An Exciting Extract!

Now, I’m certain that last week, I promised to let you read another wee snippet from ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, book 6 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series. So, without further ado, here’s the next enticing instalment! …..

‘ Suddenly there was a loud RAT-A-TAT-TAT! It was Sonny Shrew and Violet Vole tapping on Posie’s copper kettle house.

” Hellooo Posie! Are you in?” Violet called as she poked her brown, furry nose down the kettle’s spout.

“Yes I am!” Posie shouted back from inside her house. “Come and slide down the spout!”

“Really? Are you sure about that?” squeaked Violet a little uncertainly. “I mean, is it safe?” she asked whilst wrapping her furry tail around her mauve mittens.

“Of course Violet! It’s lots of fun! Unless you’re being a scaredy-cat, or should I say ‘scaredy-vole’ of course!” replied Pose giggling and tickling Wibble’s tummy, since she’d now rolled onto her back with her six tiny feet poking up in the air.

“Scaredy-vole!?!” Violet said with a smile as she dropped her tail. “Honestly, what a cheeky pixie! I think it’a time for some pixie tickling don’t you?!” she said whilst winking at Sonny Shrew.

” You betcha!” he squeaked and they watched a cluster of frozen leaves dance around on the woodland floor, as they were blown about by a sudden gust of icy wind. ‘ …….

So, will Violet Vole and Sonny Shrew slide down Posie’s copper kettle spout slide? Well you’ll just have to wait until next week, when I post the next extract! πŸ˜‰ In the meantime, you can check out ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ on the publisher’s link below and please see the image here of the 1st five books in my series. Book 6 will be joining them when it’s launched on Saturday February the 28th, at the Trowbridge branch of WHSmith, from 2pm πŸ™‚

Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical week, Sarah πŸ™‚

The 1st 5 books in my 'Whimsy Wood' series!

The 1st 5 books in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series!

To pre-order book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ direct from the publisher, Abela Publishing, please click on this link :-
http://abelapublishing.com/posie-pixie-and-the-snowstorm—book-6-in-the-whimsy-wood-series_p31036622.htm

 

Bloomin’ Blogtastic!!

What a wonderfully whimsical week it’s been for my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I! Without further ado, I shall explain exactly why! Well, we were nominated for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’ by the very creative Carmela Dutra! Please check out her own brilliant blog here :- http://ablogforyourthoughts.com/wp-rss.php/blogger-award/

image

I would like to nominate these following blogs in turn for this awesome award :-

http://vegbooks.org

http://www.anywaytostayathome.com/

http://ajschildrensbooks.com/

http://awomanswisdom.wordpress.com/

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

 

In other ‘Whimsy Wood’ related news, I’ve been invited to Townsend Barn Nursery in Poulshot, Wiltshire, to read one of my books to their pre-school children, on Tuesday the 10th of February. I’ve also been invited to Heddington Primary school, Wiltshire, on Tuesday March the 3rd as part of World Book Week, which is all very exciting! This recent invitation, means that my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I, are now booked for all of this wonderful week! (March the 2nd – March the 6th)

Finally, the 4th version of ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ (book 6 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series) is back from tweaking and fiddling and formatting with the publisher! I shall need to go over it later and ensure ‘Posie Pixie’ is also happy with it! This book is due to be launched on February the 28th and I feel the need to give you a wee extract from it, to wet your whimsical appetite a tad!…..

” WHEEE!” cried Posie Pixie with delight, as she slid down the slippery spout slide into her copper kettle house one icy January morning. “This is sooo much fun Wibble!” she squealed happily and promptly landed in her kitchen with a BUMPETY-BUMP, skidding sideways and narrowly missing her woodlouse friend. ……

Now, as I would say to my own children at the end of their bedtime story, “….and that is where we shall leave it….” ! I couldn’t possibly give you anymore from ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’!! Well….maybe… I’ll tell you a little more next week! Until then, I shall close the heavy oak doors on the wonderful world of Whimsy Wood and bid you all a very whimsical, rather early, weekend (hey, it’s nearly Friday!) ?

 

 

A refreshing ‘recap’!

