International Talk Like A Pirate Day

“Ahoy, matey!”

Yes, it is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

September 19 is the day to jump ship, wear a bandana and talk salty!. Created by two friends  as a fun inside joke this day has grown to spread around the world and reflect on the Golden Age of Piracy. Peppered with odd phrases, funny accents and eye patches this is like Halloween without the gore.

So, with that thought in mind, rather than walk around with a peg leg and a parrot, sounding like you should be on the poop deck why not just read a pirate book instead? There are (not surprisingly) quite a few to choose from for all ages and stages of readers.

If you have little buccaneers in your life, or you want to relive the delight of children’s picture books,  there is the truly wonderful “How I Became A Pirate” by Belinda Long and David Shannon with a charming story and such exciting images you can’t help but love pirates.

Or the how about the charming “Pirates Don’t Change Diapers” also by Long and Shannon. And don’t be fooled……… these books are fun for adults too!!

If you want something a little more challenging middle school, YA and adult readers can dive into two excellent classics from years gone by.


“Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe and “Treasure Island” by  Robert Louis Stevenson are both works of classic literature that have stood the test of time and are loved. A little out of fashion now these books tell the tales of shipwreck, islands,pirates and much more. In their heyday they were no other fictional accounts to read and these were the rites of passage for young readers. While you won’t be able to get through these today (unless you do nothing else but read) they are worth the investment of time.



Looking for something a little heavier on  facts, rather than fiction two great books will give you everything you need to find out what pirates were all about.


“Pirate” from the DK Eyewitness Books series is jam packed with pictures, facts, lore and so much more. Not a book that you have to read from cover to cover you can delve into various sections (or the whole book) and come away loaded with information. Packed with great images you will have a much clearer understanding or pirates, and what being cutthroat really is. Definitely worth getting if you love the sea, want to know about pirates or just curious about history.






“Pirateology” is a one of those great books to give, and get, as gifts. With the sub-title of “The Pirate Hunters Companion” this magical book straddles fact, fiction and fantasy. Full of maps, letters (that you can pull out and read) this is a great book to look at and pour over. Wonderful for any age.



If you haven’t got the time to delve into a book stop by your library and borrow one of the really enjoyable “Pirates Of The Caribbean” movies. Classics, entertaining and really enjoyable. However, you spend the day take a moment to join in the fun, have some awe for those plunderers of the sea and check out one of these great books or movies and enjoy a day that can gives you the reason to have fun.


“How To Make Shakespeare Silly”

Reading Shakespeare can sometimes be difficult, especially for those who haven’t read it before or those of the younger generation as they aren’t used to tat language style or long sentences. So BookRiot came up with a few ways that you can make reading Shakespeare more silly and even make it more fun to read. I think that they are really cute ways and will honestly help!

William Shakespeare

The 80% Finished Books

BookRiot came up with a small article about that pile of books that you probably have, somewhere in your house (or all over), of books that you never finished but nearly had. And you didn’t finish them because you didn’t like them, but it was generally because you just couldn’t because you didn’t want to loose the book or you started something else and forgot about the book for the moment.

I have a few of those books here and there and I will get to them in time, but that the moment I can’t.

How about you? How many of these 80% finished books do you have? And why haven’t you finished them?

pile of green books

A Solitary Romance Book Tour!!!!

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A Solitary Romance by Violet Sparks

Book Title: A Solitary Romance
Author Name: Violet Sparks
Email: violetsparks [at] twc [dot] com
Author Website/Blog Link
Book Genre: Sweet Romance/Inspirational Romance
Blurb/Synopsis of Book: Katrina Crimshaw leads a double life as an auditor by day and jewelry blogger at night. When she meets the man of her dreams, again, her life becomes even more complicated. Juggling success under a pen name with her day job and continued encounters with Robert, a man from her past that she adored from afar, proves complicated for the shy bean counter. When an attractive museum director enters her life, all bets are off as the day dreaming Katrina tries to make sense of her predicament.
When passion flares in this second chance romance, will she let love slip through her fingers again? A Solitary Romance is a clean romance that will set readers’ pulses racing and book one of the Only Love Series.
Amazon Link: Click here

Do you have a specific writing style?

