52 Weeks of Writing Journal by Mariëlle S. Smith / #GuestPost #BlogBlitz @rararesources

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Tired of not having a sustainable writing practice? You, too, can get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be!

52 Weeks of Writing:

  • makes you plan, track, reflect on, and improve your progress and goals for an entire year;
  • helps you unravel the truth about why you aren’t where you want to be; and
  • keeps you writing through weekly thought-provoking quotes and prompts.

With this second volume of the 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, writing coach and writer Mariëlle S. Smith brings you the same successful strategies to craft the perfect writing practice as she did in the first journal. The only difference? Fifty-three different writing quotes and prompts and a brand-new look!

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Guest Post

How to work 52 weeks of writing

52 Weeks of Writing consists of various elements. Some return every week, others each quarter, and again others only show up at the very start and/or end. Below, you will find a short overview of the different elements and what they’re for in order of appearance.

Clarity

The Clarity section comes back each quarter and aims to get you clear on what makes you tick as a writer and what is in the way of your goals and dreams.

Goals

In the Goals section, we focus on your long-term goals. We start by where you see yourself in ten years, then in five years, three years, two, and so on. As you write down these goals, really try to visualise them. What will achieving them look like? How will it make you feel? How are you going to celebrate? The clearer you can envision yourself reaching your goals, the easier it will be to stay excited about them.

Your goals are not set in stone. They are meant to provide direction and focus, and can be adjusted at all times. This is why the author journal and planner checks in with your three-month to one-year goals each quarter. Perhaps you quickly realise that your one-year goal isn’t feasible, because it

means you need to get more done within six months than you can possibly pull off. Simply go back to the goals you’ve set and tweak where necessary.

Don’t forget every writer has their own personal goals, so don’t think about what others are doing or aiming for. What is reasonable for you? Some of us have the privilege to have all day to write, while others are lucky to carve out thirty minutes four days a week. Likewise, some writers will want to go with traditional publishing, while others prefer going indie. These different routes come with different steps to take, so make sure you reflect on those as well as you set your goals.

Planning

The weekly Planning section is where you get to plan your week ahead and break down your bigger goals for the week into smaller pieces. If you have no idea what is realistic for you at this point, that’s OK. You have fifty-two weeks to go, so there is ample opportunity to test your limits. Just start somewhere; you’ll soon learn whether you need to ask more or less of yourself.

Tracking

The weekly Tracking section is where you reflect on whether you achieved your weekly goal(s) and think of ways how to do better next time.

Writing quotes and prompts

Every week starts with a writing quote to keep you inspired, and ends with a writing prompt or exercise designed to make you grow as a writer in all ways imaginable. Some prompts will help you train your writing muscle, others your author mindset. Some might be easy, while others will push you right out of your comfort zone, asking you to dig as deep as you dare and broaden your horizon as far as you can or want to at this time. All prompts and exercises are optional, so if you ever feel it’s too much, don’t force yourself through it. Simply come back another time.

Reflecting

The quarterly Reflecting section invites you to think about how far you’ve come, what you’ve learned, and what you are most grateful for.

Goal overview

The Goal overview at the end of the author journal and planner provides an overview of all your goals of the year, whether or not you achieved them, and the lessons you’ve learned.

Whether you want to update the Goal overview weekly, monthly, quarterly, or at the end of the year is entirely up to you, as long as you keep reflecting on your progress. There’s a reason why this author journal and planner includes so many questions to ponder: if we don’t sit with and look at where we’ve been and where we are now, we miss the opportunity to learn and improve and become the writers we were always meant to be.

Thank you, Mariëlle S. Smith and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author 

Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, and a (ghost) writer. Early 2019, she moved to Cyprus, and island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.

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Author Links 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mswordsmith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariellessmith/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtnYOpjmj83mvMM2L348F1w

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Book Links

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08P8SJ8FK

A printable PDF is available through: https://payhip.com/b/0YgJ Get 50% off until 31 March 2021 by using the coupon code 52WOW during checkout.

Daughter of the Sea by Sylvia Broady / #GuestPost #BlogTour @rararesources @SylviaBroady

 

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Jessica is grieving for her beloved father, trawler owner Jacob Kingdom, when a heated confrontation ends with her being cast out from the family home and the revelation of a shameful secret. She falls upon the kindness of strangers and meets a charismatic trawlerman, who is proud to walk out with Kingdom’s daughter.

But with her cold-hearted brother at the helm of the family business, there is discontent rising, and being Kingdom’s daughter begins to lose its charm. With Jessica desperate to prove herself worthy to the tight-knit community, does she have what it takes to weather the storm to come, or will her secret hold her back?

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Guest Post 

What inspires my writing?

