Friday, 29 March 2013

Why I am thankful...

It is Easter and it is Good Friday.  This is great for many reasons and should make us all thankful but for me, if I am honest, it is all about having four, precious days where my family of four will be a family of four and not a family of four wondering when the fourth member will get back from work... 

Our lives are so busy that we often don't get chance to step back and see our own life for what it is.  I have found the last year or so difficult because my Dad was ill and sadly we lost him in December.  Understandably life hasn't felt quite as bright as it could most days.  I spend days going through the motions to a degree and not enjoying everything I should.  Don't get me wrong I haven't been sad and down all the time but it has often felt like there is a shadow hanging over me that I can't quite step away from...

Today is different and it's like I have had some sort of epiphany.  I feel like I have stepped out into a brighter, more positive, place.  The reason for that I cannot say but I woke up this morning feeling very positive and surrounded by love and laughter.  I let the girls climb into our bed to wake their Daddy and the four of us cuddled up and watched videos and looked at photos of our family on Jason's iphone. 

It was fun and it started my day off so positively that I realised I don't have to feel sad every day.  I am alive and healthy.  I have two beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband who works so hard.  I have a wonderful Mum who I speak to everyday (sometimes more than once! :) ).  I have lovely siblings with lovely partners and lovely children.  I have wonderful friends and family and people I can turn to if I need them.  I have a lovely home and I get to write about Larry the Liger and Anastasia!  Oh and Jason is cooking me a lovely fish dinner with dauphinoise potatoes and asparagus!

I realised that if I was an outsider looking in I would see so many reasons to be happy.  There are so many that don't have a safe and secure life to boast of.  There are so many that suffer every day.  There are so many that have little in their lives to be thankful for.  There are so many that face an uncertain future.  There are many that wake up each day alone...

I am not expecting to feel this positive every day; life just isn't like that regardless of how it should be.  But I am so very, very thankful that today I have felt like that and I realise how very, very lucky I am.

I wanted to share my positivity with you and hopefully, by so doing, I can send you a little bit to brighten up your day too should you need it.

I wish you all a Happy Easter with happiness, health and peace in abundance.  Enjoy the journey :)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Fergus writes...

"5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, March 24, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Larry the Liger - The New Friend (Larry the Liger Series) (Kindle Edition)

Downloaded this for my son he absolutely loved this book it's his favourite book of all times. Hopefully there are more free books by this author."

"5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book that was a pleasure to read, 25 Mar 2013
This review is from: Larry the Liger - The New Friend (Larry the Liger Series) (Kindle Edition)

This is a lovely book to read with children. It's a simple story that keeps the reader engaged the whole time whilst teaching children the importance of not judging as things are not always as they seem."

"Well, well, well. What reviews. "Downloaded this for my son he absolutely loved this book it's his favourite book of all times."

So, you want to know the next one. It is out soon! Watch out and help it climb up the Top 100 Chart by reviewing it. The three to date have all climbed to number 12 so to beat that Rachael needs you to download it! Tell you friends. It will be free!

Happy Easter, Larry!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Who is the Easter Bunny? Did you know...

It is the final day of the Larry the Liger promotion of The Easter Liger and it got me thinking: who is the Easter Bunny?  Where did he come from and who dreamt it up.  Even Larry the Liger wants to know in the latest story!  I was very aware before looking into it that however it started the confectionery and retail peeps have certainly cashed in on it!

Obviously, Easter is a religious festival but this blog is all about the Easter Bunny and no disrespect is intended in my writings!

Did you know that the Easter Bunny is very, very old.  Much like Father Christmas/Santa Claus/Christ-Kindel, and other festival deities, the Easter Bunny is said to have been hopping about since the 1200s!  I know, how old is that?!  It is first recorded in writings from Germany in the 1500s and is said to have been brought to America in the 1700s.

The Easter Bunny derived from the ancient use of rabbits and hares, as symbols of fertility and new life, to herald the start of spring.  I'm sure most know the expression 'breeding like rabbits'!  The chocolate eggs children adore today are again from an ancient symbol of fertility: the egg.  So the two were used together, with children said to have used their bonnets and caps as nests for the Easter Bunny to lay its eggs in.  Another Easter tradition was born: the Easter bonnet.

Easter baskets were used later and have formed the current traditions of Easter bonnets, baskets, confectionery eggs and egg hunts.  The first Easter eggs and bunnies were not made of chocolate but pastry and sugar and the Easter Bunny was used in much the same way as Father Christmas; good children would be left an egg by the Easter Bunny.

Originally the Easter Hare, over the years the revered hare has become the Easter Bunny and every child I know loves to believe in him just as they do Father Christmas and why shouldn't they?  He is real after all :) 

So if your child asks you if the Easter Bunny is real you can now tell him or her that the Easter Bunny has been hopping around for a very, very long time.  Oh and also remind them that they should always be good girls and boys, just like Larry the Liger.

