Argentina, polo and a dash of romance

This series is like catnip to me: travel, adventure, horses and a dash of romance. It’s literally my dream combo. I recently reviewed the Sweetbriars pony series for kids, so this time it’s a grown up horsey treat, but I must stress, you do not need to know anything about horses or polo to enjoy this series.

The series is based on the author’s own experiences and as it’s written in the first person and reads like a travel journal, I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction.

The Polo Diaries starts with a list. I love a list, and this one is particularly funny, especially the order of priorities.

I connected with the narrator from the opening lines. She’s very Bridget Jones (it’s always a relief when a big claim in the blurb turns out to be 100% accurate) and I’m pleased she is older (at a mere 41) than the stereotypical mid-thirties romcom character. She’s a typical horsewoman – despite repeated broken bones, she can barely wait to get back in the saddle. Given I’ve skied with my arm in plaster cast, and yesterday was debating with a 9yo who has fractured her shoulder from a fall and is banned by the doctor from riding for a month, how long she really had to take off, I can totally relate to this. NOTE – this should not be considered medical advice – you must always listen to your doctor!!

The second book follows on so I would suggest reading them in order. The feeling of “home” when she lands back in Argentina is so strongly described, I’m practically packed and on the next plane to Buenos Aires.

Now I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author. You know when people ask you which author you’d like to invite to a dinner party, I’m definitely putting Roxana Valea on my wish list. Or perhaps we could just meet for a Campari and orange …

The Polo Diaries

Single in Buenos Aires, The Polo Diaries Book 1

Roxy plays polo… but dreams of love.
 Forty-one-year-old polo player Roxy arrives in Argentina with a to-do list that includes healing from a polo injury and falling in love with a handsome Argentine. From polo boots to tango shoes, the adrenaline of riding horses to glamorous after-game parties, Roxy learns to navigate this unfamiliar landscape with the help of new friends who teach her to take life as it comes. But will she find true love? Over three months in Buenos Aires, nothing goes according to plan, and yet, all the items on her list mysteriously get ticked off in the end. Just not the way she had imagined.

Fans of the Bridget Jones series will love the blend of humor, travel, and romantic comedy at the heart of Single in Buenos Aires, all topped off with the unforgettable flavor of life in one of the most sensual and passionate cities in the world.

A Horse Called Bicycle, The Polo Diaries Book 2

Roxy found love . . . but is it enough? 
In the second instalment of the Polo Diaries series, polo player Roxy goes back to Argentina a year after the events in Single in Buenos Aires, filled with dreams of settling down with the man she loves. This time, once again, Argentina is full of surprises and things are not what they appear to be. Or maybe they’re exactly what they’re meant to be, as a fortune-teller informs her.

Roxy takes a leap of faith and follows her dreams once again. She spends time at glamorous party venues of Buenos Aires and travels to the rough and wild pampas. Along the way, Roxy’s friends support and champion her quest for love, but when things get out of hand, Roxy realizes she needs to listen to her own inner voice and must make a hard choice. Two paths open in front of her, each one with far-reaching consequences. Which will she choose?

Author bio

Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.

The Polo Diaries Author Photo

 

https://www.roxanavaleaauthor.com

https://www.facebook.com/RoxanaValeaAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/roxanavalea_author/

https://twitter.com/roxana_valea

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07T8C3TN6/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Single-Buenos-Aires-Polo-Diaries-ebook/dp/B07T8C3TN6/

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082P34YPF/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082P34YPF/

Script writing tips for kids, and a new book

I’ve previously reviewed Starchild #1 by Vacen Taylor and the sequel, The City of Souls, is out now. Vacen is an interesting author because her background is in scriptwriting and I think this comes through in her fiction. She has very kindly agreed to have a chat and share some secrets, plus her tips for getting youngsters started with screen writing AND there’s a giveaway to win all four books (but you’ll have to scroll down for that).

The City of Souls Cover

How does your scriptwriting background influence your fiction writing?