Since an early age, I have been an avid reader. After WW2, my parents, who suffered countless bombing raids on their home, and losing their possessions, including books, began rebuilding a new home. The great escape for me was the local library. Here I could spend many happy hours, immersing myself in the never ending shelves of books on many subjects. But, being a minor, they only allowed me to take home junior books. My favourite when young was the Milly Molly Mandy books, by Joyce Lankester Brisley. I devoured the stories and loved Milly’s adventures, which rubbed off on me, sending me on my own adventures. With friends, I spent carefree days swimming in a creek, fishing for tiddlers, climbing trees, and chudding for apples. On Sundays, we cycled to the coast, played on the beach, swam in the North Sea and changed our clothes in the concrete building, which in WW2 was a lookout post to watch for the invading enemy. 

Moving on from my childhood reading, I graduated to history, in particular Kingston upon Hull, the city of my birth. I use the city and the surrounding towns and villages as the setting for my books, which has a wealth of history. Originally, named Wyke upon Hull until in 1299 when King Edward 1, granted it a royal charter that renamed the old town, Kingston upon Hull. Affectionately called Hull, it has many famous people: William Wilberforce MP renown for the abolition of slavery; Amy Johnson, pioneer pilot who flew solo from Britain to Australia; J. Arthur Rank founded the Rank Organisation whose films have entertained generations; Doctor Mary Murdoch, Hull’s first woman GP; popular singer David Whitfield; Dame Maureen Lipman renown actress; Francis Durbridge, who wrote the Paul Temple books and plays: the celebrity poet Phillip Larkin. Just some famous people of Hull. ull  

I concentrate my writing on the ordinary folk of our city, especially the women who during the two world wars and the years in between, showed great stoicism and courage.

I love researching: by reading many books, poring over old maps, and perusing the internet. The best gem is to speak to a person who witnessed the scene, which I am currently writing, their knowledge of the facts is invaluable. Thus I write with a sense of genuineness, which enables me to go deeper into the characters and the storyline.  

Writing is a passion, a fulfilment of my life to create stories and bring life to the characters who inhabit the layers of my imagination. My sole purpose as a writer is to create a book for you, my lovely readers, to enjoy

Thank you, Sylvia Broady and Rachel’s Random Resources.

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About the author

Sylvia Broady was born in Hull and has lived in the area all her life, although she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library after World War II that her relationship with literature truly began, and her memories of the war influence her writing as does her home town. She has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and the EYC Library Services, but is now a full-time writer.

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Author Links 

https://twitter.com/SylviaBroady

Website:  https://sylviabroadyauthor.com

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Book Link

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daughter-Sea-unforgettable-families-secrets-ebook/dp/B081S2XHDG/

 

Monster Max by Robin Bennett / #GuestPost #BlogTour @rararesources @writer_robin 

 
 

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First book in the hilarious Monster Max series

Max is an unusual 9-year-old. He can turn himself into a huge, bin- eating monster by BURPING. Being a monster is brilliant, unless he sneezes (which turns him back) and he finds himself far from home in just his pants.

Max decides to be more responsible and ‘protect and do good stuff’, starting with catching a local vandal. But his nemesis, Peregrine, is convinced Max is the vandal, and invents his POOP (Portable Operating Omni Prison) machine to trap him. If Peregrine can prove the truth, Max and his mother could be put in a zoo … or worse. Max will have to use his wits as well as his strength to catch the real culprit, before Peregrine can catch him…

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Guest Post

Boys like elves, too

Pretty much ever since I’ve had anything to do with the hugely fun and rewarding world of writing children’s books, word is boys aren’t reading as much as girls.

Assuming that they are mostly right, then how do we get them to read?

The simple answer is you can’t: because forcing anyone to take part in any cultural event such as a film, play, book … mime workshop, weekend in an expensive-ish spa(ish) hotel where you express your inner child, will almost always produce the opposite reaction as the one intended. And the alternative, in the form of gentle cajoling, is just background noise to small boys.

This worries publishers and parents alike – and writers (perhaps male writers, especially) are under a certain amount of pressure to bear this in mind. And we certainly do (as we sip champagne from silver goblets in our ivory towers or travel by helicopter for three bottle lunches with our bank managers).

Well, I did: we had two boys first; who both loved to be read to, then ploughed through early middle grade stories with pictures … and then utterly lost interest aged 11 or 12. It’s as much as we can do to get them to read text messages that are wholly in their interest to pay attention to: usually asking which part of town they want to be picked up from.

Then it occurred to me to wonder – did they ever read as much as girls? If I think about myself aged 11 I was all but illiterate. When I did read it was Asterix or Airfix instructions and very little else.

I picked up the reading habit later and read pretty much anything and everything. Reading is the only time I shut up.

Monster Max (out Feb 2021) almost certainly is good for reluctant readers and the story might appeal more to boys than girls: perhaps because there’s more physical action than emotional. But that’s as maybe because I also believe the best stories have universal appeal. Whatever your age, sex, persuasion, background, we all essentially come from the same place.

