Wednesday, 26 August 2015

post #RWAus15 Anne Gracie, Bride by Mistake

post #RWAus15  second review

Anne Gracie, Bride by Mistake
Bride by Mistake (Devil Riders, #5)Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bride By Mistake is a love story set in the years of the post Napoleonic Wars.
I enjoyed how Anne Gracie has given her female protagonist plenty of gumption without making her too modern for her era. The story has plenty of action and conflict to keep the pages turning and the right level of love. Because I have read this novel I want to now go and read the rest of the adventures of the 'Devil Riders'.

Overall a very pleasant read.

My reviews are based on
1 - believable characters
2- a plot that keeps me turning the pages
3- the structural integrity of the prose (gain marks for a good knowledge of pronouns)
4- a time line that holds up to scrutiny
5- seamless integration of world building/back story/technical details

RWA Conference 2015 stories galore first review

I came home from the conference with thirteen novels by thirteen authors I have yet to read. I will review them as I finish. I am not very generous with my stars but if I like it I like it and only my childhood favourites get the five star treatment on sentimental grounds.
My reviews are based on
1 - believable characters
2- a plot that keeps me turning the pages
3- the structural integrity of the prose (gain marks for a good knowledge of pronouns)
4- a time line that holds up to scrutiny
5- seamless integration of world bulding/back story/technical details

Without further ado, I present:

Turtle ReefTurtle Reef by Jennifer Scoullar

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Turtle Reef is a love story, not just between people but of the land, the sea and the animals and the environmental elements that make a place so special.
Jennifer Scoullar has written a lovely diorama of a beautiful part of Queensland and filled it with interesting characters and an engaging plot. Her prose is well structured and the pace is just right for a love story.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves their stories filled with panoramic views and plenty of sugar.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Monster Chores and colouring books

I love the trend toward colouring books for grown ups. I haven't always been a colouring book fan. Like many people I read that colouring books blunted the creative imagination of children so for a while I banned them from my home. Over time I came to realise that some of us need some outlines to fill in as we cannot simply grab an idea from the gurgling quagmire of our inner brainy bits. Some of us need a photograph and a projector or a spirograph or one of those copying plastic toy thingamejigs and grids and paint by numbers. Even Van Gogh and other great artists copied the greats before them so they could excel in the techniques before branching out into their own style.

I am going to create a colouring book of my very own art some time soon but I would like to tell you about a colouring book I have already contributed to.

 Last year I was involved in a colouring book collaboration with twelve other amazing creative people. It is a colouring book about chores. Ordinary household chores become something else when monsters are involved. Jennyann was the driving force in gathering us all from across the globe to contribute to this fun project. In the colouring book, which is free to download from Jennyann's blog, you can share the art and talents of the following incredibly generous people. 

Jennyann Carthern Blogger & Illustrator

 Jennyann is an  Artist, Illustrator, and a Activity Specialist for an after school program, with over 11 years experience working as a teaching artist, for various non profits and after school programs in the Bay Area! She has a BFA in Illustration from the California College of the Arts; and has been diligently building her life as an Artist, with the goal of working full time in her studio in Benicia, CA. Jennyann is also passionate about mentoring artists to sustain their creative juice, and helping after school programs teach art for learning. While making art,
illustrating children's books, toy crates and designs for kids! 
Learn more about Jennyann & her work  at: or send her a tweet @Paintisthicker.
Dani Duck Writer & Illustrator

Dani is passionate about education, writing, parenting and art. She loves sharing the information and inspiration with those who read her blog. She currently resides with her husband Peter and son David in the outer, outer reaches of the Greater Vancouverish area.
Learn more about Dani & her Blog at: , or send her a tweet @DaniDuck
Tori Deaux Quirkipreneur & Illustrator
Tori loves monsters, hates chores, and adores collaborations (especially with monsters!). Her art is usually for grown-ups, but she loves coloring and monsters so much she just had to take part in this project!

