and I am looking forward to reading more of her work.


I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

★★★
Purchase links
Amazon Penguin Kobo iconiBooks

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

All This Time by Tiffani Burnett-Velez **Blog Tour - Review**

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to introduce Tiffani Burnett-Velez, who is on tour with her latest novel All This time. 

Tiffani Burnett-Velez has been a freelance writer since 1996. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Pennsylvania Magazine, Health.com, and Yahoo! News. Her first novel, Budapest (LFP 2007) was featured in the New York Book Festival and the 42nd Annual Conference of Jewish Librarians. Her short fiction has appeared in Toe Good Poetry and other online literary magazines. She is also the author of the bestselling Embers of War Series. She frequently writes about women’s issues and history. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her family.




Connect with Tiffani via


All This Time by Tiffani Burnett-Velez

Syrian-American, Lydia Fadoul, has spent a year waiting for her fiance’ to return from war in Iraq, only to discover that he is broken by trauma and the devastating effects of PTSD. Just when he finally agrees to seek help, he takes his own life and leaves behind a story of murder, betrayal, and mystery. In her second, contemporary fiction novel since Budapest, Tiffani Burnett-Velez weaves a fast-paced literary tale about the rumors we believe and the prejudices we create in order to protect our hearts from the truth.



Hey! Here' my review.

All This Time is an emotionally engaging story of Lydia's journey to understand why her fiance took his own life after returning from a deployment to Iraq. It explores lots of difficult topics such as mental health, suicide, murder and racism. 

The type of racism against anyone who appears to be of middle eastern descent described in this novella is prolific. I wish more people could understand that not all Muslims are terrorists and not all people of middle eastern descent are Muslims. There is so much misunderstanding and prejudice about this topic. I hope books like this one can help raise awareness and tolerance in society.

I really connected with Lydia's character as I also work with children on the autism spectrum and my husband is in the military. I enjoyed the writing style, descriptive but not overwritten. 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.


★★★★   

  • Where: CLP Blog tours
  • Format: ebook
Purchase link  
Amazon | B&N iBooks



Pop in and see Tiffani on her other blog stops



May 26 - Hey Said Renee – Review

May 26 - Storm Goddess Book Reviews- Novel Spotlight

May 27 - Living Life With Joy– Excerpt

May 28 - The World As I See It – Review & Excerpt

May 28 - Chick Lit Plus – Review

May 29 - Curling Up With a Good Book   - Review & Excerpt

May 29 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

June 1 - Book Splurge – Excerpt 

Monday, 25 May 2015

A Thirty-Something Girl by Lisa M Gott **Guest Post & Re Release**

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to introduce you to Lisa M Gott. She is re releasing her novel A Thirty Something Girl tomorrow with a shiny new cover. It has undergone a transformation from a mostly black and white cover to a eye catching colourful one. It almost looks like it glows! 

You can read my review HERE.


Lisa M. Gott is a contemporary literary fiction author. Her stories tell of the human spirit - sometimes sad, sometimes not - most can relate to them on some level or another.

When she's not feverishly weaving words, you can find her enjoying nature, spending time with her incredible husband, and, sometimes, sipping a latte. Okay, maybe more than sometimes.



Connect with Lisa via



Guest Post

I was running and my heart felt like it was going to leap right out of my chest. I attempted to gulp down air, but there was none to be had. Swirling around me was every experience I'd ever had and every emotion I’d ever felt. I sat right up in my bed, dripping wet with fear and anxiety. But there was something else. Something else biting just beneath the surface…

It was 3:00 AM and I shuffled out to my kitchen and stared at “Joe” my coffeemaker as he dripped life into a cup for me. Then made my way into my family room. Sank down into my favorite overstuffed chair, crossed my legs, cracked open my laptop.
Four novels sat in a folder marked “ready to be published.” One of them was supposed to be released that week. And I realized as I stared at the files and thought about the sequence of words which filled them, they were what was causing my chest to rise and fall more rapidly than it should. Those books. They were all wrong.

I had needed to write them, of course. After all, you have to start somewhere. But they weren’t really me. I was only just beginning to understand who I was. I’d shut the world (and myself) out almost a decade prior. But a divorce, financial hardships, and three attempted suicides woke me up.