Get boys reading? After a certain age, they’ll probably always read less than girls and we’ll probably always moan, either at them about it or behind their backs (in print, if we really don’t want them to know and so spare their feelings).

But the only answer is to write better stories. And that’s down to us.

Thank you, Robin Bennett and Rachel’s Random Resources.

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About the author

Aged 21 Robin was all set to become a cavalry officer; aged 21 and a half, he found himself working as an assistant gravedigger in south London wondering where it all went wrong. Robin has gone on to start and run over a dozen successful businesses from dog- sitting to cigars, tuition to translation. The list is quite exhausting. Robin is married with three young children. He spends his time between Pau in the Pyrenées and Henley-on- Thames.  

Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting is Robin’s first book with Firefly Press publishing in February 2021. He has also written other books for children, published with Monster Books

Rampaging Rugby, first in the Stupendous Sports non-fiction series for 7-11-year-olds will publish August 2021. 

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Author Links

Twitter @writer_robin 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/robinbennettauthor/

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Book Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Monster-Max-Bobble-Hat-Forgetting-ebook/dp/B088BJLLTM/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Monster-Max-Bobble-Hat-Forgetting-ebook/dp/B088BJLLTM/

https://fireflypress.co.uk/books/monster-max/

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Giveaway 

Win a Monster Max Cuddly Toy 

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries only, welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494409/?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My review
 
 
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Evanthia’s Gift by Effie Kammenou / #GuestPost #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup @EffieKammenou

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The Gift Saga Book 1

Sophia Giannakos will settle for nothing less than the rare love her parents share. At a tender and impressionable age, she has found her soul mate in Dean, the boy she has known her whole life — until secrets and deceptions pull them apart. No stranger to heartache, Anastacia, Sophia’s mother, attempts to comfort her, without revealing ugly family truths that could haunt her daughter’s future.

In the year 1956, Anastacia, a former NYU student, finds herself in the challenging role of a single parent. Left with emotional wounds from a bad marriage, she is reluctant to trust and resists her growing feelings for Alexandros, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets — ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.

The story continues in the 1970s, as their daughter attempts to negotiate between two cultures. Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, have shared a special connection since childhood. Although their desire for one another is undeniable, Dean resists her, rebelling against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage. When he can no longer fight his feelings, Dean asks Sophia to conceal their love. She hesitantly complies, until it becomes too much for her. Like her mother, Sophia loves with every fibre of her soul, leaving her shattered when Dean pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, leaving her no choice but to find a life different than the one she’d hoped for.

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Guest Post

My stories are character driven. I’ve given each character a history that molds their
personality, preferences, fears and dreams. The Gift Saga is mainly told from the
point of view from the women in this multigenerational story, yet the men that love
them, raise them and support them are just as interesting and often as complex as
the women they love.
Evanthia’s Gift opens with Anastacia’s story, but in essence it’s the beginning of
Sophia’s storyline. Everything that happens to Anastacia and all the decisions she
makes directly affect Sophia throughout her life. The first third of the book, Part I,
is Anastacia’s story and the backstory for Part II, which focuses on Sophia as she
blossoms from an impressionable teenager to an independent woman.
Throughout the chapters, the reader is introduced to Sophia’s closest friends, both
as teenagers and adults. The friendships between these women are strong and
unbreakable.
This bond between these five women is what’s explored in Waiting
For Aegina. Each one leads separate lives and have all followed their dreams, but
when trouble steps into their paths, the friends stand by each other.
Sophia is dealing with the repercussions that plagued her from the first book. She
seemingly got her happily ever after, but there was so much she had yet to come to
terms with—the death of her mother, a surprise revelation over her paternity, and
her children’s resentment of her new husband.
Amy has a secret that only Sophia was privy to. She gave a child up for adoption
shortly after her graduation from college. Her husband and son had no knowledge
of this and neither did her other friends. When the truth unexpectedly comes out, it
affects her family, her relationship with her husband and threatens her position as a
United States congresswoman.
Donna married her high school sweetheart. She was the cheerleader who married
the star football player, her first boyfriend. But her seemingly perfect marriage
frays thread by thread as her husband becomes a man she can no longer respect.
When tragedy strikes, Donna must find the strength to go on.
Demi and Sophia have grown up as though they were siblings. Demi is bold where
Sophia is cautious and, Demi, outspoken in contrast to Sophia’s more diplomatic
manner. But these two opposite personalities bring out the best in each other. Demi
begrudgingly endures her intrusive mother-in-law, while also been letting her
imagination run wild where her normally loving husband is concerned. Her mouth
and insecurities get the best of her, landing her in a bit of marital disharmony.
Mindy has it all, or so it would seem. She has devoted her life to her craft,
becoming a respected and well-known fashion designer. But to get there, sacrifices
were made and she let the love of her life slip through her fingers. Her fear of
being alone places her in the hands of the wrong man, but her friends come to her
aid.
Each of these five women are very different with distinctly unique personalities,
but the bond they had formed from childhood is cemented for life and they are
loyal to the core, seeing each other through good times and bad.