You can learn more about her work at:
or send her a tweet @ToriDeaux

Telaina Muir KidsLit Writer & Illustrator

Telaina is a children’s book writer and illustrator. She loves living in Alaska with her family, and having adventures everyday. She teaches free art lessons on her blog at or send her a tweet @TelainaMuir
Bobbie Dacus
KidsLit Writer & Illustrator

Bobbie began drawing at a very young age.. after her dad brought home some unlined paper from work. Her passion was drawing and creating her own paper dolls and make clothes for them. Which eventually led her to create
comic books about fashion. Bobbie also studied graphic design in college while working as a Visual Merchandising and winning awards!  (Fancy that!) After her children, Holly and Ben, were born she fell in love with children’s book illustration and has been doing it ever since.  Illustrating  books like “Saving Emma” for the Apothecary Museum in Alexandria, VA and several other books. She's currently  writing and illustrating in the hopes of  publishing more books.
Learn more about Bobbie at:
or send her a tweet @BobbieDacus
Teresa Schaefer
Writer & Illustrator

Teresa is a new writer/illustrator hoping to illustrate some of the books she has written. A kid at heart, she still loves to color, so drawing a page for The Monster Coloring Book was a perfect fit. And, speaking of monsters, when she went to bed when she was little, she wouldn't let her arms or feet dangle over the sides of the bed for fear the monster beneath her bed would grab her. She says she knows monsters are make-believe; but, if she saw one on the street, she would run. Books and art have been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. As an elementary student, she helped the school librarian re-shelve books, wrote her first story at age eight, joined what she now knows was a critique group at age ten, painted a sixty foot mural three years ago and continues to write and draw on a daily basis. Professionally trained as a licensed psychologist, it is not uncommon for her stories to have a therapeutic bent. She is the proud mother of two very outstanding young adults, twelve goldfish, a clumsy bull-dog, an old cat, and a cat that thinks she is a dog. She used to have a lizard named Steve who -- looked kinda like a monster. She hopes you have a monstrously good time coloring. Feel free to visit her website at,
or send her a tweet @TMISchaefer.
Ceilila Clark (me of course)
Writer & Illustrator

Creating monsters is Cecilia favorite activity. Stories, art and children all have Cecilia's unique monster creating stamp on them. She has art and short stories in
a wide variety of anthologies and has the pleasure of illustrating the work of other writers. Cecilia can be found in the usual social sites hiding behind her friends the pixel monsters.

Learn more about me and my monsters Monsters right here at:
 or find my art by clicking my gallery button.
Kim MacPherson Writer, Illustrator & Editor

 Kim MacPherson is a children’s author, illustrator, and editor. Her favorite book as a kid was the original Golden Book of Fairy Tales. She was also obsessed with Dr. Seuss.  You can also find Kim  blogging about writing, drawing, and reading children’s books at and editing Picture Books
 at, or send her a tweet @KidLitDish
Mary Flynn
Illustrator & Teacher

Mary has always had a passion for art. She is currently working towards children’s art, because it has always fascinated her. Fueled by her work as a reading teacher! Mary has never had formal art training just a few classes here and there. All of my educational background is in Education. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and two Masters’ of Arts in Education. The littlest thing can inspire a drawing or painting; a color, a spot, a leaf, or a bug. I love surrealism and do a lot of it in my fine art. The children’s art scene is new to me but I’m learning and meeting some really wonderful people on this new journey in my life.
Learn more about Mary at:, or send her a tweet @Flynnsfineart
Annina Wildermuth
KidsLit Writer & Illustrato

 Annina is a Byzantine and European history nut, currently living in Huntington, NY. She loves, illustrating , and designing coloring books that feature characters from mythology and opera. She someday hopes to write a Middle Grade historical novel. Annina was born in Germany, but raised in the U.S. She is Swiss/American and speaks an impressive  three languages. German, Swiss German, and French. To learn more about Annina, head over to her blog "All my Characters" at http://allmycharacters.
and she also loves connecting on twitter  @AnninaLuck
Jennifer Vanderbeek Bookkeeper, Artist & Writer 