And I realized as I highlighted the four novels and deleted them, that I was finally ready. I was ready to heal. Ready to blossom into a new and beautiful person. And so around 3:45 that morning, the story of Hope was born.

Hope’s story is not mine. And I wanted it that way. I had made myself believe that I was the only person in the world who had suffered the way I had. But I wasn’t. Hope was my perpetual reminder of that. Because that’s how life is, right? We walk around thinking we are alone in our sorrows, when in fact we are anything but. And so, while Hope’s journey was different than mine, we both searched for the same things: happiness and maybe someone to love and be loved by. 

At the outset, my heart and my soul were like the earth after a winter freeze – bitter cold and seemingly impenetrable. But Hope’s story was the sun that began to warm me. Her words, the shovel that dug up the pain of my past. And it was through her that I found myself (both the person and the author). It was through her that I found the secret to happiness. 

A Thirty-Something Girl is a simple tale. About love. About pain. About choosing to smile when the world might want to make you cry. About not caring if you fall, so long as you keep standing back up. And above all, about never losing hope in what you wish for most in this world.

Writing this novel reminded me of the importance of feeling. Even if it means that sometimes we feel badly. And so I will forever write about the feelings and experiences which teach us lessons. Because it is those feelings and experiences and lessons who have made me into the girl I am today and the girl I will be tomorrow. And I like that girl. Very much.

Purchase links

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Freeding with Podiobooks

Hey Everyone!

Here's another way to listen to free audiobooks! A podiobook is a serialised audiobook that has been released one section at a time similar to a podcast. The Podiobooks website is a great place to find lots of these type of books in a variety of genre. The books are legally available for free through this site, though there is an option to make a donation to support the author and the running of the site. You can listen to the books directly from the website, but I found it difficult to keep track of where I was up to if I had to stop the book and come back to it. 




Because the books are also distributed via RSS, I looked for a podcatcher app. I decided to try the uPod android app, which is also free and offers speed control. I love it! I can download the whole book while I'm home and have access to wifi, rather than streaming and using up my mobile data while I'm out. It does a great job of saving where I am up to and deleting files 24 hours after I have finished with them unless I choose to save them. If you are an Apple user, you can try the Apple podcasts app.



  • Where: Links above


Cheftap - Awesome Recipe app

Hey Everyone!

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I stick to a tight budget. I don't pay a lot for books and all the apps I use are free. Well, all except this one. I started using the free version - which is still available for free, but I loved it SO MUCH that I upgraded to the paid version. To demonstrate exactly how much I love this app - the paid version isn't a one off fee - it's an annual subscription. I'm the person who signs up for the free trial, then cancels before I have to pay, so this is a big endorsement from me. So what is this app? I hear you say.

+ChefTap. It is a recipe app. I have lots of cookbooks and recipe magazines that I only use one or two recipes from. I often Google a recipe if I'm looking for something in particular. I had recipes all over the place and it was hard to remember what was where. I looked at a few ways to organise my recipes. I had lots of favourites in a display folder, but the ink to print them all was expensive. If I shared it to Facebook, then I had to trawl through so much of my own feed to find it, it was practically lost forever. Many of the great apps had an upfront cost that I wasn't willing to pay to try it out. All the apps I looked at had limitations to where you could add the recipes from. Other options you had to cut and paste each recipe. Many apps you had to have an internet connection to access the recipes. I loved the Coles app because of the shopping list that could sort by aisle, but it was limited to the recipes from Coles. Then I found Cheftap! It is a smart app that can pull the recipe from any website or blog. It's very clever and only pulls the relevant information. The creators are very helpful too - when I had trouble importing my favorite recipes from the Coles website, I sent them an email and it was all fixed in a few days. The app is regularly updated and keeps getting prettier and easier to use.

When I downloaded Cheftap, it was only available for android. I was jumping up and down telling my friends about it, on ly to have them disappointed when they had an iphone. A little while ago they began beta testing the apple version and I got one of my friends to sign up. A few days ago the app officially launched for iOS! Even though I don't have any Apple products, I'm really excited that the Apple version is out, because that means they are now working on the shopping list feature! I can't wait!

Cheftap has so many great features. It can import and export to Pinterest. You can tag your recipes to make them easier to search. You can access your recipes offline. You also have access via a computer to make it easier to edit or manually add a recipe. You can try it out without creating an account and add up to 50 recipes. If you create an account and log in, you can add up to 100 recipes in the free version and sync between devices once a week. If you choose the Pro version, there is an annual subscription fee, but the number of recipes is unlimited and you can sync on demand.