Thank you, Effie Kammenou and Love Books Group

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About the author

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends. Her debut novel, EVANTHIA’S GIFT, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her recent interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine. As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the book. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University

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Author Links

https://twitter.com/EffieKammenou

 www.facebook.com/EffieKammenou

 https://www.instagram.com/effiekammenou_author/

 Newsletter signup –  http://eepurl.com/bIoJl1

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Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013MG484M/?ref=exp_kellysloveofbooks_dp_vv_d

Bre’s Heavenly Adventures with Jesus by Breanna Brown / #GuestPost #BlogTour @WNLBookTours @BreBrow14681682

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Bre gets angry when her father breaks his promise and refuses to play with her. But Bre’s mom tells her that she another father named Jesus-and he is the best father ever. He is always there, always ready to listen, and he will never stop loving her-even when she has made a mistake! So Bre goes to heaven to meet him…and this book will tell you what happened there!

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Guest Post

5 Reasons Why Mentors are Important
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#1 Mentors are important because they allow you to develop and cultivate your
skillset without always having to necessarily go through the experience

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By having a mentor that has already gone through a particular experience this allows
you to be able to have the upper hand, by helping you to avert certain obstacles and
crises that you would have otherwise would have had to gone through without the help
of wise counsel.

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#2 Mentors will always hold you accountable to your goals

A lot of times you need people in your corner who will not only help to motivate you, but
they will hold you accountable to the goals that you set. Which means sometimes
mentors will have to dish out hard truths to you, but it’s never meant to discourage or
hurt you its’ always meant to make you better.

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#3 Mentors help you to develop both your strengths and weaknesses

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They do this by offering constructive criticism, by telling you what you’re doing wrong
and right. From there they are able to help you to cultivate a plan of action on how to
improve your weaknesses and develop strategies on how to make the greatest impact
with your strengths.

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#4 Mentors provide you with opportunities to network

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Sometimes, when you are a new to a particular industry it’s hard to get connected to the
right people right away. Thus, mentors can provide you with the opportunity to be meet
and mingle with people you otherwise would not have been able to meet on your own.

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#5 Mentors will support and encourage you

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Lastly, mentors will provide you with the support and encouragement that is sometimes
lacking from your family and friends because they don’t understand the circumstances
or the pressures you’re dealing with. Thus, its nice to go to a listening ear to let out your
frustrations and to get advice on how to handle similar situations.

Thank you, Breanna Brown and WNL Book Tours

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About the author

Bre Brown currently serves as the Youth Minister of Watchman Ministries, alongside her Husband Eric Smith,
located in Fredericksburg, VA. She’s been regarded, as the “prophetic voice for the next generation.” She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Louisville and currently possesses her qualified mental health professional registration in the state of Virginia. She is currently pursuing her graduate certificate in non-profit studies. She is the CEO and founder of Child Enrichment Solutions LLC. Which is a full-service coaching and consulting firm that helps youth to identify negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that inhibit them from achieving personal achievement utilize constructive coping strategies to lead happy, empowered, and successful lives.

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Author Link

Website: https://www.bresheavenlyadventures.com/

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Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R6M41Q1/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Bre%27s+Heavenly+Adventures+With+Jesus+The+True+Meaning+of+Unconditional+Love&qid=1608691200&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

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Giveaway

$10 Amazon Gift Card

Link to giveaway http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/96d196a634/?

Wicked Writing Skills by Lexi Rees / #GuestPost #BlogTour @rararesources @lexi_rees

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Over 90 non-fiction activities for children

Writing is like a spell. It can melt hearts and fry brains, twisting and turning as the magic works.

Want the world to fall at your feet, destroyed by the might of your pen?

– Sharpen your powers of persuasion

– Sky-rocket your debating skills

– Add ooomph to your reports

– And lots more!

Packed with top tips, this awesome workbook has everything you need to know to become a WICKED WRITER.

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Guest Post

Thanks so much for inviting me to join you today to chat about the inspiration behind my new kids activity book – Wicked Writing Skills.

My first creative writing book, Creative Writing Skills, is a best-seller and has now been translated into German and Italian, whilst the Spanish edition will be released in early 2021. That book focuses on fiction writing, i.e. what a parent would normally associate with “creative” writing, but I always wanted to build on this. 

Non-fiction writing is such an important skill, not just as part of the curriculum, but in life. However, it can feel a bit more daunting for many children, and as a parent myself I know it can be easier to suggest your children write a story, rather than challenge them to write a report or a set of instructions. 

