Duffy’s Lucky Escape – Guest Post and Giveaway

Duffy the Sea Turtle is an engaging story of the relationship between humans and wildlife and the dangers turtles face in their own natural habitats due to ocean plastic. Stunning artwork captures the imagination of young readers and brings to life a very real threat to our oceans.

I love to have guest blogs here and I find it’s such a great way to share stories, learn something new and to share our own passions. My guest blogger today is Ellie Jackson who has recently returned to the UK after having lived abroad for many years and being involved in conservation work. Ellie  has written the wonderful tale of Duffy the Sea Turtle .

Ellie Jackson and illustrator Liz Oldmeadow, are two mums with 5 children between them who met at mother’s group when their sons were babies.  A chance discussion over coffee led the mums to discover their mutual talents and so began a partnership that after many months of juggling children and other commitments has finally led to Duffy’s message being ready to be shared. Here’s more about her story.

I never thought about becoming an author, it was a process that I fell into by reason of circumstance and luck. An amazing opportunity to live for a year on a tropical island in the Great Barrier Reef was not something that I ever thought would lead to a new direction for me – we moved there as a family for beaches and adventure! The most beautiful beaches, framed by palm trees and sunsets, just how you would imagine an island paradise to be.

Duffy's Lucky Escape - Guest Post and GiveawayWe didn’t wear shoes for a year, we had our own pool, and a great circle of friends. My three children were all under school age and it was the perfect chance for us as a family to experience a more laid back approach to life and give our kids real freedom. My husband works from home and this allowed us the opportunity to try something different before we had to start real life when our eldest started school.

We heard about a turtle release happening on one of the beaches – I have to say I didn’t realise what a big deal this event was going to be – the whole island turned out plus TV cameras and journalists. When it was time for the turtle to be put back into the water, we formed two lines into the sea and the turtle was released on the beach and immediately headed for the sea and was gone in a matter of seconds.

It was a surprisingly emotional experience to see this turtle who had spent a year in the aquarium getting fit and healthy again, returning to her ocean home. After the turtle release, we visited the Turtle Hospital on the mainland and heard all the different reasons as to why turtles need our help – one of which is where they suffer from eating too much plastic. As soon as my young children had made the link between plastic on the beach and turtles, every time we went to the beach they were running around picking up rubbish saying “Mummy, I’m saving a turtle!”. Well that was it for me, I was amazed at how such a simple true story could motivate and encourage such enthusiasm for picking up rubbish!

Duffy's Lucky Escape - Guest Post and Giveaway

Duffy’s Lucky Escape is a beautifully illustrated book teaching children about the dangers of ocean plastics without overwhelming them. The powerful message is delivered in a fun and friendly way and ends by inspiring children to make changes to their own and their families lives. A perfect present for Christmas or gift to your child’s school, please visit duffytheseaturtle.com to order your copy for just £7.99 with a percentage of all profits going to UK national marine charities.

You can follow us on social media for latest updates and competitions as well as information about my new book due out before Christmas.

Bumper Giveaways Christmas Gift Guide – Part 3 @duffytheseaturtle


Thank you so much Ellie for joining us today and telling us about the events leading you to write your book.

You can win a copy of Duffy’s Lucky Escape below in the rafflecopter giveaway. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Audiobooks from BookBeat

I can now get to hear my favourite audiobooks wherever I am and whatever I am doing! This is going to be a big change for me. As you probably know, it’s a busy life in the myrealfairy household as it is for most of us. I do try and keep it all together, you will see by my attempts at making the school run go smoother that I give it a good go but as you know, there is always more to be done! So, the fab new site that will make me feel more connected with all the bestsellers that I have missed out on is called BookBeat and it’s full of literary gems.

audiobooks-BookBeat www.myrealfairy.com
It’s so cool it knows me!

BookBeat was founded and launched in Sweden in 2015 and has come to the UK in March of this year. It’s a digital streaming service that allows you to listen to a huge range of Audiobooks on your mobile device wherever you are. This is the key point for me as I have lost out on catching up with reading as I just don’t get the time between work and the kids.

You can stream the stories through your wi-fi and you can also download to your library and listen when you don’t have access to a connection. This is so handy for those waiting around times for the little ones. You can now sit back, relax and listen….bliss!

Now if you are like me then it’s good to try before you buy. I don’t sign up for much without really knowing what I am going to get for my money. So I am pleased to say that the BookBeat guys and gals also feel the same way and have given me a whole month for free to share with each and every one of you, whoop whoop!

Here is the link where you can get a whole month free of charge! Click: Free Month

BookBeat www.myrealfairy.com

There are lots of genres and titles to choose from, I took a screenshot from my phone for you to see how it looks on my hand-held device and I also love the look of the site so I wanted to show it off to you! There are 12 sections in all and then you can see the best sellers and editors picks too.