Writing scripts requires a very different style of writing and requires different formatting. The other thing to remember in scriptwriting is there are no internal thoughts, so sensory details need to be found in the character’s actions but also be found in visible and audible emotions.

In screenwriting the writer would be working to reduce the details but be visual and emotional, writing as succinctly possible. Remember a feature-length screenplay is 110-120 pages in comparison to a novel which could range from 40, 000 to 100,000 pages depending on the age group and genre.

This understanding can be great for learning how to write tightly, but it can also encourage a writer to write so tightly that it fits into the reduced amount of pages. I often feel that this is a reason why my novels flow so fast because I have learned to write so tightly. So, it can be negative in some aspects.

When you write scripts, a writer is also thinking about budgets and settings. Both make a massive difference in whether the film or television series would be feasible to produce. When I participated in a short course in screenwriting, I quickly learned there was a lot more to think about when writing a script. I had to develop a script from a source text and on a tiny budget. These parameters played a significant part in my reasoning for everything; for example, the time of day or night, due to lighting cost, the sun is free!

Alternatively, when a writer is creating a novel, it is not essential to think about the cost of a budget or setting that might be a condition in filming. This freedom means when a person is writing a novel there is more room to be super creative with creating worlds. That doesn’t mean fantasy concepts don’t end up on the big screen, but they are more expensive to make, and budget considerations will drive the film’s end product. Whereas if I were writing a fantasy script, I would have to be continuingly thinking about budget and setting costs amongst other things.

 

Which character in Starchild are you most like and why?

These days I would say Mia, a resilient, self-confident and independent woman. Working with young people in my day job in the field of alcohol and other drugs, I believe a vital skill in supporting young women and men is to be resilient and independent myself. Role modelling is an important part of this work alongside a sound education and understanding how to link theory with practice and in many cases real life lived experiences.  It’s also vital to maintain empathy for others around us and in the community. Which is part of the reason some of the characters are empathic to others, but I would hope people see the contrast between the empathic characters and those who lack empathy in the series.

 

What do you include in your character profiles? 

I use a character profile sheet. Each sheet has everything from necessary information on it like, name, age, birthplace, gender and nationality. In another section, I concentrate on hair colour, eye colour, height, tattoos, scars etc. The next section includes information on a personality like, best and worst trait, secrets, enemies, what they like or don’t like. I also have a part for family, parents, siblings, boyfriends, partners and pets. Other information I include is a friends list, jobs, standing in the community or school setting.

 

You’ve built a very detailed world. What was the inspiration?

I have always been interested in energy. But the type of energy I am referring to within the series is found in the body. In the back of the book the powers of the nations are divided into 7 types from a particular source spot on the body. This is based loosely on the Chakra or energy points or nodes in the body. Forming the powers from this source inspired me to write the story. I gave each spot a strength, but with that, I realised I would be dividing the nations. It’s something like how the world of today is divided into countries and the country’s people. Which also inspired me to bring children from different nations together and along with that a mysterious child attached to a prophecy. From then on, it would be about friendship, courage, change and doing what is necessary to help each other. The Age of Akra is only a glimpse of the whole story. By the end of the third book, Long has changed a great deal and so has Akra.

 

What are you working on now?

I am working on three YA novels. One has been adapted from my short story, The Returning which was published as a shortlisted entry for the Queensland Writers Centre. The other two, first, being an apocalyptic and the other a paranormal both still requiring the ability to create unique spaces and settings that surround the characters.

 

Other than your own (of course), what are your favourite MG fantasy reads?

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly. And I’m looking forward to reading Far Away by Lisa Graff

 

There are lots of creative writing competitions for children, but do you know of any that specialise in scripts?

I am aware of many here in Australia. Here are a few.

ATOM Awards http://atomawards.org/  for Primary and Secondary students.

CinéfestOZ Short Film Competition https://cinefestoz.com/festival-program/cinesnaps/short-film-competition/ Encourages South West [WA] Western Australia n students 13-18 years old to explore the medium of film and use multi-media formats for production.