So when I started planning Wicked Writing Skills, I knew I wanted to break down each of the key areas into simple stages that build on each other, exactly as I did in Creative Writing Skills. But instead of characters, settings, descriptive writing, dialogues, plans, etc, in Wicked Writing Skills we are exploring opinions, debates, persuasive writing, instructions, news reporting, and marketing. Of course, just because these are technically “non-fiction skills” doesn’t mean they can’t be creative.

As a result, the writing challenges themselves are specifically designed to be fun and often quirky, with a broad range of questions. These range from topics like “Is pasta good for breakfast?” or “Who would win a spelling bee, alphabetti spaghetti or a computer keyboard?” giving plenty of opportunities for strong opinions and silliness, regardless of the age of the writer. Other topics offer scope for a parent/ carer to continue discussions around the topic, such as “A twin is never alone”. There are also topics intended to stretch older writers, for example “Explain how to use social media to your great-great-great grandmother” or “Could we end disease?”.

I also wanted to make sure the key structural issues were included, for example using time markers and logical connectives. Practising incorporating these into their writing will help them in every piece of writing they do, regardless of topic or age! These are also aligned to the Key Stage 2 syllabus in the UK, which means the book is suitable for use by teachers, as well as those looking to home educate, but without coming across as a text book.

I really hope Wicked Writing Skills inspires youngsters and helps them gain confidence in every aspect of their writing, regardless of the format.

Thank you, Lexi Rees and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author 

Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south. She writes action-packed adventures brim full of witch-doctors, fortune-tellers, warriors and smugglers, combining elemental magic with hints of dystopia. She also writes fun activity books for children. 

Her fantasy adventure, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids. The sequel, Wild Sky, is available now. 

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her Creative Writing Skills workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

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Author Links 

Website: https://lexirees.co.uk

Twitter: @lexi_rees  or https://twitter.com/lexi_rees

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LexiAuthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lexireesbooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexi.rees/

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Book Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wicked-Writing-Skills-non-fiction-activities/dp/1913799034

US – https://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Writing-Skills-non-fiction-activities/dp/1913799034

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Giveaway

Win an activity book – Wicked Writing Skills

https://kingsumo.com/g/fja7mq/win-an-activity-book-wicked-writing-skills

UK only

The Maiden and the Mercenary by Nicole Locke / #GuestPost #MiniBlogBlitz @rararesources @NicoleLockeNews

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Keep your friends close…

But your enemies closer?

In order to find a legendary treasure map, mercenary Louve of Mei Solis must infiltrate his enemy’s fortress under the guise of a servant. There, Louve meets beautiful maiden Biedeluue, a fellow servant with her own hidden agenda…to save her sister from the malevolent Lord’s clutches! Their high-stakes missions may be at odds with one other, but their attraction cannot be denied even in this most dangerous of situations…

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GuestPost

Top Ten things about Louve of Mei Solis

  1. Louve, the hero, looks a bit like Chase Crawford and Sam Claflin. It’s all in that smile!
  2. The author almost didn’t want to write Louve’s story because then she’d have to say goodbye.
  3. That’s also why his story is just a wee bit longer than all the other stories in the Lovers and Legends.
  4. It’s also why she wrote him as a character in two other books: Reclaimed by the Knight and The Dark Knight’s Redemption.
  5. And to not sound like a crazy person, it’s why she talks of a made-up character she loves in the third-person. (Yes, it’s me…so I’ll stop now).
  6. The story is a series, but can absolutely be read as a standalone. Why? If I’m reading a story and I don’t get a beginning middle and a HEA, I get really really piqued. So, yeah, the story’s complete.
  7. Louve’s vain, not humble, and not nobility. How he got tangled up on all the Legend intrigue is beyond him. Mostly he uses sarcasm and humour to get by. He can’t do that with the heroine though, else she’d brain him with the goblet in her hand (see Chapter 1, scene 1). Thus, he approaches cautiously when it comes to her.
  8. Not too cautiously. Because this story, at least on his side, is insta-love. Biedeluue’s curvy, brave, and brash. Difficult not to fall in-love especially since he meets her in the middle of a drinking game, and well…she’s feeling a bit sick.
  9. Does Biedeluue notice him, too? Yep. Although, he’s a extremely blurry given the ale she drank.
  10. She does, however, notice his eyes: ‘Then there was blue. A blue so blue, the sky would be envious. And…so many eyes. Why did he have so many eyes when the rest of them only had two?’

Thank you, Nicole Locke and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author

Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced that hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly).

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Author Links

https://www.nicolelocke.com

https://www.instagram.com/nicolelockeauthor

https://www.facebook.com/NicoleLockeAuthor

https://twitter.com/NicoleLockeNews

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Book Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maiden-Mercenary-Historical-Lovers-Legends-ebook/dp/B089LVSRBD/

 US – https://www.amazon.com/Maiden-Mercenary-Historical-Lovers-Legends-ebook/dp/B089LVSRBD/

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Giveaway

Win a £20 / $20 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494399/?

