Getting Praised for Daydreaming

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Though, like a lot of writers, I write mostly because I love telling myself stories and getting immersed in worlds of my own creation (otherwise known as ‘daydreaming’), a bonus of making the stories available to others is the feedback.

When somebody totally gets what you were trying to say, understands how your world works, and bonds with characters you gave birth to, it’s like a little bit of sparkly magic.

Here are two favourites out of all my favourite reviews – one by a journalist, and one by someone who is so completely my target audience. With thanks to Hilarie and Georgina.

I hope you don’t mind a little bit of showing off. I don’t do it very often 🙂


The Blackwood Crusade

The Blackwood Crusade BookBook Review by Journalist, Hilarie Stelfox, published in Huddersfield Daily Examiner

“I was hooked from the first few pages – and mightily relieved to discover that it is extraordinarily well written by someone with a finely-tuned sense of humour. In fact, it’s every bit as good as any fiction for the young I’ve read in recent years, including the novels of JK Rowling and Eoin Colfer. As well as being a natural storyteller, Jo never patronises her readers, an attribute that will endear her to teenagers. Nor does she shy away from the odd bit of violence and unpleasantness, another plus for young readers.”

READ MORE HERE

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The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook

Curtain Twitchers Cover“I read this book in three chunks, over a period of two days! I was hooked to the story and literally could not put it down! It’s the perfect read for many teenage girls like myself what with it covering dilemmas we can relate to and also including the interesting element of the ghost story that leaves you desperate to read on to find out what happens next.

I fell in love with Daisy the main character almost instantly and could relate to her throughout the book, I didn’t see the ending coming at all it took me by surprise and completely blew me away! I felt so emotionally attached to both Will and Daisy throughout the book and found myself almost in tears on a few more occasions in the book.

It was by far one the best books I’ve read in a while, for the reason that not only did it have a phenomenal story but it took me on a journey with the characters as I felt I knew them so well and not many authors i know can portray this skill to take the reader on an journey and make them feel emotionally involved with the story but Jo has done this flawlessly and the book has been lingering in my mind since…

Definitely up there in my top 10 best reads and I have already recommended it to two friends, and passed it on to one of them already 🙂 5 stars!!!!

READ MORE HERE

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Featured Photo Credit: Comfreak

Sequel Cliches: A Character Chat

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Daisy and Will had a hard time in ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’, they really did. What with restless ghosts and an age-old murder-mystery, uncomfortable high-school shenanigans and a terrible family tragedy, they didn’t get much of a break.

So to call them back and make them go through even more seems so, so cruel! In two minds as to whether or not to inflict another helping of torture, I thought it would be good if they talked it over first. And so they did…   (Contains Spoilers!)

DAISY: “We have to fall out.”

WILL:   “What?”

DAISY:  “It’s our second book together. We have to fall out in this one.”

WILL:   “Why?” Continue reading

I found Daisy’s Bike!

Daisys Bike

Has anyone else had the odd experience of coming across their fictional character’s name in an obscure place? This is the first time it’s happened to me, and it felt like a lovely little link had been made between the real world and my imaginary one, and gave me a warm glow for the rest of the day 🙂

Daisy May’s bike was leaning up against a fence in the old (for New Zealand) town of Lawrence in Otago, half a world away from Daisy’s home. It might have been ironic, because Daisy is highly allergic to exercise, but it would be just like her to have a bike that was only useful as decoration.

Has something similar happened to you? I’d love to hear about it!


Daisy May plays a hopeless game of netball – an excerpt from ‘The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook’

NetballWhen I got to the Sports Hall, the teams were already being selected.

“Aah, there you are, Daisy,” said Mrs Bennett. “You were meant to be choosing today but I wasn’t sure where you’d got to.”

I closed my eyes briefly, thanking whoever was in charge of this whole mess that I hadn’t had to choose a team from amongst all these people who hated me. A small reprieve. Continue reading

Great Goodreads Giveaways: Someone has to Win…

Got a second? Head over to Goodreads and enter the giveaways for one, or both, of my beautiful, solid paperback books. Someone has to win, and it might just be you. Oh yeah! It just might 🙂 Continue reading

New Cover: The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook

Curtain Twitchers Cover

With ‘The Blackwood Crusade’ due for its chance in the spotlight on Sunday, I thought it would be wise to pay some attention to my firstborn in case it begins to feel neglected! Continue reading

Sniff that Paper!

I love my Kindle. It’s so versatile, easy to use and light to carry around, packed full of books I can dip into anytime I want to. But, really, there is nothing quite like a paperback, is there? Continue reading

Engrossing YA -Jo Danilo’s ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’

It means so much to get a review like this after years of nagging from the little pixie of self-doubt 🙂

Sophie de Courcy and More

I have always admired this author’s writing, and I am really pleased that this novel is now available on Amazon. I only occasionally read YA, but I really enjoyed this one.