As this January comes to a close, I’ve been contemplating how far my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I have come. I first received my author’s contract with Abela Publishing in January 2013. I was beyond elated when it arrived 2 years ago! Since then, the 1st 5 books in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series have been published and launched in various book shops in this fine county of Wiltshire.

The 1st of these books was ‘Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle’. This book was published in July 2013 and it sets the scene for the rest of my 35-book series. We get to meet ‘Posie Pixie’ for the 1st time and learn about her new home in a copper kettle, which is positioned against a tree stump in Whimsy Wood….

 

The tree stump by Posie Pixie's copper kettle house

The tree stump by Posie Pixie’s copper kettle house

Book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, is currently being formatted ready for its release and launch on Saturday February the 28th, at the Trowbridge branch of WHSmith from 2.30pm. There’s then only 1 book left in this 1st set of 7 books, before we start work on set 2 (books 8-14) and you will get to meet more ‘Whimsy Wood’ characters! The main character in set 2 from my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series is not ‘Posie Pixie’! Don’t panic! She does come back later on in my series. In fact, after book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, you’ll see Posie again in book 15. Now, I’ve already written up to book 14 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series, but I really do need to make a start on book 15!!

On that note, I’ll leave you with a link directly to the publisher’s website and wish you a wonderfully whimsical weekend ?

www.abelapublishing.com/whimsy-wood.html

 

Igniting Imaginations!

So, it’s been a jolly busy week already in my wee world of writing! I mentioned in last week’s post, that my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books and I had been invited to Ilminster E-ACT Academy in Bristol, as part of their ‘book week’. Well my all-day author visit to this smashing school was on Monday and it was fantastic! I had so much fun with their 260 pupils and they were a joy to spend time with. The theme for my visit was ‘Imagination’ (my all-time favourite word!) and I used several quotes from inspiring people, to underpin this tremendous tool that we all have within our brains. One of these quotes being….”Logic can get you from A to Z, while imagination can get you everywhere…”, by Albert Einstein. Another was…”Imagination is a muscle that needs to be fed with life’s experiences and flexed from time to time…”, by Malorie Blackman.

I was asked to lead their assembly that morning, so I told the children and staff about my journey to becoming a children’s author, although I originally trained as a Vet and was in practice for 10 years before I started writing! I then read them an extract from ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, book 6 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series, which is due out on February the 28th. The rest of my morning was spent running woodland-related literacy activities with their six infant classes. One particular thing stands out in my mind here and that was regarding a lovely lad in one of their Year 1 classes. I had asked them to create their own woodland character and to use three adjectives to describe it (following a discussion of what they would see in a wood and the adjectives that I have used in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books to describe my own characters). He had drawn a brilliant bunny, given it chicken-pox, slitty eyes and yellow teeth. When it came to the ‘show and tell’ time at the end of the activity, this hilarious and rather clever young man, very proudly stood next to me at the front of the class holding up his drawing and said…”Here’s my rabbit! He’s sick (chicken-pox), evil (slitty eyes) and is dirty, because he doesn’t clean his teeth Miss!!” Β Just brilliant!! πŸ™‚

After lunch I had a ‘Q&A’ session with their school council. The children asked me some really fabulous questions on being an author and hopefully I gave them a good insight into the world of writing, publishing and marketing. I then ran a creative writing workshop with their junior children. We played some ‘warm-up’ games ranging from, ‘Let’s take a word for a walk’, to ‘Showing not telling’,Β to get their imagination ignited and their words flowing. The thoughts and ideas and then the original pieces of prose, that they created all by themselves, were fantastic. One young man said to me at the end of the workshop, “Wow Miss! I didn’t know I could do that!” His comment blew me away. I suspect the memory of that lovely lad will remain with me throughout my writing life.

The rest of the week has been busy with the usual social media promotion and connecting that is essential in this day-and-age for any author, along with sending illustration placements to the publisher (Abela Publishing) as formatting is well underway for ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’! I’ve also been completing author interview questions for two magazines (who shall remain nameless for now!) as well as preparing for a reading of ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ this Tuesday on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio in America! Thank goodness it’s nearly Friday!!