Wedding Vows and Cornish Ribbons by Laura Briggs / #GuestPost #BlogBlitz @rararesources @PaperDollWrites

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Event planner Julianne Rose is on the verge of making her dreams of ‘rescuing’ weddings in need of help a reality. She and business partner Kitty have finally finished transforming the dilapidated barn into a chic event space, and they even have a new client eager to use it—a quirky, charming space organization guru named Deirdre who seems capable of organizing everything but her own special day. As if that wasn’t enough, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity soon presents itself through the who’s who of their sleepy little Cornish village: the chance to step into the event planning void for a posh bride in desperate need of an emergency salvage for her wedding plans. A wedding that could establish Julianne and Kitty as two of Cornwall’s best event planners if all goes well.

But an event that big doesn’t come without a catch. To persuade the posh clients to commit to them, Julianne and Kitty must first impress them with the ceremony for their current bride-to-be—a task that seemed easy, but proves complicated when stories emerge involving a history of broken engagements, cold feet, and commitment phobia on the part of Deirdre, who soon begins to exhibit possible symptoms of nervousness regarding her big day. Faced with a real case of runaway bride—and with their future reputation at stake— they must attempt to the impossible task of holding together a wedding fraying at its seams, and Julianne finds herself seemingly facing a choice between what’s best for Save the Date’s survival and what’s best for her client’s happiness, regardless of the cost.

Are Julianne’s worst fears about to be realized, with Deirdre gearing up for yet another run from the church altar? Can she persuade the posh but sympathetic bride Alexi to take a risk on Save the Date regardless of it? And will Julianne and the handsome-but-equally-busy Matt find time to smolder anything in their marriage besides leftover chicken pie? Readers will learn these answers and more in the funny and heartfelt sequel to the first full-length titular novel Return to Cornwall .

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Guest Post

Reasons Readers Might Enjoy Wedding Vows and Cornish Ribbons

Thanks so much to Els for letting me drop by and chat about my latest Cornish romance read. It’s called Wedding Vows and Cornish Ribbons and finds event planner Julianne Rose facing an unexpected obstacle when it comes to organizing her latest client’s special day. It’s also the first book in a new series full of friendship, laughter, and heartwarming moments perfect for those who love a bit of escapism in their cosy romance reads. I thought it might be nice to share what readers can look forward to when they dive into this first installment’s pages, so here’s just a few of the reasons to check out Julianne’s latest adventure!

There’s lots (and lots) of wedding-themed fun:

Julianne and her business partner Kitty are all about creating the most special day possible for their clients. So there’s plenty of mouthwatering cake samples for tasting, beautiful table arrangements to design, flowers to choose, and of course, the venue—a gorgeous old stone barn—has to be decorated with the just right little touches. And, because her client is a bride with a bit of a quirky past this time, Julianne finds herself going above and beyond to secure the necessary details for making her day as perfect as possible (hint: it involves interviewing two past relationships who almost said ‘I do’ to the bride to be Deidre in very different times and circumstances). Which leads to the next reason readers may find themselves turning the pages to see how Julianne and Kitty can possibly pull together the perfect ceremony with so many more odds against it than they ever dreamed.

It has a happy-ever-after dilemma:

In this case, a bride to be with a chronic case of cold feet. How bad is it, you ask? Two jilted fiances and a similar close call with a serious boyfriend that Julianne at first dismisses as idle gossip. But as the stories about her quirky new client Deidre prove to have some grains of truth, Julianne worries that history may be doomed to repeat itself. Especially when Deidre begins to second guess every detail of the wedding, postponing decisions about everything from the menu to the dress. Thing is, Deidre seems to really be in love this time…but will that be enough to ensure she won’t cancel the wedding—or worse, bolt from the altar in a moment of panic? Or maybe it’s a sign that even finding the right partner isn’t the answer to Deidre’s true issues with commitment. Whatever the case, Julianne is determined to do what’s best for her client, no matter what it means for her business and its budding reputation in the village.

There’s a good bit of humor:

Despite the bride’s emotional struggle, there are still plenty of lighthearted moments for Julianne as she seeks to make her client’s big day come together. Especially when, in an effort to give the rattled bride Deidre a distraction from her worries, Julianne enlists her client’s professional ‘feng shui’ decluttering services for her own crowded little cottage. But it doesn’t go quite how she pictured, as she and Matt’s cupboards are emptied all over the cottage with seemingly no end in sight. Meanwhile, her friend and business partner Kitty is struggling with the various changes that come with being pregnant—especially her husband Nathan’s over-the-top attempts to ensure her and the baby’s health and happiness (including a veggie and vitamin regime that has Kitty wrinkling her nose just reading about it!).

Hopefully all of that sounds right up your street when it comes to romance reads! And if this is your first introduction to Julianne and her cosy Cornish village, I hope that you’ll be sure to check out her original adventures in my long running series ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’ and its standalone reunion novel Return to Cornwall. There’s never a dull moment as Julianne helps organize everything from holiday balls to bake off competitions and even a royal wedding, to name just a few!

