Sunday 28 July 2019

A Rainbow of Fun

Lyndal M Ihle and Leigh Brown
Potoroo Publishing

A Rainbow of Fun is certainly fun. It's the story of Penny, a young pig who lives with her parents and grandparents. Penny is a happy, secure little pig, but she's also a rebel. Pigs love pink, you see but Penny is different. Penny loves LOTS of colours.
Grandma doesn't care to go into Penny's room because it's not the traditional pink.
When Penny joins in a ballet display her love of bright colours comes to the fore rather more than anyone expected. Fortunately for Penny, someone unexpected does something unexpected. 

Penny is a believable character who is rebellious in the nicest possible way, She expresses her own tastes and feelings and, even if her family doesn't agree, she's still loved and happy.
This charming little picture book is beautifully put together. For more, check out the publisher, 

Thursday 23 August 2018

Shakespeare Now! by Goldie Alexander

Today we have the fabulous Goldie Alexander on board to answer some curly questions about her brand new venture SHAKESPEARE NOW!

Q.1. Shakespeare Now! is a fascinating concept. How did you first come up with the idea?

In a previous life, I taught these plays to secondary school students and spent most of my time ‘in translation’. There have been countless previous versions both on stage and in film. Novels by well-known writers have appeared in the last few years. I wanted to show how contemporary these characters and plots still are to younger readers and place them in recognisable settings.  Five Senses Publications were keen on the idea so I spent the last three years hard at work.

Q.2.     Some people think of Shakespeare as Literature with a capital L. In my opinion, he was really a writer of popular fiction. Can we have your take on this?

Definitely, a writer of popular fiction picking up on attitudes, themes and language of his day. But if attitudes and themes don’t change, language does, and that’s why some people have problems. Of course his poetry is timeless, and we can’t hope to emulate that in any way.

Q.3.   Shakespeare’s plays play with universal themes. What drew you to the three plays you chose to modernise?

I changed the magical island in ‘The Tempest’ to The Trytth Chronicles’ because science fiction is popular with young readers. The themes of betrayal, alienation, and good versus evil, are universal.
‘Macbeth’ became ‘Gap Year Nanny’ set in suburban Melbourne. The themes of hubris, ambition, and narcissus-ism are relevant to our local politics and business magnates. But these days you don’t have to kill rivals to ruin them.  Running alongside Stuart Macbeth’s story, I also followed Merri, the Macbeth’s ‘gap year nanny’, growing maturity.
‘Romeo and Juliet’ turned into the time-warp ‘Changing History?’ Note the question mark. Is altering history ever possible?  When Taylor finds herself transported from Melbourne 2017 to 1928 Berlin she is protected by Jewish Rom and gentile Juliet, a couple who  adore each other but both families forbid them to marry. This story was influenced by the discovery of an old building in Mitte Berlin once known as ‘The Hummingbird Theatre and Restaurant’. This way I could use my love of history and point to some of the events that led to Hitler’s rise in power, the Holocaust and WW2.

Q.4. Who is your favourite character in Shakespeare Now! and why?

 Don’t have one. I love all my characters, including the bad ones like Caliban and Stuart Macbeth, even Lorna Macbeth and she is pretty horrible. If I didn’t, I couldn’t write about them.

Q.5. Suppose you, as a reader, have just read Shakespeare Now! and are writing a review of one of the books. What would you say in that review?

‘A brave attempt to make Shakespeare relevant to both young readers and adults using past, present and future settings and recognisable characters.’

Q. 6. How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations?

Far more than I have ever been. These covers were illustrated by the extraordinarily gifted Paul Taplin. When a friend hinted that these covers were ‘too different from the usual,’ I replied ‘Exactly!’  Otherwise I am dependent on my publishers for outlay and design. I wouldn’t be any good at those.
Q 7. What’s the best aspect of your writing life?

The process of creation and finally ending up with something that might work after a million re-edits. Though the process can be unbelievably frustrating, I wouldn’t spend my life any other way (except maybe as a film critic?)