Jennifer believes in the power of creativity, cocktails, (parenthetical references) and having a good laugh (generally at her own expense). She believes that doing at least one creative thing a day is good for the soul and that having multiple passions prevents burnout! Deadlines are her best motivators; second only to rewards. Jennifer also enjoys working with emerging authors and small businesses to add a touch of fun and whimsy to their books, websites, and products to help get their message out to their right people in an approachable, understandable way.
Learn more about Jennifer at and or send her a tweet @scrapsoflife
Leila Nabih
Childrens Book Writer & Illustrator

Leila is an up and coming illustrator and children’s books author. She has left the corporate world of publishing more than a year ago to invest herself completely into her new career. She has started by studying for Diploma in Children’s Book Illustrations which she received with Merit from the London Art College in January 2014. Leila has also published a short poetry book in 2013 and is now working on a fiction/fantasy novel for 9-12yo children and two picture book projects to be published end of 2014. She uses a variety of media for her art, from the traditional watercolors, markers, pastels, to the more advanced digital art. She has published a few custom made books for special occasions and on commissions. Books requested by parents or relatives of a child, telling the child’s story through a series of illustrations and very short and sweet text. If you’d like to see a sample, do drop her an email or get in touch with her via the various social media platforms. Learn more about Leila at: or send her a tweet @LN_Illustration.

Lezette Markham
Creative Mentor, Artist, & Teacher

Lezette has been inspiring creativity 7+ years experience motivating people to embrace a creative practice in their lives for the betterment of themselves and their communities. She has a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design that she uses to share creative inspiration, coaching and tutorials online at Lezette was also the Vice President of the Art & Creativity for Healing Women’s Guild (2012-2013) located in Laguna Niguel, California. Her fascination with Mixed Media started as a young child, and she is blessed to say never left me.
Feel free to send her a tweet @SimplyArt_Us
 If you pop over to the  Paint is thicker than Water Blog you can download the colouring book for free. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy these monsters.

Support and LOVE your artists!

Please Copy & Paste the Messages below to your
 Twitter or Facebook or make your own:
Love Coloring! Love Monsters! Print & Download this FREE Coloring Book! #printables #monsters # KidsLit #Artsed #monsterchores2015, 

  Post Pictures of Your Finished Coloring Pages and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest or your favourite site! Use our official hashtag, #MonsterChores2015

 Post one of the Monster Chore badges on your website or blog and link
(Right Click on one of the images below and then click Save Image As) 


Sunday, 9 August 2015


I haven't written a blog for weeks. I panicked. I hit overload on advice. I can't have too many images or it wont open on hand held devices. I should make it more author focussed. I shouldn't waffle on about family things. I can't do this and I can't do that. I need to link to this that and the other platform social media outlet. My art should not link to where I have it linked to. I have too many badges. I need more tabs. I need a website. I should get an author page. I should put up writing samples and do this business thing and that business thing and and and and WHEN DO I GET TO JUST WRITE?

I came to a screeching halt on my childrens writing projects because frankly I was not feeling encouraged in any of my paid forums... my work was too this, not enough that, too the other and not blah.

I stopped sending to the reviewing forum because the last feedback was so scathing it felt like a personal attack and I was just too scared to send anything else.

I haven't made any art because where do I share it? I have been inundated with horror stories of stolen art work. I just want to create beautiful things to share. I don't mind if people borrow things I share online but I was so overloaded with advice and suggestions and non creative stuff I haven't felt like making art.

Of course the biggest hurdle to creativity is myself comparing my work to others - unfavourably- of course.

So now I have had a little rant to break my doldrums I shall get back to creating and let the rest take care of itself.

May your creative blocks be easily overcome.

 Love HUG and gentle things.