Journeygirl’s Christmas Store Suggestions plus giveaway!

Hello fellow Children’s Writers and friends,

Believe it or not, it is time for Journeygirl to don her Santa hat and help all of you Christmas elves put a smile on your writer spouse, friend, child or parent’s face. Unlike the last two years I have not chosen favourite items for you, but opened the proverbial writing lolly shops to you, so that you and/or your favourite writer can choose for yourself from the multitude of gift options available. You can of course still physically go to any good bookstore, stationery seller, travel agent or Writing Centre to secure that sure to delight trinket, to place in the giant Christmas stocking hanging in front of your firepl…. Oh OK, air conditioner and I encourage you to do so. These establishments, however, are all virtual so dust off  your credit card and… quoting an old TV game show host, ‘Let’s go shopping’.

Etsy– ( enter here to find jewellery, candles, t-shirts, decals, notebooks, cups and prints just to name a few of the many delights available.

Cafe Press– ( is just plain fun, browsing here alone, is sure to bring a giggle to the lips of writers, teachers, engineers, dads, or anyone really. The categories are endless and you can even design your own. Find t-shirts, baby clothes and homewares.

Amazon– ( No surprises here, surely you expected me to suggest Amazon for the simple reason that there actually are multiple surprises here. Amazon’s just perfect for finding mugs, journals, ornaments, books, drink bottles and of course the amazing Aqua Notes and other waterproof pads, pens and pencils.

Uncommon Goods – ( where you’ll find inspirational pencils, wooden inkless pens, ‘settle down’ penmanship pillow, scarves, a tear off notepaper roller and a range of customisabile goods from Picture Books to platters

Storiarts– ( This website is new to me but has some delightfully clever and classy items for the more astute writer including scarves, writing gloves, cushions etc with quotes or text from the classics.

Out of Print Clothing Company ( – is also a new find for me with both the classic and the unusual . Here you can expect to see more clothing, mugs and jewellery as well as bags, pencil cases and matchboxes.

Bookfox ( )- So this is not strictly a shop. In fact it’s not one at all, but it is another blog which has some great gift ideas which are as host himself says, ‘unusual… with no coffee mugs in sight’.

The Literary Gift Company ( on the other hand has mugs, mugs and more mugs as well as every other thing you could imagine for writers including homewares, stationery, jewellery, clothing, accessories, gag gifts, posters and even the paper to wrap your gift choices in.

And the number one Christmas location where you can find the perfect gift for writers, readers and their little ones this year, has to be- right here! For it is here that you will find The Creative Kids Tales Short Story Collection. This wonderful collection of 50+ stories from over 40 aspiring and emerging Australian authors includes one from the Journeygirl herself! Just comment below leaving your email address, or PM me, Artelle Lenthall on Facebook if you are interested in purchasing a copy for the incredible price of $15

Finally, if that scintillating shopping spree hasn’t been enough to get you into the Christmas spirit then I’m sure the following announcement will. To celebrate both the season and the launch of The Creative Kids Tales Story Collection, I am giving away a copy of this amazing anthology to one lucky person who comments below. Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you will join me, on the road to publication again in 2018.

Farewell fellow travellers,
Savour the quest,

PS Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season

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Mystery, Mayhem and Magic Blog Tour with special guest Sharron Alexiou

Hello fellow Children’s Writer’s and friends,

One of the many joys of being a part of this community is the pleasure we as a group take in each other’s successes. As we who are part of the Creative Kids Tales Story

Collection     img_3345   excitedly begin the final stages of our own upcoming publication, I am thrilled to be able to share, learn from and enjoy a big step in the journey of another terrific group of Australian children’s writers,


namely The Ten Penners, as they launch their own Anthology, Magic, Mayhem and Mystery. I am delighted to have been included as a blog host in this week’s blog tour and even more thrilled to be able to introduce you to one of their most inspirational members, Sharron Alexiou.
Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is an anthology of amazing adventures for young readers!
“Take the path through a forest of imagination into mysterious journeys filled with mayhem and a kaleidoscope of magical creatures.


From the authors of “Shock! Horror! Gasp!” and “Fan-Tas-Tic-al Tales”, “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” is the new anthology written by the Ten Penners … Come and explore!”

Keep these dates pegged.