FlickerUp https://flickerfest.com.au/how-to-enter-flickerup/  National competition for primary and secondary school students or film-makers under 18 years old.

Sydney International Festival of Films by Children https://www.bardicstudio.com.au/festival-information

Thank you for inviting me to answer your questions. J

 

Back to the book. Here’s the blurb …

A gripping forest adventure full of mystery, betrayal and courage.

When a new sealer boy joins the journey, Mai, Long, and Akra are confident their challenges have come to an end.  But as they embark on their journey once again, they find themselves having to escape from the clutches of dangerous enemies.

They travel to Naroan – the forest lands of the soulbankers, the regulators of life and death. Against the backdrop of rules and suspicion, the children are challenged with unravelling the mystery of the Silvershade, which has been calling to Akra from the moment he arrived in the forest city. But Long is tormented by his doubts – he must face a deadly power from the Underworld before it takes him into the darkness.

Will the dark pebble take Long along a road of no return? Or will his friends find a way to help him?

Giveaway

Starchild - Giveaway Prize

Win a set of all four books …

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494320/?

If you can’t wait for the competition, here are the purchase links

https://www.odysseybooks.com.au/titles/9781922200129/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GPRK289

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GPRK289

Author Bio

Vacen Passport Size 2

Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements.  A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018.  The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

 AND IF YOU”D LIKE TO SEE WHAT VACEN LOOKED LIKE AS A CHILD, YOU”LL NEED TO SIGN UP TO THE #KIDSCLUB  Join the free #kidsclub

 

Social Media Links –  

Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/Vacen-Taylor-Author-233611656699562/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vacentaylor/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/vacentaylor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/VacenTaylor

Hopping corn science experiment

I just had to share this cool science experiment from the fabulous Suzie at StemSpark. Is it just me, or is this like making your own lava lamp? Love, love, love it!

Anyway, here are Suzie’s easy peasy instructions …

You’ll Need a clear glass container popping corn water baking soda white vinegar food coloring (optional)

Instructions 1) Fill your glass container with water and add a couple drops of food coloring.

2) Add your baking soda and stir well until it is all dissolved.

3) Add a small handful of popping corn kernels.

4) Add the vinegar and watch the corn start to hop up and down!

Hopping Candy science experiment

The corn will hop up and down repeatedly in your container for over an hour.  It’s so much fun to watch (mesmerizing would be the best word to describe it). The experiment creates a great opportunity to talk about gases, liquids, and solids with your child.

Basically, the science behind the activity is that when the baking soda and vinegar combine, they react to form carbon dioxide (CO2) gas.  The gas forms bubbles in the water, which enclose the corn kernels.  The bubbles lift the kernels up to the surface, and when the kernels get to the surface, the bubbles pop, and the kernels sink again.

Story telling on Spirit FM

Most of you will know I ran an illustration competition for kids earlier this year – it’s a great way to engage readers and the community – and I’m passionate about getting kids writing, so I was really excited when I heard local author Lynne Healy had teamed up with radio station SpiritFM with a unique creative writing competition.

97B6CCB4-8F90-400C-A6CE-04261544DDD6

Here’s Lynne to tell us what happened …

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to win an advertising package with Spirit FM, our local radio station. As I have created Birdham Bear to inspire children to find and express ‘their unique’ I thought a fun way to use it would be to run a creative writing competition for children in West Sussex. The brief was simple: children aged 11 and under were invited to write a short story, up to 500 words, on anything that inspired them.

Spirit were very impressed with the number of entries. Judging was a challenge as the stories were all so unique. In the end it was easy to choose Willow as the winner. She was one of the youngest entrants and her story was simple and fun with a delightful message of kindness that both. Birdham Bear and I loved. We also both agreed that we’d love to blow bubbles every time we speak!