I generally write in the third person limited or omniscient style. I have to say, I begin by the seat of my pants and allow my characters full reign. About one-third to half-way through the book, I’ll sit down and outline the rest of the novel to keep things on track. At this point, I’ve got a good idea where all the personalities will end up.

How did you come up with the title?

The main character, Katrina Crimshaw, is a jewelry aficionado. She runs into a man from her past, someone she found incredibly attractive but was too shy to pursue. I combined the idea of a solitaire ring, representing her love of jewels, with the loneliness that sometimes accompanies someone who is fearful or shy, and came up with A Solitary Romance.

What books have most influenced your life most?

The Bible has had the biggest impact on my life. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk who lived in the 1600s, is an amazing book that I can read over and over. Coming Out of the Ice by Victor Herman also affected me—it’s a wonderful tribute to the human spirit. I can’t leave out the books by Dickens, Austen, and the Brontë sisters, which I read in my youth. Their works definitely lent an idealism to my mindset (which does not seem to belong to this century!), and shaped my ideas of what romance and love should be.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice to other writers is to keep on writing! Find a good editor you enjoy working with and don’t rush your writing process. Read and write as much as possible and do not allow others to discourage you.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

I’ve always loved how Charles Dickens could weave a story together with unforgettable characters and intersecting plots. I appreciate how he inserted humor in his books as well. I admire the way William Faulkner packed a punch and how the Brontës created amazing atmospheres, including unexpected twists in their stories. The contemporary author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, is a master of characters, atmosphere, and storylines.

What genre do you consider your book(s)?

A Solitary Romance is a sweet, or clean and wholesome, romance. It is book one of the Only Love Series, which currently consists of three books. I have also written mysteries under a pen name.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

I haven’t yet had a serious writer’s block. With every book, I do come to a place where I just have to grind out the story. I don’t particularly enjoy this part of my writing process, but I’ve yet to escape this phase. Luckily, it only lasts for a chapter or two, and then I’m over the hump.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

I would not say that I’ve hated any of my work. Anything can be polished, rewritten, examined with a fresh eye, or edited for improvement. I do go through some fear each time I start a new book. Will I be able to come up with anything funny? Can I do the characters justice? Will unnecessary details hinder the story? In other words, how can I possibly pull this off?

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

I cannot pick a favorite a genre. All of my books have at least a hint of romance, so maybe that’s my top choice. The Only Love Series is straight-up romance, although the third book, A Calculated Romance, has a touch of suspense and mystery. I like to incorporate a twist or even several unexpected events in my novels, so that’s a theme to look for.

Where did your love of writing come from?

I have always loved storytelling. My mother used to catch me as a toddler making up stories for my own entertainment. She fostered my love of writing by introducing me to classic literature in grade school, and I won writing awards as a teen. Then, life and career got in the way. I always hoped to return to writing, and the encouragement of a friend got the ball rolling for me.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of penning A Solitary Romance was just taking the plunge. I experienced a personal loss around the time that the idea started to sprout. I think this book provided a much needed distraction during those first, early stages of grief. With its overall light tone, the writing allowed me a welcome reprieve from reality.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

A Solitary Romance is ever so slightly autobiographical. I enjoyed reliving my early career days and the fun I had with one of my girl pals. Also, because everything in the book felt familiar, it required little research. I appreciated how my writing could flow without stopping to investigate other subjects. Because I love the arts, I savored drawing on my experiences at a major auction house. There’s a scene in the book where a character helps her friend squeeze into a gown in a dressing room by very creative means. This actually happened, and my friend managed to fit me in that tight, red dress by the same method! Just thinking about that little episode brings a smile to my face!

Do you write every single day?

I find I produce my best work when I am writing every day. I aim to write six days a week, although I’ve slipped off a little this summer since my children are out of school.