I will be reviewing the children’s and classic Audiobooks over the coming months but I wanted to start with an overview of the site and so far so good. It’s easy to use, has lots of content and good customer service, what’s not to love!

Pop over and check out the social media sites and you can get a feel for BookBeat. I’d love to hear what you think and what stories you might like.

Instagram – @bookbeatuk

Facebook – @bookbeatuk

Twitter  – @BookBeatUK

Let people know how they can listen too and have a free month!Click To Tweet

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The Night Before Christmas – Giveaway and Book Review

It’s getting nearer to that magical time of Christmas. Here is a super gift idea that captures the wonderful imagination of children and wraps it up in a beautiful book based on the Christmas classic by Clement Clarke Moore. It has an animal twist as Santa visits a family of bears on Christmas Eve.

the night before christmas www.myrealfairy.com
The Night Before Christmas by Rose Collins

the night before christmas book review myrealfairy.com

The story is enhanced by some really cute and bright illustrations which draws your eyes in and around the page. We loved them because they were bold and lively. As the story takes you on a journey with its jaunty poem verses you feel taken back in time to Christmas as a child. We feel it’s ideal for little ones to get into the spirit of the festive season.

Having the bears in the story is a nice little twist as is the very traditional portrayal of Father Christmas. All in all a very enjoyable experience to have with younger readers. It mixes traditional story telling with poetry and beautiful illustrations.





The book is published by NurseryBoxBooks and in the words of their creative director Isobel Sinclair:

NurseryBox are taking familiar stories and adding a bit of an animal twist- children love animals and by including them in our stories it creates a more fun and fantastic experience for them.

We wanted to tell a familiar tale in a new way, the reading of this picture book can be a great family tradition, read and passed down over the years. Young kids will love the pictures and –of course– the bears, while their parents will enjoy reading a poem that was read to them in childhood.

Isobel is kindly offering a copy of the ebook to one lucky winner of our giveaway, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can purchase a copy of the e-book by clicking on any of the links below:

Amazon Kindle 

Apple ibooks

Barnes & Noble

Google Play


You can find out more about NurseryBoxBooks through social media by clicking the links for their Twitter and Facebook pages. Go and visit them to say hi, or enter our giveaway above and be in with a chance to win the e-book aswell!

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Disclaimer: We were given an ecopy of the book to review by Nurserybox books. The links are not affiliated. All comments are honestly provided.

Competition open to entrants worldwide. The winner will be informed by email and contacted by NurseryBoxBooks directly to receive their prize.

Discussion & Book Review – The Golden Winged Fairy


What’s so lovely about having my own site is being able to write and post about people and things which I have an interest in.  I can write without the normal constraints…..Lucky old me:) New York based author Lala Fae contacted me and asked if I would review her book ‘The Golden Winged Fairy’. When I looked into both her and the book she had written I thought it fitted well with my blog and interests.

I liked the way that she came across and she’s been really pleasant to get to know. If you have read my previous book review here you will see that that one was carried out with my eldest son ‘M’. However, ‘The Golden Winged Fairy’ was clearly more suitable to be read with my youngest son ‘G’ who is 7.

Lala kindly sent me a complimentary copy of the book as opposed to a digital download review copy. The book is sold as a hardcopy and considering the illustrations which are phenomenal, its the only way to appreciate this book. It’s good to feel this books pages and the embossed paper, great for small children. The pages of the new book smelt wonderful too, there’s just something about it, maybe a throwback to my own childhood. It’s a proper story telling experience for the younger audience.


The story focuses on a fairy with a difference, as G said…’a difference that she felt embarrassed about.’ We talked about the difference the fairy heroine Lorelei has and how this made her feel. All Lorelei wants is to fit in with the Silver Moon Fairies. As the story progresses I found that it led me to the natural conclusion that we should celebrate our differences.  It’s a great back up to many conversations I had with my two when they were younger in nursery and started to either be on the receiving end or the perpetrator of comments relating to individual differences.

golden winged fairy


I usually ask my partner to look through my posts and he’s done just that. Particularly if I feel that I’m missing something. When I know what I want to say but it’s not transferring through to the page. His feedback…..’it reads as if you’re being politically correct…why?

I thrive and enjoy being me and being honest.  I had to stop and think and then we entered into a discussion. Was it his German straight forwardness or my english political correctness that led us both to think that my writing in this review lacked punch?! It lacked that special something needed to give the book, Lala and me the true airing this subject deserved. This post now is a very different piece than it was originally and it’s more grounded for it.

Understanding individual differences is not limited to what children should be doing, as adults we must remind ourselves that differences are not the exclusive details such as the colour of our skin or language we speak, it’s also the essence and personalities of who we are. Sometimes its easy to forget and as adults it’s actually really good to talk about. Often we are so caught up at home in parenting that proper intelligent conversations just don’t happen. Today we had one and it felt good! All because of reading a children’s book.