Go and download Cheftap now! Then come back and see how easy it is to add a recipe. Here are some links to my favourite tried and true recipes. 
What are some of your favourite recipes?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Five Minutes Late by Rich Amooi

Can an always-tardy garlic mogul and a punctual Silicon Valley librarian fall in love?

The world needs garlic and somebody’s got to sell that garlic. Cedric Johnson is that man. But even though he’s got just about everything he can wish for, Cedric is still missing one thing in his life: someone special. Fate may be on his side, but he encounters a few distractions along the way—like almost being killed by a UPS truck. Oh, and a little case of blackmail.

Ellie Fontaine is a walking Wikipedia with clear professional goals, but when it comes to landing Mr. Right, she doesn’t know jack squat. She even gives online dating a shot and ends up with an unappetizing buffet of unibrows and losers. What’s a girl to do?

After Ellie saves Cedric’s life, serendipity takes over as they continue to run into each other. Their connection grows stronger with each meeting, even though he embodies her number one pet peeve: he’s always late. But even if they can get past their issues and misunderstandings, Ellie’s ex-boyfriend, an unscrupulous cop, will do anything to keep them apart.

Five Minutes Late is a hilarious fast-paced romantic comedy, full of snappy dialogue and fun, quirky characters, guaranteed to warm your heart.




Hey! Here's my review.

A light hearted, sweet, romantic comedy set in Silicon Valley without a computer nerd in sight. After a chance meeting, a business savvy garlic farmer and a librarian up for promotion continue bumping into each other. Will Cedric get past Ellie's "3 strikes and your out" list? What about Ellie's stalker ex-boyfriend, what trouble will he cause? 

I loved Connor, he's so kind and generous. I really hoped he would find love. I cared about Ellie too, and got a bit choked up at one point when she was working through some of her issues. The plot was full of serendipity, things falling into place at the right time and of course a happy ending.

I listened to the audiobook edition which I received free in exchange for an honest review. I wasn't sure how I would feel about a romance narrated by a man, but this book has got me past that prejudice. Michael Ferraiuolo did a fantastic job with both the male and female characterisations.


★★★
Purchase link    

Friday, 22 May 2015

Top Ten Tips for NetGalley Newbies


Hey Everyone!

If you have recently joined NetGalley, thought about joining NetGalley or just said "What's NetGalley?" then this is the post for you!

To answer this last question, this is what NetGalley has to say.

NetGalley is a service to promote titles to professional readers of influence. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request, read and provide feedback about forthcoming titles. Your feedback and recommendations are essential to publishers and readers alike.
**edit**

This post is aimed at readers and bloggers. If you're an author looking to get your book listed on Netgalley, Karan & Co Author Solutions might be able to help you out.


Top Ten Tips

1. Set up your profile correctly.

Work out which category you fit into. NetGalley splits everyone into 5 categories. Click on the links below for more tips on the information publishers want to see in your profile. Include a photo. Include information on who you can influence to buy a book - whether it is where you work or where you post your reviews. Include social media links, such as Facebook and Twitter.

librarians | booksellers | educators | media professionals | reviewers/bloggers


2. Add your kindle account details.

This will make it easy to send you books directly to your kindle in one step. If you don't have a Kindle you can use a free kindle app on your smartphone or tablet. You can find more detailed instructions on how to do this HERE


3. You don't have to have a blog to join NetGalley.

I know plenty of people who don't have a blog and still get approved for lots of books. They share their reviews to Goodreads.

You may not get approved for the most popular and high profile books but there are still plenty of books to access.

**edit**

NetGalley has now updated the profile section so that you can identify what type of reviewer you are

  • blogger (have your own blog) 
  • consumer reviewer (review on Goodreads, Amazon etc) 
  • book trade professional (agent, publisher etc) 
  • traditional reviewer (publication assigns reviews) 

4. Approval Ratio.

NetGalley suggests that publishers prefer you to have an 80% feedback to approval ratio before they approve you for a book. But how do you get an 80% ratio when you have no books? If you need experience to get the job, how do you get the job to get the experience? The answer is Read Now. There is a Read Now tab in the Browse section of the Find Titles page that you can click on to find all the books that are automatically approved for everyone. If you read a few of these first, review them and post your feedback, then that will increase your feedback to approval ratio and make it easier to get approved for other books. Bonus tip - read a children's picture book or two to speed this process up.


