A Children’s Book: Lily’s Wish

Cover image from the publisher's website
Cover image from the publisher’s website

My copies of Barbara’s wonderful children’s book, Lily’s Wish, arrived in todays mail. Naturally, I read it but it caught me out  because I read it like an adult. I didn’t take the time to drink in the delightful pencil and watercolour drawings on that first pass, as a child would.  Reaching the last sentence, I realised I had missed something important and I had. I had overlooked the very thing that makes this book so special – Lily’s gift to her grandma.

This is what Barbara’s publisher, New Frontier Publishing, has to say about Lily’s Wish.


Lily’s Wish
Written by Barbara Pyett and illustrated by Serena Geddes
ISBN: 9781921042829
32 pages
Reading Age: 4 – 8
Release Date: January 31, 2012

Lily has a special Christmas wish, but only one person can make her wish come trye [sic: that’s a worry!]. She writes him a letter and another and another. He writes back, but will he grant her wish? Do you believe he can? Barbara Pyett’s magical Christmas tale about a selfless young girl and her inspirational wish is brought to life by Serena Geddes’ delightful illustrations.

Here is a peek inside – I think I’m allowed to do this for the purposes of reviewing, even in my poor fashion.

lilyIgnore all the shadows on the page – that’s just me – and I didn’t want to squash the book flat, and risk spoiling the brand new look. But you get the idea, the illustrations are gorgeous, all pink and pretty.lily2
Lily’s Wish can be purchased from the publisher ($9.99 plus postage) or online book stores such as Fishpond ($14.95, free postage Australia)

I love Barbara’s dedication to her grandchildren, and to all grandchildren separated by distance from their grandmothers. If you have children in the reading age range (4 – 8) then you can’t go past this as the perfect Christmas present, either in its own right or as a stocking-filler.

[Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in Lily’s Wish, its publisher, or Fishpond.]

Book Review

This delightful story from Helen Meikle is told from an omniscient point of view, and is set in the Sydney area. The author’s voice reflects her Australian background, and her well written words evoked many images from my own life.

At first, I found the view-point disconcerting, but that eased once I realised it was the writing style – not accidental head hopping.

This is the first time I’ve read a digital novel. I became so engrossed in the story, that I didn’t notice the page numbers whipping by (106 pdf pages on my laptop) and it seemed to end suddenly. I wanted more!

In my honest opinion, any book which reduces me to tears is a good book. I have no hesitation recommending it to you. I would happily pay for any future novels by Helen Meikle. I would pay for this one.

helen meikle's scribblefest


You might think you have your future neatly laid out, but what happens when other people trample across your plans? Meg, Joey, Angelique and Caitlin are different ages, have different lives and different plans for the future, but by the time their paths cross, each of them has found that events have no respect for planning. This is a story about choices and relationships.

Yes, I’ve done it!

After several threatened meltdowns and innumerable cups of coffee, my book is now on Smashwords, Kindle etc, thanks to my daughter who knows far more than I do.

I’d love you all to review it (you don’t have to be polite) but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (women’s fiction/relationships/light ent) so it’s up to you!


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M-R’s book: And Then Like My Dreams.

Margaret Rose Stringer is one of the first bloggers I chose to ‘follow’. Right away I loved her blogging style and eventually I discovered she had written a book – she is not shy about self-promotion. While others set up their author platform and follow the guidelines about being too pushy, Margaret Rose (aka M-R) goes ahead and does what she likes and says what she thinks.


In fact, on her website, she has changed the tagline of her novel back from the publisher’s A Memoir to her own original pre-publication tag of Still and Moving Pictures, so don’t get confused if you should decide to get hold of a copy for yourself.

I must have said something sensible during a comment on one of her posts because – I am unable to fathom why – M-R added my blog to the 30 days/ 30 blogs challenge she had set herself, resulting in an unsurpassed spike in my stats.  Her action was stunning to me because she is the most awful snob when it comes to intelligence.

I had already picked up on that before I decided to buy her book.  In it, I discovered her obstinate refusal to suffer fools has led to some interesting asides in her memoir.

M-R writes honestly and intimately about her soul mate and husband – Charles ‘Chic’ Stringer – one of the Australian film industry’s most respected stillsmen. She speaks of their 31 years together, and remains determined to do all she can to keep her husband’s memory alive. He remains the other half of herself.

But I found this story more than the sum of her relationship with Chic. We get to see inside M-R, herself, as she reveals her first 31 years. She speaks disarmingly of abandonment, love, death, and how her mind works, often not in her favour.

M-R’s closing words: of the day after seeing Chic on TV, shooting stills for Grundy’s, in a movie about ABBA in Australia.

Three all-too-brief times I saw him in the mêlée surrounding the Swedes – always with one of his cameras in his hands, looking for a position in the ongoing madness.
There was no grief; only unutterable joy at the sight of him – young, beautiful, professional …
He was the most exciting person I have ever known.

I found ‘And Then Like My Dreams’ honest, funny, revealing, passionate, even slightly shocking, but always entertaining. I smiled, I cried, I was appalled, my mouth dropped open, I giggled, I cried again and thought surely my heart would break for these two people I have never met.

Above all, I was entertained.

And Then Like My Dreams. A Memoir