Today I am part of the Blog Blitz for Sue Wickstead’s children’s picture book Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus! I am sharing my 5 star review. For those of you in the UK there is also a giveaway going on!
Jay-Jay the bus is rescued from the dirty scrap yard, where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. Feeling nervous yet excited, he is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.
A fictional tale based on a real-life bus ‘Supersonic’, which flew in the imaginations of the many young children who visited it.
Author: Sue Wickstead
Published: October 10, 2014
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: April 19, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a colorful children’s picture book that is surprisingly based on fact. Jay-Jay is JJK261 and he has been forgotten in the scrap yard until one day some kids briefly play on him. Later on, he gets new lease on life as someone buys ALL of him and not just pieces of him! His future is much brighter now!
This is a short feel good children’s book that informs you of the ‘real’ JJK261 and his adventures. The story flows well and and has colorful pictures that enhance the story. It is not long and I can see small children enjoying this book and will be ready for more of Jay-Jay and his many adventures. This is a great beginning to Wickstead’s Jay-Jay books.
On a personal note: My grandmother was a bus driver and the part of the book with the kids playing on Jay-Jay brought back fond memories of my sister and myself playing on her school bus and even riding on the bus as my grandma picked up kids for school. Thanks for bringing up those memories Sue!
**For those of you in the UK: Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus will be 99p until 22nd April**
**Special Blitz Offer**
A free 3D bus which can be claimed via web site ‘Enquiry button using ref code JJay at www.suewickstead.co.uk
Additional bus models and books also offered as a promotion on request.
About the Author:
I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.
I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.
This story has now been followed by five more picture books.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.
The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.
**UK Only Giveaway**
Win Jay-Jay and the Island Adventure
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Today I am part of the Book Birthday Blitz for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke. Today is this book’s birthday! This is one I really enjoyed. And a bonus for those of you in the UK: There is a giveaway going on!! Lucky you!
Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.
That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!
Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.
If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…
Author: Victoria Cooke
Published: February 9, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 17-23, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
This was a fun to read chick lit novel! In this day of social media, we are attached to our phones 24-7 and more caught up in it than real life. We miss out on the beautiful everyday things. Now, what would we do if all of a sudden we can’t access ANY social media, internet, and apps? Melissa experiences this not by choice, it’s for her job. Then she meets Scott AND Joseph without the help of an app or social media. Is either one of these men for her? I know who I was rooting for! And there is a little bit of a twist that happens.
This is a very quick read under 200 pages and worth it! The novel gives a great message and proves a point about social media: How much of real life are we missing out on in favor of something that we hold in our hands? All I can say is this: Put the phone down and pick up this novel!
Buy The Secret to Falling in Love here
About the Author:
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.
**UK ONLY GIVEAWAY**
Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]
Today I am part of the blog blitz for The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan: I interviewed her! There is also an INTERNATIONAL giveaway going on for some ebooks. Be sure to check that out!
Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it.
Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.
Eighty- two year old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his first Christmas without her?
Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.
Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?
The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and café in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?
JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Jessica. Well, I’ve written four books and am actually in the middle of two more. I live near Glasgow with my husband and two cherubs, one of each. I juggle the monkeys and my proofreading and editing business, although I now have a dedicated writing day, which should mean more books in the future.
I love the theatre, quiz shows, fine dining (well, food, generally!) and movies. Did I forget books?!
JRR: Did you always want to become an author?
Yes and no. I have written stories from an early age, but life has a habit of getting in the way. I actually wanted to be a linguist when I left school and went to uni and did a Masters in French and Hispanic Studies, then worked in European and International Sales for many years. When I was made redundant a few years ago, my then boyfriend (now husband) suggested I try to publish the book I’d been writing on holiday for about six years!
JRR: And now you have written four books with more to come! What inspires you to write?
Everything and anything. It can be a chance remark I overhear in a café or in a conversation with a friend. It can be a person. I have some clients who work so hard that they put me to shame and I think ‘right, no more procrastinating, I will write today’ or it can be the germ of an idea.
JRR: So be careful where you are in public, you never know who may overhear you and use what you say for a book! 😉 Now, what does your writing process consist of? Do you research, do you handwrite or type, do you have music playing or need silence?
I handwrite only when I am without my laptop. Yes, writing by hand is nice, but a) my writing is awful – like a doctor’s and b) it just means I need to type it into the laptop later. When I am out and about, I do use my notebook, but more for planning out scenes and capturing ideas. I research a lot. I hate inconsistencies and now as an editor of other people’s books that has become even more important for me!
I don’t usually have music on but if I do it’s classical.
JRR: What kind of advice can you give to aspiring authors?
Too long a list, but basically, write; write whenever you can; don’t give up; write what you love; write something you’d want to read. Don’t be afraid of not being good enough. There are ways to help you improve. No one gets it right first time.
JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult?
Hmm. I don’t really have a favourite as I can’t choose between my top four or five. I will buy any new release by Jill Mansell, Carole Matthews and latterly by Holly Martin and Cathy Bramley, but I keep finding all these new authors that I love.
JRR: Who was the most influential author you read when you were growing up? Did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?
My favourite author was the late Maeve Binchy. Her books and the way she wrote lovely, warm characters inspired me to write. And Enid Blyton’s stories made me want to always keep my imagination and believe in the magical.
JRR: If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) who would they be and why?
Rupert Penry-Jones (he’s lovely!), Queen Victoria (I reckon she was a lot softer than they made out) and Maeve Binchy (reasons above).
JRR: Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
Anything by Jane Austen and Dickens. I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice and A Christmas Carol.
JRR: What is it like to write Christmas stories vs stories that take place at other times of the year? Do Christmas stories seem ‘magical’ to you?
I love writing Christmas stories. It is funny though writing about snow and decorations and mulled wine in July. I do feel that Christmas sparkle and smile to myself as I write (I know I do, I can’t help it!). Christmas is about spreading goodwill and my characters tend to need a bit of help around Christmas, so it warms my heart to be able to make that happen for them. And I love writing about all the Christmas traditions around the world.
JRR: Where did you get the idea for The Christmas Spirit? Which character was your ‘favorite’ to write?
I think I had a dream that inspired it. Natalie, the protagonist, was my favourite, although I did love writing Stanley, the old man, and Meredith was such a horror! Loved writing her too.
JRR: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
You’ve only got one life so live it.
JRR: Is there anything else you would like to share?
There’s a second book out, related to The Christmas Spirit, aptly named Return of the Christmas Spirit. And I hope to release The Proposal and Just One Day in the first half of 2019, with perhaps a Christmas-themed book for this time next year.
Merry Christmas everyone! Hope Santa’s good to you!
JRR: A second book! How exciting! And more from you in 2019! I look forward to it! Thank you for your time with this interview.
About the Author:
Susan Buchanan lives in Scotland with her husband and their two children. She is the author of four novels: Return of the Christmas Spirit, The Christmas Spirit, The Dating Game, and Sign of the Times. She is currently working on books five and six: The Proposal and Just One Day.
Susan is also a proofreader, editor and translator, and when not working, writing, or caring for her two delightful cherubs, loves reading, the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!
Win e-copies of Sign of the Times and The Dating Game:
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]