Thank you, Laura Briggs and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author 

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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Author Links 

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1JjeMoI

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ME9ivJ

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Book Link 

https://smarturl.it/weddingvows

Here She Is: The Complicated Reign of the Beauty Pageant in America by Hilary Levey Friedman / #GuestPost @AnnaSacca @FSBAssociates @hleveyfriedman

A fresh exploration of American feminist history told through the lens of the beauty pageant world.

Many predicted that pageants would disappear by the 21st century. Yet they are thriving. America’s most enduring contest, Miss America, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020. Why do they persist? In Here She Is, Hilary Levey Friedman reveals the surprising ways pageants have been an empowering feminist tradition. She traces the role of pageants in many of the feminist movement’s signature achievements, including bringing women into the public sphere, helping them become leaders in business and politics, providing increased educational opportunities, and giving them a voice in the age of #MeToo.

Using her unique perspective as a NOW state president, daughter to Miss America 1970, sometimes pageant judge, and scholar, Friedman explores how pageants became so deeply embedded in American life from their origins as a P.T. Barnum spectacle at the birth of the suffrage movement, through Miss Universe’s bathing beauties to the talent- and achievement-based competitions of today. She looks at how pageantry has morphed into culture everywhere from The Bachelor and RuPaul’s Drag Race to cheer and specialized contests like those for children, Indigenous women, and contestants with disabilities. Friedman also acknowledges the damaging and unrealistic expectations pageants place on women in society and discusses the controversies, including Miss America’s ableist and racist history, Trump’s ownership of the Miss Universe Organization, and the death of child pageant-winner JonBen�t Ramsey.

Presenting a more complex narrative than what’s been previously portrayed, Here She Is shows that as American women continue to evolve, so too will beauty pageants. 

 

 

Guest Post

I wrote Here She Is: The Complicated Reign of the Beauty Pageant in America, a book that uses beauty pageants to show how American femininity has changed over the centuries, because I thought it was a book I was uniquely positioned to author. I’m a sociologist and professor at Brown University, where one of my students became Miss America 2018. I’m a feminist who is President of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women. And, I’m the daughter of Miss America 1970. In other words, I have literally lived the complications of the American beauty pageant.

Still, writing this book was by far the hardest thing I have ever done.

First, there was the practical issue that many women writers of a certain age struggle with: finding time to write when you have young kids in the house. My sons were five and seven while I was writing the bulk of Here She Is, so finding time to think, let alone write, for longer than an hour or so at a time was a challenge. 

I solved this problem in a few ways. As soon as the boys went to bed around 8 pm, I would immediately close the door of my home office and work until 11 pm when I’d collapse into bed. But when crunch time hit and the kids were out of the house at school or summer camp (remember those days?!) I’d rush home, take off my bra (seriously, this was a crucial step for me!), and feverishly write until it was time to pick them up. When I truly needed silence and zero distractions, I escaped to the library; my favorite place to edit is in the Reading Room at the John Hay Library on Brown’s campus.

But what really got me across the finish line for the final draft was checking into a local hotel for three nights to write a Preface and finish edits. I highly recommend this as a way to eliminate all distractions. Key for me was being at a hotel with room service so I literally didn’t have to walk out the door.

The Preface of Here She Is was a special challenge for me because it was so personal. It meant reckoning with my own views of beauty, how I see myself, and my relationship with my mom. I’m proud of the final product, but I had to dig deep to get there…

No doubt my status as the daughter of a Miss America helped open doors for me during the research process. I definitely have my own academic accomplishments, but my crown-adjacent status made a difference when it came to attending pageants in person and securing interviews.

I find the research aspect of book-writing more enjoyable than the writing, whether personal subject matter or not, which I know isn’t true for everyone. I love finding a document, getting access to a treasure trove of historical items, or securing and completing an interview with someone. Each stage gives me such a thrill and new ideas. I am probably guilty of over-researching with both primary and secondary sources (reading a few books for just a few sentences in the final product, or collecting lots of data for a few paragraphs).

At the end of the day, all the research and writing and editing hours are worth it when I get emails or messages from readers remarking that they did indeed learn something new by reading something I have written. This matters to me because I know how precious time is and I want a reader to feel like they acquired some facts! It also is gratifying to know that by reading something I wrote someone starts thinking about an aspect of the world in a new way, especially by making unexpected connections (for example, I get this a lot when I point out that suffragist and pageant sashes are connected). This is especially gratifying when someone makes connections to their own lives. In the case of Here She Is and beauty pageants, I hope readers will see that this activity really is a complicated activity for women, at times good and at times bad, but rarely straightforward no matter the age or era. 

