Tuesday, June 13, 2017

'Quizzical' wins Purple Dragonfly Award!!!!

Oh my goodness, does it get any better?  Just as I'm getting used to the fact that the 'Alby' books have won awards in the past few weeks, I receive an email to say that 'Quizzical' has just won 2nd place in the 2017 US Purple Dragonfly Awards for Middle Grade Fiction.  Now THAT was totally unexpected.  Judging is based on content, originality and overall readability, with emphasis on innovation and creativity.  The judging panel includes industry experts in specific fields as well as experts in editing, bookselling and publishing.  Every entry is read by each of the judges and all books must be up to publishing industry standards or they don't progress through the judging process.  I am so thrilled and excited to be the recipient of this award. 

'Alby' series wins Bizziebaby award!!!!!

Wow!  I was just getting used to my new 'Alby' book winning an award in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Book Awards in the UK when I received an email from Bizziebaby in the UK to advise me that the 'Alby and the Cat' series of books had won a Silver Award in the 2017 UK Bizziebaby Children's Book Awards.  The books are sent to Bizziebaby's product testers who then read the books with their children and rate them on story, illustrations, cover, etc. and follow up with a review of the books.  The 'Alby and the Cat' series was then awarded the Silver Award for the Children's Book category!  I am extremely proud of this series.  My Dad has been such a big part of why I wrote the books, so it's wonderful they are getting recognised!

Alby and the Cat: All Holed Up wins award!!!!

I was thrilled to receive news that my new Alby book, 'Alby and the Cat: All Holed Up' was a recent 'Red Ribbon Award' winner in the 2017 UK Wishing Shelf Book Awards for 'Highly Recommended'.  These awards are judged by teachers and students over in the UK.  The books are sent to them to read and they are judged not only on the story, but also the editing, the writing style, illustrations, cover, etc.  This was totally unexpected for me, which made the award all the more sweeter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Alby book on 2017 Premier's Reading Challenge Booklist

When I write, it is because I really love to write.  I find it is a great way to express my creative side, and it is an honour and a privilege knowing that people read and enjoy my books, which is what all authors really hope to achieve.  We don't write obsessing about whether our books will win awards, or be put onto lists, or be recognised for being really good books - all that is a bonus, a REALLY good one!

When 'Quizzical' was the joint winner of the 2006 Best Australian Self-Published Book Award for Fiction it felt very surreal.  When I was contacted by the organisers with the news, I almost dropped the phone.  Seriously?  My book had won an award?  Surely, they had the wrong person.  Or the phone call was a prank!   I'm so glad it wasn't!

And that's how it all began for me.  I flew to Sydney to collect the award, the whole time feeling like I was in a dream.  I will remember that experience always.

When books are added to the various Reading Challenge booklists, they aren't just added willy nilly.  There is a process.  The books are read by a selected committee and it's the opinion of the committee that decides whether a book goes on the booklist or not.

So, it's a great honour to have both my 'Quizzical' series, and the 'Alby' books on Premier's Reading Challenge booklists in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.  The new book, 'Alby and the Cat: All Holed Up' has just been added to 2017 list, so I'm thrilled about that! 


I'm thrilled to tell you that my new Alby book, 'Alby and the Cat: All Holed Up', was a recent 'Red Ribbon Winner' in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards in the UK for 'Highly Recommended'.

All my Alby books can be purchased via my distributor, Dennis Jones & Associates, through various library suppliers, in bookstores and online bookshops.  They are also available through Amazon at www.amazon.com and The Book Depository at www.bookdepository.com 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Alby and the Cat review

So chuffed with this review from Mum's Delivery for my new children's book, 'Alby and the Cat: All Holed Up'.  Thank you Sara!  So glad you enjoyed the book!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Alby and the Cat

The Alby and the Cat adventures continue with my new book, 'Alby and the Cat: All Holed Up', which has just been released and is available now!

These books are close to my heart, as you know.  My Dad was blinded in an industrial accident many years ago and he had a beautiful black Labrador Guide Dog named Duke.  Duke not only provided Dad with independence and gave him the confidence to face the world again, he was his best friend, and when he died of bone cancer after over 10 years of service, Dad was devastated and swore he would never have another Guide Dog again.  The relationship forged between a visually impaired person and his Guide Dog is like no other.  Dad had to place his total trust in Duke, who literally had Dad's life in his paws.  Their bond was so deep and strong.  Dad didn't want to have to go through the same thing with another dog, and then, another, so he has used his cane ever since. 

It was interesting watching Dad and Duke, and people they came into contact with.  Because Labradors are well accepted by the community and are very people-friendly, people just assumed Duke was a normal pet, even though they knew he helped Dad.  They would come up and pat Duke, sometimes before they even spoke to Dad.  What they didn't realise was, that when Duke was in harness, he was working and couldn't be distracted, or Dad was put at risk.

I wrote these books not only for children, but also for adults, to educate them a little about guide dogs, what they do, and why they make such a difference to the lives of visually impaired people.  The situations in the book are based on situations that Dad is faced with every day. 

The original 'Alby and the Cat' was out of stock so has been revised and reprinted and is also available now!  'Alby and the Cat' and 'Alby and the Cat: Showbusiness' are both on the 2016 Premier's Reading Challenge booklists in Victoria, NSW and SA.