The radio presenters recorded her story.
https://www.spiritfm.net/win/creative-writing-competition/

Dog behaviour for kids

It seems our entire class sprouted new puppies over the summer holidays. Some are well behaved, others somewhat less so. When we got our dog several years ago, we spent a lot of time setting boundaries and he’s a super chilled, very happy, child-friendly boy. We struggled with recall, well he is a terrier, but got there in the end with only one instance of an early morning sprint down the street in a semi-clad state after an escapee pup who had promised he only wanted out for a pee – luckily no photos exist!  Our rules include things like:-

  • we always go out of a room/ house before him (to establish that we are in charge, not him)
  • he isn’t fed from table (we can actually put a plate of sausages on the floor and he won’t touch them)
  • he isn’t allowed to jump up on visitors (not everyone likes dogs)

In the excitement of an adorable cute puppy joining the family, I totally understand that isn’t easy for children to understand why they can’t do some of these things, although by the time the pup is fully grown it becomes obvious.

Written by experts, Home Alone Harry is the perfect book to help young children understand both the HOW and WHY of dog training. I absolutely love it! If you have young children and are welcoming a dog into your house, you need this book.

And even better, it’s the first in a series of four. I can’t wait.

Home Alone Harry Cover

 

Blurb

Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Dad and Mum, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos. Dad demands, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” How will the Thunkies respond to his call?

Purchase Link – https://shop.thunkies.com/

 

About the authors and illustrator

 

Jerry Rhodes AUTHOR bio

Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his world-wide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

Rachael Messiter AUTHOR bio

Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs.

Nicky Hill ILLUSTRATOR bio

Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wotton-under-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.

 Social Media Links

Website – https://thunkies.com/

Shop – https://shop.thunkies.com/

Facebook – @thunkies

Instagram – @thunkies

Pinterest – thunkiesteam

Round up of the Creative Writing Skills book tour

I literally have no idea how to start, but I wanted to thank all the amazing book bloggers who took my Creative Writing Skills Workbook on tour! I’m thrilled with the response it’s received, not to mention the many requests for more books for different ages, pocket-sized books, and also a grown-up workbook.

Creative Writing Front Cover

Anyway, the formatting is lousy but here are all the links – happy browsing 🙂

Thanks again,

Lexi

Blog Name Blog Tour Content
Laura’s Interests https://dogsmomvisits.blogspot.com/2019/10/creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees.html
Mai’s Musings https://maitaylor567291325.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/creative-writing-skills-lexi-rees/
Broad Thoughts From A Home https://broad-thoughts-from-a-home.blogspot.com/2019/10/book-review-creative-writing-skills-by.html?fbclid=IwAR0GPVM-1wVdK64ybYHBrZ9aNioxOTbqsY-c1X1TZZU7JkCgArEkehvCJmk
Babydolls and razorblades https://babydollsandrazorblades.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/book-reviewcreative-writing-skills-over-70-fun-activities-for-children-by-lexi-rees/
Historical Fiction with Spirit https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/book-review-lexi-rees-creative-writing-skills/
Radzy Writes http://www.vainradical.co.uk/blogs/creative-writing-skills-review/
B for bookreview https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/creative-writing-skills-lexi-rees-promopost-blogblitz-rararesources-lexi_rees/
Love the Smell of a Book https://lovethesmellofabook.com/2019/10/07/review-today-we-are-really-excited-to-be-joining-the-blog-blitz-for-creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees-creativewritingskills-backablogger-blogblitz-rararesources-lexi_rees/?fbclid=IwAR0tlEilKcClMsdL5cpyKtzMXRvB3mqeGNdVM69NW9AB0jmTuPjm1puhIPc
Southern Girl Bookaholic https://www.southerngirlbookaholic.com/2019/10/creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees.html
World Geekly News https://worldgeeklynews.com/books/creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees-review/?fbclid=IwAR3_6qsFenN892F7vRuxOr-XGd_CiddwavzNe3ub_iS1BKqyTApm2-ZIh6c
Through Novel Time & Distance https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/blog-tours/2019/10/6/creative-writing-skills-over-70-fun-activities
Bookworm for Kids https://bookwormforkids.blogspot.com/2019/10/creative-writing-skills-over-70-fun.html
Jazzy Book Reviews https://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/2019/10/creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees.html
donnasbookblog https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/blogblitz-bookreview-for-creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees-rararesources-creativewritingskills/
Reviews by Prisha https://prishayadav.blogspot.com/2019/10/creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees.html?fbclid=IwAR2NLdLKfwA7vyoedFXyLTfckfrihIlWvRkj17cxM9_WApm_wWuh_hIrQkU
Nesie’s Place https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/1dayblogblitz-creative-writing-skills/
Rachel Bustin https://rachelbustin.com/books/creative-writing-skills-over-70-fun-activities-for-children/
The Book Moo https://thebookmoo.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/blog-tour-creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees/
My baby and my books https://mybabymybooksandi.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/book-review-of-creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees/
Splashes Into Books https://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/creative-writing-skills/
Twirling Book Princess https://twirlingbookprincess.com/2019/10/blog-tour-book-blitz-creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees/
Cat and Mouse Reading http://catandmousereading.blogspot.com/2019/10/creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees.html?m=1#more
Linda’s Book Bag https://lindasbookbag.com/2019/10/07/creative-writing-skills-over-70-fun-activities-for-children-by-lexi-rees/
Herding Cats https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/creative-writing-skills-by-lexi-rees-blog-blitz/
Ellesea Loves Reading https://norwayellesea.blogspot.com/2019/10/new-release-spotlight-creative-writing.html
Dash Fan Book Reviews https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2019/10/blog-tour-creative-writing-skills.html
Jane Hunt Writer https://jolliffe01.com/2019/10/07/creative-writing-skills-lexi-rees-4review-lexi_rees-rararesources-lexirees-outsetpublishing-creativewritingskills-childrensbooks-kidlit-nonfiction-workbook-writing-7-blogblitz/
The Photographer’s Way https://www.thephotographersway.org/creative-writing-skills-review/
Novel Kicks http://www.novelkicks.co.uk/book-review-creative-writing-skills-over-70-fun-activities-for-children-by-lexi-rees/