It demonstrates that this book manages to do that on its most basic level and to start small children with such a such a book, in my opinion is no bad thing.

I would say that the book is aimed at either very young learner readers or at children who are being read to as their relaxation or nighttime story. It’s relaxing, has a positive message and isn’t too long. It can be read in one 10 minute sitting and it’s of a fairytale quality that can be read again and again. It really is beautiful.


The book is enhanced to a magical quality by the illustrations drawn by Laura Siadak.  Lala told me she is excited to announce that she has finished her second book and that one is also currently with Laura who is providing the illustrations once more. This lady can really draw.

You can see more on the youtube video here, it’s really worth watching:

If you fancy making contact with Lala then you can find her on some of her social media platforms here:



The book can be purchased here amongst other places.


In the words of Lala…May you always glow golden.

I am really pleased to have Lala onboard with responding to your comments for this post! You might hear back from either Lala or myself. Thank you as always for all comments and thoughts about the post x

Do you remember reading fairy tales as a child, was there one in particular. Have you heard of Lalas golden winged fairy?



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Beyond the Starline – Book Review


Beyond the Starline: Book One in the Dark Sea Trilogy: Volume 1

The author, Austin Hackney, contacted me to see if I fancied reviewing his book. This was great because right at the start of my blog and pinned to my twitter page I actually advertise the fact that I like to review books and others things that interest me. For me, this means that I can enjoy new experiences which wouldn’t normally come my way. In this case, it was to be able to read a book with my eldest son, M (who’s 10) and complete the review together. Pretty cool!

Well, that was the plan…..


book review myrealfairy.com

When her mother is murdered by pirates, Harriet Howland is thrust into a dangerous quest to find her missing father. A fast-paced steampunk adventure for everyone from 9 years old and up.

Who could resist? But wait….first question I had was, what is steampunk??? OK well for those of you who don’t know, which is exactly the position I was in: Steampunk is, and bear with me as this is my interpretation.. ‘a fusion of victorian style influences with high-tech cutting edge super technology’. The vision that jumped to mind (and my mummy and daddy followers will recognise this reference) is the hybrid, freaky toys that were patched together in Toy Story, the doll’s head on the metal spider legs…get my drift? You could have a look at the wiki answer but quite frankly I was even more baffled by that!  The review for the book steered off in a different direction. I found myself following a route into steampunk and looking at books in that genre to get more of a handle of the style and type of writing that was being featured. I was really interested in this and lost quite a few hours this way, looking at Austin and other authors works.

I also watched a few of Austin Hackneys youtube videos. I wanted to have an understanding of the man behind the book. I found that he’s a great visual storyteller. One of those people who look like an actor telling a story and really lives the words. It reminded me of Jackanory which I watched as a child. Try and have a look at at least one of his videos and you will see what I mean.

While I was doing this M was getting on and reading the book. We agreed on him reading 30 pages a day when he got home from school. Now, different children read in different ways and have varied attention spans. I’m finding that M’s generation are hardly reading a book. More and more time is spent on the various devices they have access to. Whether that be X-Box, PS3, Kindle, Ipads or a selection of all of them and more. We have got into a rutt in our house of allowing just the bare minimum of ‘proper’ reading time. By this I mean – M can read, he has one book on the go for school and he gets on with it. He’s 10 and gets good feedback from school, I’ve been thinking this was sufficient. Of course, it’s not!

So, this was an opportunity for us as a family to have a bit of a shake up….we needed it! Thank you Austin!

M took on the role of reading the book and I carried out the research and then dipped into the book at various stages. It worked well…. proud mummy moment, we were working together!

So, the story…without giving any spoilers. Our heroine is Harriet who’s life is upturned in an instant. Starting out in the steamy smog filled city of Lundoon . She is thrown into a world that has all the fantastical characters you would hope for. They leap before you with image inspiring names such as; Professor Poliakoff, Sibelius the sky monkey and Captain Hardcastle.

I think that this book is an escape into fantasy, which for adults who have to try and act semi sensible most of the time, is thoroughly enjoyable. It picks you up and carries you away, side by side with the adventurers.

For M one of the most exciting moments was when the squid storm was introduced into the story. He said, “It made me feel like I was there in the dangerous mission to keep the special object safe”. He said that he would recommend it for people his age and above. He smiled and became enthusiastic when he was recounting the reading he carried out on a particular day. To see him take to a book in this way was a huge plus for me.

Key myrealfairy facts – Beyond the Starline

  • The author is Austin Hackney
  • Twitter name @AGHackney chat to him, he’s a friendly sort.
  • This book is the first book in the Dark Sea Trilogy
  • You can purchase it in kindle edition or paperback and you can buy it here.

I’d love to hear what you think about this genre of book. I am also super delighted to have the author, Austin Hackney popping onto this post and giving his feedback to some of the comments aswell – so keep an eye out!



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