On a lighter and more whimsical note, the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk have been having heaps of fun in the snow that fell during their recent snowstorm! ‘Skittle Spider’ has been enjoying a spot of downhill skiing, whilst ‘Sonny Shrew’ has adapted his awesome skateboarding skills and mastered the amazing art of snowboarding! ‘Mr Bilberry the blackbird’, proud postman to the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk, has somehow managed to keep postal deliveries going during this particularly testing cold snap. While ‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’, who runs ‘The Woodland Store’, has kept her shop open so the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk have been able to grab their essential chestnut crumpets and snowberry juice!

Well, I’d best say goodbye and get on writing book 15 in the ‘Whimsy Wood’ series, as it’s not going to write itself! I’ll leave you with a beautiful image of the blue birds in ‘Whimsy Wood’ during the recent snowstorm and a few links that may be of interest to you. Wishing you all a rather early (it’s nearly here!) yet whimsical weekend πŸ™‚

Sarah Hill

Some bold and brave blue birds during Whimsy Wood's snowstorm !

Some bold and brave blue birds during Whimsy Wood’s snowstorm !

If you would like to book Sarah Hill and her ‘Whimsy Wood’ series for a school visit, please click on this link :-
http://www.findschoolworkshops.co.uk/
Or you can email her directly on whimsy.pixie76@gmail.com
To pre-order book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, please click on this link :-

 

A Very Vibrant Visit Ahead!

Well, my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I, will be off on our first school visit of 2015, this coming Monday! Needless to say, I’m itching with anticipation and beyond excited, as I love doing author visits! Seeing children’s imaginations engage as you read them a story you have created, is such a joy to behold πŸ™‚

The school I’m going to see is Ilminster E-ACT Academy in Bristol. They have asked me to lead their morning assembly and then I shall be taking 30-minute creative and literacy lessons with their 5 infant classes. After lunch, their school council will be asking me questions on being an author and then I shall run a creative writing workshop with 30 of their junior pupils. Finally, we shall end the day with book signings of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series in their school library!

The aims of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series are to engage children more with nature and to ignite their imaginations. These will also be two of my aims of my school visit on Monday, along with increasing the children’s passion for reading. During the morning assembly that I’ll be leading on Monday, I’ll read an extract from book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, to the children. This book will be launched on Saturday February the 28th at WHSmith, Trowbridge from 2.30pm. Here is its front cover!

The front cover of 'Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm', book 6 in the 'Whimsy Wood' series

The front cover of ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, book 6 in the ‘Whimsy Wood’ series

I’ll end my assembly and indeed today’s post, with a fabulous quote from the current children’s laureate, Malorie Blackman :-

“Imagination is a muscle. It needs to be fed by life’s experiences and flexed from time to time.”

Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical weekend,

Sarah Hill πŸ™‚

Jumping Junipers! It’s January!

First and foremost, “Happy New Year!” I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are ready to face a brand new year that’s full of possibility. In the quirky and quaint world of ‘Whimsy Wood’, we’re celebrating the start of 2015 with the creation of the next book in this delightful children’s series! Book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, is due to be launched on Saturday February the 28th, at WHSmith Trowbridge, from 2.30pm. The manuscript of said book, is currently having its last tweakings with the editor and soon will be on its little formatting journey, as the manuscript becomes the book. It’s all rather magical stuff really!

I’m guessing you might like to know what and indeed who, is in ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’?! Well, there’s our very familiar ‘Posie Pixie’ and her best friend ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ of course and we get to meet 2 new ‘Whimsy Wood’ characters! These being ‘Sonny Shrew’ and ‘Violet Vole’. Sonny is a super cool dude who doesn’t go anywhere without his trusty skateboard, whilst Violet is a very girly wee creature who has a tendency to worry too much, poor thing! This book is written for the month of January (each book is written for a specific month in the calendar you see!) when snowdrops are starting to appear, along with oyster mushrooms and the slimy orange-capped fungus!! Charming!! The oyster mushrooms do make for comfy chairs around Posie’s stone table in her copper kettle house and Violet often sports a snowdrop skirt at this time of year in the wood! As for the uses of a slimy orange-capped fungus, well you’ll just have to get yourself a copy of, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ to find out!