Camogie, Gaelic football and a giveaway

Here’s a little known fact about me – I played rugby for years. I wasn’t particularly big, but I was fast so I mainly hung around on the left wing, occasionally outside centre. I’m a big fan of girl’s sport so couldn’t let this book go past.

Before we get to the book, I really want to share the sporty background of author, Emma Larkin, as you’d think it provides the inspiration for the book.

Emily coaches ladies’ football at underage level with her local ladies’ football club and did attempt to play ladies football for a few years with her local “Gaelic4Mothers&Others Team”! She claims she may not have been the greatest football player, but, like me, she could run! And it was an hour each week where she could exercise in a fun environment with a fantastic group of women, who she remains friends with to this day.

But apparently that wasn’t the inspiration!

It was her grandmother, Maureen Hennebry, née Cashman who was on the Cork camogie (this is women’s hurling, a bit like hockey) team which won the All-Ireland Camogie Championship three times in row between 1939 and 1941. She came from a family rich in GAA history, the Cashman’s of Blackrock in Cork, and is even mentioned in the following poem by the famous Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh:

Camogie Match

Patrick Kavanagh 1905 – 1967

Bright shone the sunlight on Peggy and Doreen

Wild swung the ash sticks.  Be careful astoreen;

Josie is getting into her stride now,

Kathleen is hurling with all her Cork pride now.

A shout from the side-line: Mark your man, Kathleen Cody.

Kathleen pucks it.  I tell you that puck was a dotie.

The game is exciting, it is indeed really,

Maureen Cashman is tackling the bold Ide O’Kiely …

Emma says

“In hindsight, I am in awe of the fact that my grandmother and her teammates played camogie at such a high level at a time in Ireland, where a woman’s role was predominantly to be a wife and homemaker. Which comes to my reason for writing this book, my grandmother was my inspiration to write it, but my reason for writing it was to encourage all young girls to play sports. It is crucial for our wellbeing and development and we need to make it as normal for girls to play sport as it is for boys. The growing popularity of women’s sports in Ireland and further afield is so encouraging and we need to continue to develop this. As the current 20*20 campaign says, “if she can’t see it, she can’t be it”. I hope that my book can in some way help to normalise girls playing football and that both boys and girls will enjoy reading about Izzy’s adventures!”