Excellent! I was really impressed.

This novel combines lively action, humour, vivid descriptions and characterisation in an expertly woven creepy supernatural adventure alternated with prosaic high school life in a small Yorkshire town.

There is a curse on a house by Tinker’s Wood, and it must begin and end with a death.
When new neighbours move next door to the protagonist Daisy May and her mother, something re-activates it from its decades long sleep.

This is a spine chilling story, and a funny and a sad one. It’s full of action and vivid descriptions, tersely recounted. I was hooked from the moment I read of foul Mr Braithwate, and his habitual saluation to all – with two fingers.

The…

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In Cool Company!

Really excited to see my book languishing besides the likes of these cool crooners in a search for my name on Amazon. I’m not sure what ‘Danilo’ is doing to ‘Vera’ but it looks like he’s trying to shove a daisy up her nose! Aah well, she doesn’t seem to mind.

A translation tells me the title is literally:

‘That you would not have anything to do’

I don’t think we need a translation for ‘A Musica Maravilhosa…’

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The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook: Tip #4

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‘When it Might be Time to Change your Curtains’ by Daisy May

Your own personal God of Curtain-Twitching should only provide advice on the subject of curtains. If he starts to interfere in other aspects of your life you should be wary and seek independent advice. In extreme circumstances it may be wise to change your curtains.

Standing back, I checked the mirror. I’d chosen a white. long-sleeved shirt with a conservatively-striped tank top over it, and some black cords. We always had to look smart for Gramps, Mum and I. He couldn’t abide scruffy dressing, coming from an era when people donned their best hat just to fetch the milk off the doorstep. I’d once worn jeans, and Gramps spent the entire visit looking me up and down and muttering under his breath. I wish I’d thought to tell Will. He’d probably have jeans on, and his hair would be all over the place.

I wound my own hair into a rough bun and clipped it up. With this outfit it made me look about forty. I pulled it out and stuck it in a ponytail instead. It was very hard to try and look good to both Gramps and Will at the same time. Maybe I could get away with clean trainers.

I don’t think so,” commented the god with a snort.

‘Since when are you such a fashion expert?’ I bit back, keeping my words carefully in my head. I wasn’t about to start conversing with my curtains out loud. That would be crazy.

Look at my multi-coloured spots. I am the king of fashion,” he said.

 


Taken from The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook, in which Daisy discovers the dying art of curtain-twitching is not just for old, nosy people.

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.co.uk

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The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.com

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The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook: Tip #3

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‘How to Save a Life (with just your curtains).’ by Daisy May

In a life-saving situation it is acceptable for the Curtain-Twitcher to give away their position. The person being saved will be so grateful they will forget to be suspicious.

I watched the passenger door of the red Alfa open and my archenemy, Willy McKenzie, got out. He put a hand up to smooth his unruly curls back as they blew into his eyes, and reached into the car to get his schoolbag out. I hid behind my curtain so he didn’t spot me, and grimaced at my subterfuge. It was fast becoming a record Curtain-Twitching week, and I was only a young novice. My grandma would have been proud.

As Willy McKenzie pushed the car door shut there was a sudden gust of wind. It rattled my windows and flung the trees around in the woods at the back. A movement on the McKenzie’s roof caught my attention. The wind had loosened a grey slate. It slid a few inches before coming to rest on the edge of the guttering at the front of the house, where it rocked precariously. Willy McKenzie walked towards his front door. The wind blew again.

I hammered on my window as loud as I could without breaking it. In the spilt second that followed, Willy McKenzie glanced round, I pointed frantically at the roof, he followed the direction of my finger, and the roof slate tipped and started to fall.

Willy jumped back, and the heavy slab of stone smashed into the ground just centimetres from his yellow-clad feet. If he hadn’t moved, it would have smashed directly into his head instead. Maybe it would even have killed him. People died from lesser head injuries.

It occurred to me I may have just saved the life of Willy McKenzie.

He stared blankly at the shards of slate surrounding him, then back up at my window. Smiling shakily, he gave me a small nod, but I gave him nothing in return, watching as his mother rushed up in a sudden panic. Her flowered skirts were blowing a little too high in the breeze.

I saw him tell her ‘I’m fine’, but he was looking at me the whole time. Backing away from the window, I sat on my bed feeling enormously strange. What if I hadn’t hammered on the window? What if I hadn’t been Curtain-Twitching? What if Willy McKenzie had died? Would I be happy about that?

Of course not.

But just because I wouldn’t wish him dead didn’t mean I’d suddenly forgiven him, did it?

Of course not.

Fun, isn’t it?” whispered the god.

“No, actually,” I replied, but out loud this time, and then clamped a hand over my mouth.


Taken from The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook, in which Daisy discovers the dying art of curtain-twitching is not just for old, nosy people.

The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.co.uk

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The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook on Amazon.com

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