Q. 8. —the worst?

That blank screen. And rejection letters. Even the most experienced writers get those, though they usually remain quiet about receiving them. But I always mention this to ‘newies’ as I think it motivates them to keep writing. I also run Writing Memoir workshops for seniors. Watching their delight at something they have written gives me enormous  pleasure.

Q. 9.What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author?

I was told but didn’t really believe it. That writing can be heartbreaking and I soon found that it certainly can be. I discovered that I needed an alligator’s skin to take the knocks and rebounds and a soft heart to empathise with other people and characters enough to write about them.

Q.10.What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Edit, edit, edit and re edit. LIVE a little and READ!!! I read about 100 books a year and still that’s not enough. Lots of young writers write thinly disguised semi autobiography, and then get stuck. It’s never the first book that counts, rather the second!

Q.11 What’s your top tip for aspiring authors?

One word: PERSEVERANCE. And try and write every day, if only a sentence. Practice makes perfect.

Brief bio:
Goldie’s 90 books and prizewinning short stories appear both in Australia and internationally. Her ability to bring both the past and other worlds to light, touches the hearts of both adults and children. She writes in almost every genre  for both adults and young readers and has won many awards for her novels and short stories. Her ‘My Australian Story: Surviving Sydney Cove’ is used in almost every primary school as well as being publishing in New Zealand and retitled in the UK as ‘Transported’
 Recent books for older children include “The Youngest Cameleer’ - how Moslem Cameleers helped find Uluru, ‘My Holocaust Story: Hanna’, now published in Canada and the sci fi ‘Cybertricks’ which won a 2016 Notable. Other recent novels for young adults include ‘That Stranger Next Door’, and ‘In Hades: a verse novel’ short listed in 2015 for an Aurealis Award.  She speaks in schools, tertiary and community centres, festivals and also run classes in creative and memoir writing for adults as “Mentoring Your Memoir”.
Shakespeare Now! will be launched on the 22nd September 2018  at Readings Kids at 2.00 315 Lygon Street,Carlton, Vic 3053
Her website is
Sales sites: and all good book stores.
 Instagram: Messenger: etc         

Thursday 21 June 2018

Destiny's Queen by C.M. Simpson

Today we welcome C.M. Simpson to Promote Me Please to talk about her story, Destiny's Queen.
Q.I. Destiny’s Queen is a short story. Who or what is the queen?
A.1. The queen is a real queen. She is ruling alone, and has no partner, an issue she knows she must address if she is to keep her kingdom intact.
 Q.2. Which do you prefer writing; shorts or longs?
A.2. Is it bad to say that I like to write ALL the things? Short, super short, or extra long, I just like to write stories.
 Q.3. When writing Destiny’s Queen, did you know the ending before you got there?
A.3. No. I was experimenting with a writing approach called Writing into the Dark. It’s where you sit down, and basically say “I’m going to write a story”, and then you start typing with the first word or sentence that pops into your head, and you continue to type until you get to the end. Sometimes the endings surprise me.
 Q.4. In 25 or fewer words, what is Destiny’s Queen about?
A.4. A queen must marry to make an alliance, but her dream prince is dead, assassins are coming, war threatens, and deception is rife.
 Q.5. How did you come up with the title for Destiny’s Queen?
A.5 It just seemed to fit the tale, given the story was about how life takes unexpected turns and a chain of coincidences can lead to something that could only ever have been meant.
And here come the links...
Books2Read - a link which will take you to most of the places you can find this book available for sale:
Promote Me Please is a blog run by Affordable Manuscript Assessments, dedicated to spreading the word about new general-exhibition books and music.