Happy Easter everyone :)

Larry the Liger - The Easter Liger  available to download from Amazon:               
Please be aware an Easter Liger is not just for Easter ;)


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Sharing the love...

I am going to run a free promotion of Larry the Liger - The Easter Liger so you can all get a chance to download it if you haven't already!  It will be free from 21st March until end of 25th March. 

This is the third Larry the Liger story and is all about Larry's adventures when he meets an animal with long ears and a twitchy nose!  Larry finds himself racing to the rescue and ends up in the Easter Markets of Prague.  This is a lovely story the whole family can enjoy.  A great Easter gift for your children, nieces/nephews, grandchildren, godchildren, etc.

I would love it if you would consider writing a review once you have read after all the book is free and so is writing a review!  It's always good to get feedback from readers and helps others decide to whether to buy the book.

Larry is a joy to write about and I am a little bit in love with him so why not share that feeling, I thought. 

Happy reading all and I hope you all love Larry as much as I do :) for all Amazon territories.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Drip, drip, drop little April...oops wrong month

It's another rainy day in Kent and spring has yet to sprung.  There is even talk of snow... again.  Bang goes turning off the heating yet!

It's been a busy week or so.  I have been working on the next Larry the Liger story and I am truly loving writing about him.  He has been so well received and it is lovely to hear what everyone thinks of the stories.

My daughter's school has done well for visitors recently.  I enjoyed reading to them during Book Week and they also got to meet children's author and illustrator Anthony Browne and played his Shape Game.  It's lovely that the children at the school remember me and say hello when they see me too.  Today they had Dr Raj from CBeebies programme Get Well Soon!  He is a friend and colleague of one of the other mums.  Ella's been talking about life cycles since she got home from school so he definitely made an impact.  They also recently got to meet a policeman, looked inside the police car and tried on the uniform.  They met a member of an airline's cabin crew too and heard all about what they do during a flight.

I don't remember my primary school education being so varied with so many visitors talking about what they do.  What a great way to learn about the jobs people do and why they do them.  The practical things always had more of an impact on me during my time in education that's for sure - I would have loved all those visits! 

Another huge change since I was at school is the level of technology used within schools.  One of the most impressive to me is the interactive white boards and tablets the children use.  They also have a computer suite that the children get to use regularly.  I think it's great the schools are embracing technology and introducing children to it from the start of their education.  After all they will be using it a lot more than we can imagine by the time they leave school many years down the line.

With Ella being in reception, her first year of school, I have been taken back to what it's like to experience all those new things, such as making new friends, adapting to spending the day at school and following new rules.  It definitely helps me write the Larry books imagining and remembering what it is like.  Maybe I should be worried how easily I can regress?!

The world of education has changed a lot since I was at school and technology has progressed massively in those (few!) years since I was at school.  The future is exciting and technology will advance even more no doubt.  It's particularly exciting to think that ebooks may well become mainstream one day.

Larry the Liger will be there to be read as an ebook for years to come and that's a very exciting thought despite the black clouds outside :)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

New release! Larry the Liger - The Easter Liger

I am very pleased to announce the new release of the latest Larry the Liger story.  For those who may not know, Larry is a liger: his father was a lion, his mother was a tiger! 

His latest adventure is called 'The Easter Liger' and, like the other Larry the Liger stories, this one has a positive message for children.  In fact I'm certain there are some grown ups out there who could learn a thing or two from Larry!

In 'The Easter Liger' Larry is now well settled in his home with the zookeeper, the zookeeper's wife and Chloe the cat.  One day, while out in the garden, Larry makes a new friend and finds himself racing to the rescue of an animal with two long ears, a twitchy nose with long whiskers, and a brown body with a fluffy, white tail on it.  Larry's latest adventure is set amidst the Easter Markets of Prague where he meets some new animals he has never seen before and lots and lots of children. 

The wonderful Larry the Liger illustrator, Des Campbell, has managed to create another fantastic cover illustration for this new book.  I love the colours and the image.  Des is a very clever man :)

You will need to read the book to find out what happens!  All the books in the Larry the Liger Series are very family friendly.  They are aimed as read alone books for 6 to 12 years old and read-to books for children 2yrs upwards.

I adore writing about Larry and it has been wonderful to read so many fantastic reviews on both and  Thanks to everyone who has left a review so far.  It's never too late to leave a review and they are always gratefully received. 

I can't wait to hear what you all think of the next story: Larry the Liger - The Easter Liger.

Happy reading everyone :)


Sunday, 10 March 2013

Fergus responds... to new reviews

"5.0 out of 5 stars *CUTE* GOOD RHYMING* 4 Mar 2013
By kkidsmom - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
You are right! Children remember the repetitive part common to every story. Grown ups would say He's a mixed up boy! Grandparents would say He's neither fish nor fowl. Fowl an old fashioned word for children but we must stretch their vocabulary,
There is always a little hint to stretch and educate.
I like the way Rachael repeats the portion relating to folk wondering about Larry's parentage.
"5.0 out of 5 stars Larry the Liger 22 Feb 2013
By Roy Ham Roy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
 Larry is a nice, caring, and a cool liger! He has a friend that teaches people to be mean and snooty. I recommend this book to kids and everyone who is loving."
Thank you Roy.

