The Odd Disappearance of Violet D’Ath and New Zealand’s First Gothic Novel

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I’m currently working on a top secret, wonderful project and was deep into some research when something quite odd happened… I stumbled upon an obscure article referencing New Zealand’s first Gothic Novel ‘The Ice Station’, written in 1912 by Violet D’Ath.

The storyline sounded so good I immediately decided to find a copy and read it. But it wasn’t that easy, as you can probably tell by my title. Continue reading

An Excitement of Odd Books

FUN FACT : Not many people know that a collection of odd books is known as an ‘excitement’.

Here is today’s ‘excitement’. Stick any one of these on your bookshelf and you’ll never be without a conversation starter when guests come calling.

OddBooks

1. HOW TEA COSIES CHANGED THE WORLD

tea cosies

Though Tea is a Very Important Thing Indeed, I had no idea that tea cosies had actually changed the world, so this could be a real eye-opener. Was it really Helen of Troy’s fancy tea cosy that launched a thousand ships? Did Hitler decide to invade Poland because he thought they had better tea cosies? Maybe this odd book holds all the answers.

One reviewer, who gives the book 5 stars, declares:

“This book rocked my teapot!” Continue reading

The Sleeping Beauty Books

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In 2014, in a forest north of Oslo singing with birds and swaying with silent giants, one thousand Norwegian Spruce trees were planted. Every year that follows, for a hundred years, an author will be selected to gift an unpublished work which will be printed on paper made from these very spruce trees when they are fully-grown and felled in 2114. Until then the stories will sleep, undisturbed, not to be read by a single soul.

The ‘Future Library’ artwork is the brainchild of Katie Paterson, a woman who creates magic wherever she goes, mapping out dead stars and releasing meteorites back into space amongst other things. So far it holds stories by celebrated authors like Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell who will not live to see how their works are received.

To find out more, I highly recommend visiting this gorgeous website.

‘11.42’ by Jo Danilo – a taste from the new book

Many thanks to Mike at WriteUpNorth for this 11:42 feature!

Write Up North

11:42

by Jo Danilo

Coming December 2018
One boy, one girl, one road, one long night, one long nightmare…
When a girl waiting outside the nightclub on Baker Street asks Noah to help her get home, he reluctantly agrees. He has no idea that she, Baker Street, and this one dark night, will be his whole world for a very long time. 
Category: Paranormal Romance
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Jo profile
Jo is author of ‘The Blackwood Crusade’, ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’ and ‘11:42‘. 
 
Jo writes stories for children, young adults and older young adults. Though she is essentially a Yorkshire lass, she now lives in the Far North of New Zealand – decidedly more tropical than the north of England – with her husband, two sons and several furry creatures. She likes nothing better than a whole, uninterrupted day of writing, which she generally gets on her birthday. Hurray for birthdays!
 

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The Descent of Cat

In which Perkins the Kitten demonstrates how not to climb down from the top of a tree…

She enjoyed her experience so much she ran straight to the top of another tree and did the whole thing again!

11:42 p.m. The Editor’s Review and the Ending

In which my new book, a time-travel romance, is off to a cracking start with a note from my lovely editor, Malcolm:

“It has been a delight. You took me on a captivating and mysterious journey woven with hope, despair, betrayal and enduring love. Clever thing.”

Now to work my way through the edits and add the epilogue I haven’t quite got round to yet. Happy ending or sad ending? It all hangs on the last couple of paragraphs… I guess I’ll have to write them to find out!

If all goes well, 11:42 p.m. will be available on Amazon as a paperback and eBook in December. If you’re interested, please follow my blog to stay updated.

1142 COVER Mockup DEC


11:42 p.m. by Jo Danilo – A YA Paranormal Romance due for release on Amazon in December 2018

Follow these links for more:

11:42 Blurb – including a review by best-selling author, Paddy Richardson

The Story Behind 11:42

The First Few Days of Perkins

I’d forgotten what whirlwinds kittens are. We’ve had Perkins in the bathtub, Perkins in the sink, Perkins in the washing machine (that was a close call), Perkins tinkling the ivories on the piano… all often within the same half hour. And then Perkins just conks out suddenly and sleeps exactly where she’s landed for hours on end.

It’s been entertaining for us, and most definitely for Perkins, but I’m not sure about the furry members of the family. Here are Bella the cat and Neko the dog looking slightly horrified as Perkins decides to interrupt their afternoon nap – if Neko could speak to me he would be saying “what the hell have you done?”. And then Bella looking on as Perkins eats all her food. Again.

Alfie, our old cat, has pretty much thrown all his toys out of the pram and moved out! …

Perkins1Perkins2Perkins3Perkins4

– – –

It’s now a couple of weeks later, and all four animals are in the same room, curled up, fast asleep. They’ve gradually become friends, and it’s been good for us all to have a little whirlwind taking over the house to shake things up a bit.

Welcome home, Perkins!

The Dangerous Life of a Successful Writer

HealthHazards

This has seriously put me off the whole idea 😀

Thanks, Tom Gauld, master cartoonist.

#4 I didn’t write today because… of Perkins

I asked my mum to drop into the vets yesterday on her way back from town and pick up some medicine for my old, wheezy cat, Alfie Bear. Which she did. Well done for that bit, mum.

But she also picked up something else. ‘I’ve brought you a present,’ she said.

She saw the look on my face that said ‘I really don’t need another cat’ and assured me she could take it straight back to the vets, no harm done. In our house, we have a policy of only taking in adult cats who need a home. But it’s almost impossible to say ‘yes you must take this tiny scrap of warm, wriggly kitten back to where you got it from immediately!”

So meet Perkins. Cat number three and our very first kitten.

Perkins

My boys had been lamenting the fact that we don’t have interesting cats. Our other two like to sleep, and not much else goes on. I asked them what an interesting cat did, and they decided it was the sort of cat that sat on your keyboard when you were trying to work, and liked to shove things off the table and climb up curtains. A cat like Simon’s Cat. Perkins has only been here for a day and can fit into a cereal bowl with room to spare, but she’s already done all of those things 🙂

Click the picture to see Simon’s Cat in action!

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Exploring mental illness in YA literature

Here’s an important post by Rebecca Alasdair. Well worth a read and a share. I’m off to check out the books she’s mentioned 🙂

Rebecca Alasdair

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Mental illness is one of the most pressing health concerns of the modern age. Even a cursory internet search will reveal some truly horrifying statistics, especially in the western world where health outcomes have historically been superior. Studies over the last decade have shown nearly 50% of Australians (aged 16-85) experience mental illness at some time in their life, almost 1 in 7 children and adolescents (aged 4-17) are diagnosed with a mental disorder, and suicide is the leading cause of death in young Australians (aged 15-24).

For the longest time, talking about mental illness and suicide has been something of a taboo, especially in the presence of children and young adults. However, since it wasn’t so long ago I was a teenager myself, I am very aware of the fact that today’s youth don’t take well to having the curtains drawn over their eyes. They’re curious about all sorts…

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