Dear Tiger Series

Today we welcome Carlie Simonsen to Promote Me Please to talk about the last two books in her Letters Across Space series. Carlie Simonsen is the pen name used by C.M. Simpson so that her YA fiction doesn’t get mixed up with the science fiction novels she writes for an older audience.
Q.1. Dear Tiger: Let’s Go A-Hunting is an intriguing title. Would you tell us who, or what Dear Tiger might be?
A.1. Tiger is the sixteen-year-old boy on the other end of the main character’s emails and letters. He’s a bit of a whiz with computers and a genius, but that doesn’t stop him from getting into trouble. He also writes back.
Q.2. The title of Dear Tiger: Help Me Find My Sisters suggests the story is told in the first person. Who is the narrator?
A.2. The narrator is Simone, a sixteen-year-old girl, and the daughter of a scientists who are part of a space exploration team. Unfortunately, Simone received a package containing some alien slime moulds that turned out to be mutagenic, and was infected when she opened it. Now, she’s having to deal with the changes.
Q.3. Are the sisters in Dear Tiger: Help Me Find My Sisters literal sisters or figurative?
A.3. When Simone was infected by the slime mould, she was also infected by some alien DNA. Now, she feels like she is part of the same family of others she has discovered were also infected, when the contents of her package escaped into the ventilation system of the building she was in. Short answer, I guess, is figurative, even if she feels that it’s literal. Of course, given they were infected by the same DNA and have now incorporated that into their systems, it could also be literal…
Q.4. These books follow another one in the same series. Do the three volumes tell a single story as a serial?
A.4. There are six volume in the series. They can be read as stand-alone, but are better read as a serial as each ends in a way that leads to more questions. Because of that, I’ll be incorporating them into a single volume, so they can be read in one sitting, if that’s what a reader prefers.
Q.5. Describe the ideal reader for the Dear Tiger series.
A.5. Ooh, that’s a hard one. I guess the ideal reader would be someone who enjoyed science fiction with a touch of horror, a little bit of action and adventure, and just the tiniest hint of romance – as the two characters try to reach the same location. It would also be someone who enjoyed reading about aliens, planetary exploration. That reader could be a girl or a boy, and I think the age could range from around twelve through to adults.
 Now... here are some handy links.

Promote Me Please is a blog run by Affordable Manuscript Assessments and dedicated to spreading the word about family friendly books and music.

Rocky and the Raptors by Carlie Simonsen

Today we welcome Carlie Simonsen to Promote Me Please to talk about the last book in her Otherworld Adventures series. Carlie Simonsen is the pen name used by C.M. Simpson so that her YA fiction doesn’t get mixed up with the science fiction novels she writes for an older audience.
Q.1. Rocky and the Raptors sounds like a band name. Is this right? If so, please tell us about it. If not, who are Rocky and the Raptors? Would you tell us who, or what Rocky might be?
A.1. It’s not a band name. The story is about Rocky, a young boy from outback Australia, who has journeyed across space with his family in order to help some aliens with their colony. Raptors are found on the planet, and the colony is surrounded by a high wall, that it extends as it expands, clearing each new area of raptors, first.
Q.2. Who is your favourite character in Rocky and the Raptors?
A.2. I’m torn. I like Rocky, but it’s his little sister and her teddy bear that make me smile.
Q.3. Elevator pitch! Go!
A.3. Aaagh! Too much pressure! Fine. When Rosie’s teddybear is stolen by a bird, Rocky has to go beyond the colony walls to get it back. The first problem is that raptors live and hunt beyond the wall, and Teddy might be hard to find. The second problem? If Rocky doesn’t go looking for Teddy, Rosie just might—and Rocky likes his little sister, even if she is a massive pain! The story follows Rocky as he sneaks out into raptor territory to fetch his little sister’s teddy bear and bring it back, before she tries to go fetch it herself.
Q.4. How did you choose the narration method of Rocky and the Raptors? (i.e. first person, third person, told-in-letters…)
A.4. Rocky and the Raptors is more traditional than Dear Tiger. It’s also for a slightly younger audience. For this series, I chose third person narration.
Q.5. If Rocky and the Raptors was a film, who would play Rocky?
A.5. Oh, wow – that’s tricky, but mostly because I’m fond of Pixar. Let me do a little research… Nope, still no luck. The person who played Rocky would have to be a male actor around ten to twelve, maybe even thirteen. After that, I’d say it’s up to the director and casting, because how I imagine Rocky won’t be how others do. For instance, while I see Rocky as having short hair, that doesn’t have to be the case, and, while I’ve pictured him as European in descent, that’s just because that’s been the nationality of most of the station families I’ve met, and that doesn’t have to be so, either. Really, a Rocky and the Raptors movie could put any physically active male actor in that role, provided they looked the right age, could ride a horse, and looked like the kind of person brave enough to make friends with aliens, and brave and caring enough to look after their little sister down to rescuing her teddybear and sewing him up when they found him.
Rocky & the Raptors