I’ll leave you with this delightful illustration (that will appear in book 6) by the brilliant Sarah Mauchline and wish you a wonderfully whimsical week πŸ˜‰

Sarah Hill

'Violet Vole' and 'Sonny Shrew' visit 'Posie Pixie' in 'Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm'

‘Violet Vole’ and ‘Sonny Shrew’ visit ‘Posie Pixie’ in ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’

 

Have yourself a cracking Christmas!

3! YES, THERE’S ONLY 3 SLEEPS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! Needless to say, I am already beyond excited!! I love Christmas and so does ‘Posie Pixie’, the main character in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series. Her copper kettle house is festooned with sprigs of holly and mistletoe and Posie’s made her final visit to ‘The Woodland Store’ this morning, for some last minute flour. She’d run out of ‘Miller Mouse’s flour’ last night, after she’d made her third batch of snowberry pies for the festive season!! Posie is a little puzzled as to where these scrumptious snowberry pies keep going…..although if she inspected her best friend ‘Wibble Woodlouse’s’ growing waistline, she might fathom exactly where these perfect pies are hiding!!

“The Woodland Store’ itself was filled with Christmas merriment and cheer, when Posie popped in for her flour earlier today. Mr and Mrs Dusty the dormice and their 6 little ones, were singing Christmas carols outside the store and ‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’ (who runs the store) was sporting a brand new Christmas pudding-patterned pinny, that kind ‘Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow’ (‘Whimsy Wood’s’ seamstress) had made. Acorn cups of hot holly juice were being given to the woodland folk as they entered the store and many a keen shopper was tempted with the mistletoe muffins, made by clever Mrs Scarlet herself!

When ‘Posie Pixie’ got back to her copper kettle house from her visit to ‘The Woodland Store’, she stopped and stared at her rather spectacular Christmas tree! ‘Florence Fox’ appeared, sniffing and snuffling along the frosty woodland floor and joined Posie in admiring this cracker of a Christmas tree, that they had decorated together only days before. I hope your Christmas tree is looking just as splendid as Posie’s πŸ˜‰

Posie Pixie and Florence Fox admiring Posie's spectacular Christmas tree!

Posie Pixie and Florence Fox admiring Posie’s spectacular Christmas tree!

Over the festive spell, if you’re settling down for a cosy hot chocolate on the sofa with your wee ones and want to escape from the Christmas mayhem for a few minutes, then have a listen to this enchanting extract from book 5, ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’! You’ll be transported into the wondrous world of ‘Whimsy Wood’ and I’m sure the woodland folk will be only too pleased to meet you πŸ™‚

http://youtu.be/Ijd34bFDVGM

Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical Christmas and good health, peace and happiness for 2015,

Sarah Hill

Christmas Countdown!

“14 Sleeps to go! 14 sleeps ’til Santa…!” That’s right! Only 14 nights left, until the cheery fella in his red suit slides down your chimney and fills your stocking with presents! If you’ve been good of course!

In ‘Whimsy Wood’, ‘Posie Pixie’ has been trying very hard to be especially good as Christmas approaches. She’s been fetching the shopping for her ‘Granny Pip’ from ‘The Woodland Store’. She’s been helping ‘Mr. Bilberry the blackbird’ deliver the Christmas post to the woodland folk and she’s been secretly knitting ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ lots and lots of silken socks for her 6 tiny feet for Christmas! ‘Skittle Spider’ kindly gave her some of his home-spun silk, especially for these special socks and ‘Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow’ showed ‘Posie Pixie’ how to knit them! I do hope Santa brings ‘Posie Pixie’ lots of lovely Christmas presents this year and that ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ loves her scrummy socks from her best friend!