The blog tour plan is as below:

15/10/17 Sunday -Marion Martineer – Dimity Powell – author The Fix-It Man

16/10/17 Monday– Yvonne Mes,
Elaine Ousten – author Mystery of Nida Valley

17/10/17 Tuesday – Jill Smith –
Candice Lemon-Scott, author

18/10/17 Wednesday– Kate Russell –
Teena-Rafa Mulligan – In Their Own Write

19/10/17 Thursday –
Julie Baythorpe
Gretchen Bernet-Ward – Thoughts Become Words

20/10/17 Friday – Robin Adolphs
Artelle Lenthall

21/10/17 Saturday – The Ten Penners
We will be attending Gold Coast Writers Meeting to announce our book launch

23/10/17 Monday – Aleesah Darlison – author of Fox and Moonbeam-Greenleaf Press

My guest author Sharron Alexiou and I share the same love of children (me as a teacher, her in so many other ways as you’ll no doubt see below) as well as a passion for Picture Books, although Sharron, has the added skill of being an illustrator. And now, without further ado I’d like to introduce my guest author for the day, Sharron Alexiou.

Sharron Alexiou is a mother of five and has been a foster carer for over thirteen years. She has worked as a childcare group leader and loves being around children: they make her laugh and inspire story ideas and illustrations. Sharron’s dream is to write and illustrate her own rhyming picture books. Sharron lives on the Gold Coast with her family, a chicken named Fluffy and four quails.

(This is where the clever and gorgeous pictures of Sharron were to be added, but try as I might they refuse to be seen. I do believe I see Sharron peeking out from the back row of The Ten Penners picture above though)

Sharron Alexiou Q & A

Q1 What inspires you to write?

A.-I’ve always wanted to write, in school we would have to write a one-page story, I would write eight or more and wouldn’t want to stop.

Back in December 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I went through surgery, radiation and Chemo. When I finished my year of treatment, I felt I wanted to fill my bucket with everything I ever wanted to do. So I always wanted to write for children. I have five children of my own and one foster child. I have fostered over 26 children over thirteen years.

I’ve also worked in childcare, I just love being around children you could say. I love when you read books to children and their faces light up, they laugh, say funny things and ask lots of questions.


I remember, I was working in a childcare centre and we had to pack up the yard at the end of the day. All that was available was the sandpit. I had ten active little children wanting to be entertained. Then I made up a rhyme in my head and went with it. So, here we were in the sandpit, and here I was digging and doing actions to my rhyme. It went like this;

Dig, dig, dig

Got to dig a hole,

Going to make a cake,

Got to have a bowl,

Throw in the flour

Throw, throw, throw,

Pour in the milk

Pour, pour, pour,

Well, it’s a funny story. I do belong to The Ten Penners – adults writing for children. It took me over ten years to join, as I kept chickening out. But after my year of breast cancer, I was more determined to join this group. I remember my first meeting with The Ten Penners group, I was a nervous wreck. Once we all started reading our stories, I was hooked.


I now have the privilege to add six of my stories and lots of drawings to this new anthology ‘Mystery, Mayhem & Magic’ written by everyone in our group. I can’t wait to be able to show people the book. It’s been a fun experience.


Q2. What projects are you working on now?

A.-I’m now working on a few rhyme picture books. One is my Jimmy Famous series and another one for children of Mum’s with cancer – it’s a fun rhyme one. I’ve also joined a drawing course in October, can’t wait.


I’m still writing ideas down every day and hope one day to be a full-time published children’s writer. Meanwhile, I’ll keep filling my bucket.

Thanks so much for your time Sharron, keep digging and I’ll look forward to seeing both your work in this Anthology and any future author illustrated rhyming Picture Books by Sharron Alexiou.

Special Announcement – book giveaway!!

There will be a giveaway of a copy of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic! At the end of the blog tour those who have left a comment on this page, or on any of the other hosts’ pages during the blog tour, will be in the running to receive a free copy! The announcement of the winner will be at our book launch at Broadbeach Library on the 4th November.

So, please make a comment to be in the running! Good luck!

There’s also a colouring competition, ‘Plinko’ our mascot, for children to send in via email. The winners will be announced at our book launch on the 4th November at Broadbeach Library. Book to attend


Download the book launch competition form, here >>>Plinko-Colouring-In-Competition-2017_Booklaunch

It is always lovely to hear about another writer’s journey and I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing all about The Ten Penners and Sharron’s journey as much as I have.

Till next time, farewell fellow travellers,

Savour the quest,


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