Release Date (in AEST) is as follows (although it officially comes out a day earlier US time):
Rocky & the Raptors: May 11, 2018
The Rocky Adventures Omnibus: June 29, 2018 (and available, now, for pre-order)

Links for Rocky & the Raptors are as follows:

Links for The Rocky Adventures Omnibus are as follows:

Thanks, Carlie!

Promote Me Please blog is dedicated to spreading the word about family friendly books and music. It is run by Affordable Manuscript Assessments.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Dreams of the Serpent by C.M. Simpson

Today we welcome C.M. Simpson to Promote Me Please to answer five questions about Dreams of the Serpent .
Q.I. Serpents appear in the mythologies of numerous cultures. What does the one in Dreams of the Serpent symbolise?
A.1. An alien race.
Q.2. Tell us about the protagonist of Dreams of the Serpent.
A.2. The protagonist has been sent to broker a peace with an alien race, but doesn’t want to stay there. She has dreams, and must face a difficult choice to fulfil her company obligations or do what she most wants. She is strong-willed and determined, and not some damsel waiting for rescue.

Q.3. Do you deliberately use themes in your writing, or do you find they insert themselves?
A.3. I never deliberately choose a theme, but I always find them, either as I write, or when I’m editing. It’s funny how the subconscious works.

Q.4. What do you enjoy most about writing? Plot, character, theme or style?
A.4. Story. I like the story, so I guess I like the plot, but plot alone isn’t story, you need characters to make to it live. Theme and style are just elements that carry the story and portray character, but plot and character are the story itself, and those are my favourite parts.

Q.5. Did you write Dreams of the Serpent in response to a particular idea or incident? If so, what was it?
A.5 If I recall correctly, I used an Excel spreadsheet listing parts of titles to randomly roll the first and second half of a title, and I wrote from there. Reading back over it, I see it again has a theme of workplace loyalty, dreams and choices, and that may have been because I was coming to a crossroads in life, where I had finished one part of the journey (my degree), and had to choose the next trail to follow. Whatever the influence was, I didn’t consciously choose to put it in the story.
 Dreams of the Serpent by C.M. Simpson: Released 7th April 2018

 The direct url to this interview is

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Let's Jam by Judy and Keith

Today we welcome Judy & Keith to Promote Me Please to talk about Let's Jam. As usual, I asked five questions and here are the answers.

Q.1. Let's Jam is an intriguing title. Is it a direct quote from the book and if so, who says it?

‘Let’s Jam’ is a play on words and merges two worlds—culinary arts and musicians. It is used towards the end of the story as the name for a chain of restaurants. Simon (the drummer) suggests it to Lacy (the chef).

‘Let’s Jam’ is a play on words and merges two worlds—culinary arts and musicians. It is used towards the end of the story as the name for a chain of restaurants. Simon (the drummer) suggests it to Lacy (the chef).

    Q.2. Who is your favourite character from Let’s Jam?

The story is basically a young adult romance between Lacy and Simon. It’s difficult to choose between the two characters, but if forced, it would be Lacy.
   Q.3. I see from the blurb this story has a rocker and a chef. Tell me about one piece of research you did for these characters.

    All adapted from personal experience…we have multiple rockers and chefs in our extended family and have hosted many groups, some extremely successful, in our converted garage-slash-recording studio.

4.Q.4.     Okay, let’s play the- If-you-like-this-book-you-will-like-Let’s Jam game. Can you give me a title?

     Nothing jumps to mind, but there was a movie a few years back called ‘a taste of romance.’
   Q.5. Three words to describe Let’s Jam please?

    A sweet romance.

S Sounds a lot of fun... to read more about Let's Jam or to buy the ebook, visit the links below.

The direct tinyurl for this interview is at