5. Check the publisher's approval preferences.

If you see a book you would like to read, before you click on Request, check what is says beside the Request button. Often it will state whether there are limitations due to region (you need to live in a certain country to be able to be approved) You can also click on the orange publishers name above the request button. This will take you to the publishers page. Here you can click on View Approval Preferences. This will tell you if the publisher has any other special requirements.


6. Favourite publishers.

You can add publishers that you like and that you have checked during step five to a favourite list. While you are on the publishers page you can click on the heart and that will add them to the favourite list. You can get to the publishers pages by clicking on their name from a book page or from the Browse Publishers tab, then going through them alphabetically. My tip is to browse all the publishers and favourite the ones that are based on your country. If you spend a bit of time setting up all your favourite publishers, it can save a lot of heartache later when you fall in love with a book description only to find out that it's not available in your area. Once you have all your favourites selected, you can click on Favourite Publishers in the Browse section of the Find Titles page and scroll through to your hearts content.


7. Download ASAP.

Most books have an archive date. Once this date has passed, you can no longer download the book, even if you have been approved for it. If you download the book as soon as you are approved, that will make sure you don't forget. You can download the book by either clicking Send To Kindle, which will make it available on your kindle ereader or app next time you sync it, or Download, which will download it to your computer, where you can then transfer it to another ereading device via Adobe Digital Editions.


8. Don't be picky about spelling and format.

Some of the books you will have access to are the finished product, but some are uncorrected proof copies, so will still have spelling and format issues. Don't be picky about these issues in your reviews, focus on the content.


9. Include a disclaimer in your review.

Some countries don't require you to disclose that you received a book free in exchange for a review, but in some countries it is law. To be on the safe side, it is a good idea to include a disclaimer in your review. I say "I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review". I have seen some reviewers place this at the beginning of their review. I personally prefer to put it at the end. Often your review will be condensed to a few lines until someone click on it. They are more likely to click on it and read your review if the first sentence is interesting rather that a generic disclaimer.


10. Give an honest review.

Make sure your reviews are honest. Say what you think, but remember that authors are people like you and me and can be devastated by a scathing review. If a book was so unsuited to you that you couldn't finish it, you don't need to post a public review, you can just send private feedback to the publisher to tell them that it wasn't for you. If you do want to give some negative feedback in a public review, try to be tactful. Try the sandwich technique, start with a positive, then some constructive criticism, followed by another positive.


Now go forth and read! Come back and let me know if you find something awesome!

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

Joe, Beth and Franny move to the country and find an Enchanted Wood right on their doorstep. In the magic Faraway Tree live the magical characters that soon become their new friends – Moon-Face, Silky the fairy, and Saucepan Man. Together they visit the strange lands (the Roundabout Land, the Land of Ice and Snow, Toyland and the Land of Take What You Want) atop the tree and have the most exciting adventures – and narrow escapes.



Hey! Here's my review.

This is the first book in my favourite series from when I was a kid. I have been waiting years until my kids were old enough to read it to them. Their grandparents gave them a copy for Christmas. It's not quite the same with Beth, Frannie and Joe instead of Bessie, Fanny and Jo, but still a great tale.

**Interview with my 6 year old son**

Me: What did you think of the book?
Him: It was really awesome!

Me: Which bit did you like the best?
Him: My favourite bit was when they found the secret forest. And my other favourite bit was when they found Sparkle... what's her name?
Me: Silky
Him: Yeah Silky and Moonface.

Me: Who was your favourite character?
Him: Ahh... every single one of them. Even Dame Wash-a-lot. 

Me: Which land would you like to go to?
Him: I would like to go to present for your Mum land. We didn't read about that one, I just made it up because I love you and if I went to the land where you get your Mum a present land I would be able to get you a present for Mother's Day.
Me: What about a land that was in the book?
Him: I would like to go to toyland too, to get a present for me.

Me: Do you want to read more about them?
Him: Yes!

Him: I want to write something.
Me: OK
Him typing:


I   lik  the  storRee  so   Much.

★★★★★
  • Where: Christmas gift from Grandparents 
  • Format: paperback 

Purchase links