How cool is that?!

Right, on to the book.

Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure

izzys_magical_football_adventure_neutral_cover

Blurb

Izzy is a seven-year-old girl who lives in Ireland and loves all sport, especially Gaelic Football.

Izzy plays football with her brothers on a regular basis in their back garden and dreams of playing for her county in the All Ireland Ladies Football Final in Croke Park when she is older.

One day, Izzy puts on her great grandmother’s bracelet, which is made of old All Ireland medals that her great grandmother won a long time ago, and something unexpected and magical happens, which may make Izzy’s Croke Park dream a reality sooner than she expected…………….

My review

I did get a bit confused about the sport. Given the inspiration, I was expecting the book to be about camogie but it’s actually about Gaelic football, which is where the author is involved herself. Plus, it’s called football, but football in Ireland means Gaelic football, with “football” being called soccer.

For the avoidance of further confusion, Gaelic Football is an Irish sport. You can pick up the ball up in it and run with it in your hand, subject to certain rules. You can score goals or points (over the bar). It has similarities to Aussie Rules football which I love watching (never played it though). All 32 counties (ROI and NI combined) have both mens and ladies football teams, and many clubs within them as well.

Back to the book, I absolutely love that you can order it in team strip colours, as well as the “neutral” green.

I do have a slight issue in that it’s a bit tricky to categorise as it’s very short, only 27 pages and heavily (and fabulously, I must say) illustrated, which would make it a picture book, but the written pages are quite text heavy, so it’s more like a short chapter book, but there are no chapters. You see the dilemma? To me, it actually looks and feels like a school reading scheme book, and I’d say it’s a great supported/ joint read for anyone working through the “Biff and Chip” series.

Setting the classification aside, it’s a great story with a strong message and if you know a sporty young girl who’s just moving towards independent reading, I’m sure she’d love it. It beats the terribly dull Biff and Chip hands down, slam dunk! Sorry, that’s basketball.

I personally wish it had featured camogie (the inspiration for the book), but whether it’s camogie or Gaelic football, it will spark a fascinating discussion on different sports as well as gender, meeting the author’s goal to encourage girls into sport.

I think all classrooms would benefit from having it in their book box.

Giveaway

I have one paperback copy (in the neutral green strip) to give away – you can enter here

Win a copy of Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure

Good luck!

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Izzys-Magical-Football-Adventure-Larkin-ebook/dp/B07XGS6D3G/

https://www.amazon.com/Izzys-Magical-Football-Adventure-Larkin-ebook/dp/B07XGS6D3G/

Author bio-

new author pic

My name is Emma Larkin, and I am the founder of “Emma Larkin Books” and “Rebel in Kerry Press”.  I have recently written and published my first book “Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure”, and I hope to write many more books about Izzy and her adventures in sport. As may be evident from the name of my publishing imprint, I am a “Rebel in Kerry”!  This means that I am originally from County Cork in Ireland, which is known as the Rebel County, but I moved to Kerry (another county in Ireland which neighbours Cork) in 2006 and have been happily living in Kerry since then, with my husband and four children. My husband is a Kerry native and we live in North Kerry, near Listowel, where my husband is from, and is an area which is rich is literary history!

I have always enjoyed reading and writing. Writing essays was my favourite part of primary school!

In my spare time, I love to run. I am very involved in my local parkrun in Listowel.  

For more info on any of the sports you might find these useful.

20*20 campaign – www.20×20.ie

Sport Ireland – www.sportireland.ie

Ladies Gaelic Football Association – www.ladiesgaelic.ie

Camogie Association – www.camogie.ie

Women in sport – www.womeninsport.org

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/emmalarkinbooks/

https://twitter.com/emmalarkinbooks

https://www.instagram.com/emmalarkinbooks/