If you’re running out of ingenious ideas for stocking-fillers this year, then ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, book 5 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series could be just what you’re looking for! This is what Santa’s elves think :-

Promo bk 5

So, go on! Click on the link below to find out more about ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’ πŸ˜‰

http://www.amazon.co.uk/POSIE-PIXIE-CHRISTMAS-TREE-Whimsy/dp/1909302732/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417095071&sr=1-1&keywords=posie+pixie+and+the+christmas+tree

Whimsical wishes,

Sarah Hill

Winter-time In Whimsy Wood

Would you believe, it’s now only 3 weeks until Christmas Day?! That’s right! Your present shopping days are numbered!! Talking of festive shopping, my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series and I have a stall at Edington Farm Shop’s Christmas Fair in Edington, Wiltshire today from 4-10pm and at Seend Primary School’s Christmas Fair in Seend, Wiltshire tomorrow from 6-8pm. So if you’d like to meet ‘Posie Pixie’ and ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ and have a signed copy of 1 of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books, then please come along for some festive fun and merriment!! Β 

In ‘Whimsy Wood’ itself, the leaves on the woodland floor are laced with frost and ‘Skittle Spider’s’ creative cobwebs, are given a touch of magic when ‘Jack Frost’ runs his fingers over them! ‘Humbug Hedgehog’ has found himself the perfect place to hibernate – he’s scrabbled under the large lime log where ‘Wibble Woodlouse’s’ family live! I’m sure he’ll have a cracking Christmas with those wonderful woodlice πŸ˜‰ ‘Bromley Badger’ has also got himself comfy and cosy in his set, to snooze through most of the winter! He’ll still find some time and energy between naps mind you, for a party or 3! Being ‘Whimsy Wood’s’ main party-animal of course!!

While these 2 woodland creatures doze away, spare a thought for poor ‘Bumble Barn Owl’. He has to hunt harder and longer for food to eat, with the winter being so cold and the days much shorter. You may even see him flying along the edges of ‘Whimsy Wood’ during the daytime, as he searches for a wee mouse or vole for his tea…..

'Bumble Barn Owl' on the look out for a tasty morsel!

‘Bumble Barn Owl’ on the look out for a tasty morsel!

 

Before I close the heavy oak doors on the wonderful world that is ‘Whimsy Wood’, I’d like to share with you this video clip of book 5, ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, to get you in the festive spirit πŸ™‚ So cuddle up and enjoy πŸ˜‰

PPCT

Wishing you an early whimsical weekend and a late whimsical week!

Sarah Hill

Let Sleeping Ladybirds Lie!

“Where have they all gone?” my youngest daughter asked me recently . “Who do you mean sweetheart?” I replied, absent-mindly thinking that she would mean her little dolls-house dolls, or something similar. “The ladybirds mummy!” she replied, whilst pointing towards the garden. “I haven’t seen one in ages!” Well quite! How right she is! We are now of course in the midst of November and ladybirds, along with squirrels, hedgehogs and other such gorgeous creatures are huddled and snuggled down somewhere warm, hibernating for the winter (lucky them is all I can say! I’d quite like to join them!)

I had never come across a picture of ladybirds hibernating before until this week, when I discovered the image below that is on the UK Safari website. I dip in and out of this wonderful website, along with other woodland related blogs, to gain writing inspiration for my Whimsy Wood children’s series for 5-8 year olds. I really do need to sit down and make a proper start on book 15 in my 35-book series, but my inspiration and imagination had run dry this week….. Once I’d looked through this website site a few days ago and discovered this incredible image, a new character in the form of ‘Letty Ladybird’ sprung to mind, along with the need for a spider character! I believe he may be named ‘Sidney Eight-Boots’, but I’m not completely decided on this just yet.

Ladybirds huddled in seed pods

Ladybirds huddled in seed pods

Well, I’d better get on and actual write about ‘Letty Ladybird’ and ‘Sidney Eight-Boots’, or Whimsy Wood’s 15th book will never be created! If you’re stuck for something outdoorsy to do with the children over the next few days, then how about making a bug-hotel from piles of logs, twigs, stones and leaves. It costs nothing and is lots of fun! You even get to name your bug-hotel and the children can check on their ‘hotel guests’ regularly πŸ˜‰ I’m sure insects looking for somewhere to hibernate, such as ‘Letty Ladybird’, would be delighted to come across a brand new bug-hotel to snooze the winter away in πŸ™‚

For regular updates on my Whimsy Wood children’s series please follow us on twitter πŸ™‚ We’ve got 3 Christmas fairs coming up in the next month, which will be lots of fun I’m sure πŸ™‚

Β https://twitter.com/WhimsyWood

Wishing you all a whimsical week, Sarah πŸ™‚