Fergus writes...

"I cannot tell you how proud I am of Rachael and all she has achieved over the past twelve months.

All those ebooks on Amazon and what a following she now has for both Anastasia and the latest creation Larry the Liger.

Considerable thought is given to the lead Character. If you are to write books you must look at your target audience, you must be commercial and appeal to a large number of readers world wide.

We write for 50 years. Not simply because copyright runs out in 50 years but because Larry the Liger will appeal for that period.

I predict Rachael is in line for big things in the future, I do expect Larry the Liger to be merchandised in a big way, to appear on film and TV and I wonder how that is to be achieved?

Please keep it up Rachael - we all love Larry and we love you too!

Thank you Fergus - Rachael :)

Friday, 8 March 2013

International Women's Day and Mother's Day

Happy International Women's Day!  Yes, not only is it Mother's Day on Sunday in the UK but today is also a day for recognising women all over the world.  Who is the woman that has inspired you the most?

I've been thinking about all the great women I know and how proud I am to know them.  I realised that there is only one woman who really stands out for me today and that is my Mum.  Since we lost Dad in December she has demonstrated the strength of a truly amazing woman.  Throughout my life she has always been strong and always put others first.  A true inspiration as both a woman and a mother.

My Mum and Dad always supported their children in everything we did and instilled in us a desire to achieve.  They encouraged us to always do our best without pressuring us to perform beyond our capabilities.  I admire them both so much but right now especially my Mum... 

My Mum always has a smile for all of her children and grandchildren.  She is loved by so many people and has been a surrogate mum to many of her children's friends.  Her patience and kindness make her a wonderful Mum and Grandma and if I can be half the Mum she is then I will be very happy.

Some would argue being a woman in this day and age is a lot easier than it was for our mothers and grandmothers.  I agree in a lot of ways especially when you consider the lives many women have led.  My Mum brought up four children without complaint.  She cooked us wonderful meals, looked after us all day, went out to work evenings and weekends when we were small, and still found time to cheer us up if we were sad.  She has always been there for all of us.  She is very organised and that's definitely rubbed off on me!

So here's to great women everywhere and especially to my Mum.  Not only is she an amazing person but she also makes the best stew known to man :)

Happy International Women's Day and Happy Mother's Day for Sunday. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

To celebrate World Book Day - Competition Time!

It is World Book Day and schools everywhere are having fantastic visiting authors and children are wearing a wonderful array of costumes of characters from their favourite books.

I visited Wickham Common Primary School yesterday and read in their morning Assembly for their book week.  The children were wonderful.  They listened well and got involved with the story, Larry the Liger - The New Friend, by pulling lots of sad, scared and ferocious liger faces throughout the story.  They asked some great questions and there would have been more but we ran out of time.  I had a great day and loved seeing the children wearing their Larry the Liger rosettes with pride.  Some arrived at school today with them on too as they were so pleased to have received a gift.

The teachers all got Larry the Liger mugs and I left some print copies of the books for the school's library.  The teachers were very appreciative of the gifts.  It was a fantastic experience and I would happily do it again.

So what is everyone doing for World Book Day today?  I am going to read a good book later and vow to review it.  My eldest daughter had Anthony Browne, author and illustrator, visiting her school today which was great fun for all the children playing the Shape Game.

I have decided to run a competition to mark World Book Day.  Calling all children out there who love Larry the Liger: can you draw me a picture of Larry?  He could be just Larry or you could draw him in a scene from one of the stories - whatever takes your fancy.

If you take a picture of your drawing and email it to my facebook author page with your name and age, I will make sure every picture is added to the website once it is live. ( coming soon)  I will also post the winning entries on this blog.

All pictures received from children will be added to the site.  There are two categories: age 2 to 6yrs and age 7 to 12yrs.  I will select one very special overall winner who will win a part in one of the next Larry the Liger stories.  Not only that but I will also send some Larry the Liger goodies to the children who have sent the best pictures from each of the two categories.  Closing date is 31st March 2013.

Good luck everyone and get drawing, colouring, painting and most of all have fun!  Happy World Book Day one and all :)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Fergus writes... about the magic of Larry the Liger

Google Larry the Liger and the first three are dedicated to our Larry. In fact 15 of the top 17 rankings are our Larry.
On the most popular Kindle ebooks he is now number 16 and rising.
That is because you dear follower keep googling our Larry.
Please keep it up as Larry is turning into a Worldwide phenomenon.
There are many young children (some as young as 80) around the world not speaking English as a first language but learning English who have made contact from the Far East to Latin America.

What is the secret of Larry the Liger. It has to be Rachael and her writing style.