Which writers inspire you?

So many authors inspire me. At the top of the list are Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, the Brontës, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Irène Némirovsky for her spectacular, unfinished, Suite Française. I went through a stage where I only read history or biographies, and I greatly admire the work of David McCullough. His books read like novels and bring the people of the past alive. I always appreciate any writer who can surprise me with a plot twist or unexpected outcome.

What are you working on at the minute?

I am beginning the research for a novel set in the medieval period.

What is your latest book about?

My latest book is third in the Only Love Series, A Calculated Romance. This is the story of Katrina’s assistant, a young rock hound named Landi, and what happens when her path crosses with that of James Crimshaw. James is featured in the first three books of the series. He is Kate’s brother and a naval intelligence officer. Both he and Landi have murky pasts and a strong attraction to each other.

-Interview provided by Books and The Bear

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To Use Or Not Use A Book For Crafts?

Fun Friday Header!

That is the question.

After reading this blog post on BookRiot, I have to say I can agree with everything that Rebecca said.

The issue which came up was whether people should use books for crafts and destroy the book itself. Essentially Rebecca said that it shouldn’t matter what happens to the book. She used the analogy of popsicle sticks. You don’t care what happens to them, especially if you recycle them. It just matters about what was there in the first place.

She made the point that the book itself doesn’t exactly matter. But it’s the story that is what is important.

I can agree with that on many levels. But if you are going to destroy an old book, don’t do it. Take a new book and distress it or get creative. I do not agree with the destroying of old and antique books for the sake of crafts, as the actual book itself is beautiful to look at.

But if you want to make a literary craft, then go ahead and use the book. You may be destroying the pages, but the story will live on.

Books cut out to look like a cave


Stranger Things (2016)

A Netflix Original


Winona Ryder – Joyce Byers
David Harbour – Jim Hopper
Finn Wolfhard – Mike Wheeler
Millie Bobby Brown – Eleven
Gaten Matarazzo – Dustin Henderson
Caleb McLaughlin – Lucas Sinclair
Natalia Dyer – Nancy Wheeler
Charlie Heaton – Jonathan Byers


“When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.”



I absolutely loved this TV show and think it is absolutely fantastic. Netflix is completely outdoing themselves in their new movies and TV shows with Marco Polo (which I am still watching and love) and some of their movies like Special Correspondents and many others like their animes which are pretty darn good as well. Overall I am really impressed. And this one was fantastic.

If you have watched Under the Dome, the TV show based around Stephen Kings book, then it has a similar feel to that, but this is based more in the 80’s and 90’s and really does make you feel like you are in that period with everything going on. There is a decent amount of special effects but not so much so that it becomes silly or stupid. It plays mostly on suspense and catching glimpses of things.

Essentially these children go missing because of a government experiment with a creature and it’s about everyone trying to find those who went missing and this mysterious girl who shows up. The acting is really good and the story keeps you hooked! Each episode is only about 50 minutes long and season 1 has only 8 episodes so it’s not very long. But apparently there is a season 2 being talked about, so I am very interested if they will make one. It did receive very positive reviews and they ended season 1 like there could be a second season, as there are still unanswered questions, so I’m really excited to see what is going to happen.

Overall it is a dark TV show, as it is classified as Sci-Fi/Horror, but it isn’t exactly scary. There are moments which make you jump as the creature is kind of creepy but it’s nothing like some of the horror movies which are currently out there. They also love to use the lights as a form of communication between ‘worlds’ and I really find it so cool when they do that. Makes it creepy without it being…too creepy.

I also LOVE the theme song for the show. It really has a Tron kind of feel.

Overall it really was a fantastic TV show and I do recommend watching it as it’s nothing like is out there, in my opinion. It feels more like a long movie than a TV show because of the story. It has a very intricate story and I haven’t found a TV show with such a good story for a long time, or one that is like this.

So check it out and let me know what you think.

And happy viewing.

Try not to get sucked into the Upside-Down!