Ultimately, my wish is that a reader will find a kernel of their own unique story to tell by reading Here She Is, or anything else I’ve written. I know that telling that story can be hard, but also that, in the end, it is worth it.

Thank you, Hilary Levey Friedman and FSB Associates

 

About the author

Hilary Levey Friedman is the author of Here She Is: The Complicated Reign of the Beauty Pageant in America. She is a sociologist at Brown University, where she has taught a popular course titled “Beauty Pageants in American Society.” She is a leading researcher in pageantry, merging her mother’s past experiences as Miss America 1970 with her interests as a glitz- and glamour-loving sometime pageant judge, and a mentor to Miss America 2018. Friedman also serves as the president of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women. Her first book, Playing to Win, focused on children’s competitive afterschool activities.

 

Author Links

https://hilaryleveyfriedman.com 

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Book Link

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Here-She-Complicated-Pageant-America/dp/0807083283/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3643CAXQ7MWYP&dchild=1&keywords=here+she+is+by+hilary+levey+friedman&qid=1603263604&sprefix=here+she+is+%2Caps%2C995&sr=8-1

The Cornish Key to Happiness by Laura Briggs / #GuestPost #PublicationDayPush @rararesources @PaperDollWrites

Past secrets return to complicate Maisie’s future with the charming Sidney Daniels in the final installment of the Cornish romance series.

Picking up where book seven left off, Maisie’s plans to celebrate her book’s thrilling news remain on hold after Sidney has vanished from Port Hewer overnight, following a brush with his secret past. His departure leaves Maisie with a head full of questions and a heart torn in two, made even worse by the rumors flying about him through the town. Where and why has he gone? Will he ever come back again? And—foremost in Maisie’s mind—was the heartache from his younger days somehow to blame for his sudden and mysterious flight?

But when Dean convinces her that Sidney may be facing a choice that could ruin his life, Maisie must set out to find him, once again leaving behind the Cornish seaside haven of Port Hewer she’s come to think of as home, and leaving behind the answer to a secret she’s been longing to know since the beginning. Not knowing when or if she’ll return, she’s taking the biggest risk with her heart so far…and the truth she discovers waiting for her at the end of her journey will make her wonder if things can ever possibly be the same as they were before.

Questions are answered, secrets are spilled, and the biggest reveal of the series is finally unveiled as A LITTLE HOTEL IN CORNWALL reaches its exciting conclusion.

Guest Post

Favorite Things about Writing The Cornish Key to Happiness

Thank you so much to Els for letting me tell her readers about my new romance book, the eighth and final installment in my series ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall.’ Its publication day is a bittersweet experience for me, since it means saying goodbye to characters and a world that I’ve grown to love. It’s been wonderful writing each of Maisie’s adventures, filled with laughter, romance, and plenty of twists and turns. The last book was no exception, and for this guest post I thought it might be fun to share three of my favorite things about penning The Cornish Key to Happiness.

It features a new escapist setting:

Maisie is no stranger to breathtaking locations after working as a chambermaid at the hotel Penmarrow in Cornwall. With its stunning seaside view, historic charm, and reputation for hosting elaborate and unusual events, it soon became her favorite place to be. So she doesn’t expect to find herself packing her bags and catching a train at the beginning of her latest story, even if it’s just a temporary departure. But that’s exactly what happens, and the course of her journey will lead her to a destination she never expected. One that’s grand, sprawling, and a bit Gothic in a Misselthwaite-meets-Manderley kind of way (complete with a hall of portraits and some enchanting garden pathways, no less).

The romantic tension is high:

Maisie and Sidney’s connection has been complicated at best, starting with their ‘friends only’ policy from the summer they met. A dramatic declaration of love, a temporary parting, and even a life-and-death situation have marked the various turning points in their relationship, which seemed to have finally reached an even keel at the beginning of book seven. But an unwelcome reminder from Sidney’s past has caught up with him now, threatening to pull them apart again. Decisions will have to be made, emotions confronted, and more than a few doubts erased before a happy ever after can seem possible for them again.

Old secrets are spilled:

This is, perhaps, the most thrilling part of Maisie’s final adventure, with truths coming to light about questions that have haunted her almost since the beginning of her Cornish quest. First, she must grapple with the details of Sidney’s past, as well as what it means for their future together. And then there’s the question of Alistair Davies, the literary genius Maisie hoped to meet when she first ventured across the pond. Will she finally come face to face with the one who inspired her work? Is it someone she’s known all along, incognito, as she’s began to suspect? It will be answered once and for all in the book’s final pages—and even Maisie can’t imagine how it will all come together!

If this sort of story sounds your cup of tea, I hope you’ll be sure to check out all the books in ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’. You can find them for just 99p/99c each at Amazon and other major eBook retailers.

Thank you, Laura Briggs and Rachel’s Random Resources

About the author 

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

Author Links 

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1JjeMoI

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ME9ivJ

Book Link 

https://smarturl.it/cornishroad