#Review by Lou – Blue The Green Sky by Stuart M. Buck by @stuartmbuck @BrokenSpineArts #Poetry #ContemporaryPoetry

Blue The Green Sky
By Stuart M. Buck

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I read this collection of poems in – Blue The Green Sky in one sitting. It grabs you and whisks you on a journey to a different country, and deep into nature and human nature full of universal themes.
Thanks to Alan Parry at The BrokenSpine for gifting me the book and for being in contact through my “Contact” page on my blog to invite me to review and interview. Follow down to find out a little about him
and my review and at a later date, look out for an interview with Stuart M. Buck to discover even more about what makes him tick and what else you can expect…

Blue The Green Sky pic

About the Poet

Blue the Green Sky is the third poetry collection from Stuart M. Buck, and is the second chapbook to be published by The Broken Spine.

Stuart M. Buck is a writer and artist currently living between the UK and Colorado. When he is not creating himself, he runs the fictional online newspaper The Bear Creek Gazette. His art has been featured in several journals, as well as gracing the covers of several books. Stuart likes to cook, juggle, and listen to music. He suffers terribly from tsundoku  —  the art of buying copious amounts of books that he will never read.

Review

Blue The Green Sky picIntuitive and reflective poems about life, death, nature, humanity with a dose of redemption can be found within these poems. They range from humans to cats and dogs to the smallest insects, such as ants. There are 16 short and sharp poems,with masses of emotion; but what seems quite dark on the surface, sometimes has an underlayer of something that shines a glimmer of light and hope and uplifting in a rather punchy way that brings any surreal demeanour, crashing back down to earth in a moment of divine realism.

There is some humour to be found in “Dear Richard” and an apology in “Ants”. There is love in “A Poem About Everything” that is sure to make your heart soar. You can then be whisked off to Prague and anyone who has been there, will recognise it in a sense. This piece of work is lyrical and will feed on your senses.
Quantum is fun as it casts a shape down in words, but also presents so much, humbling in-depth meaning and love for the universe. There are many more poems to feast your eyes on, with their relatable themes and unexpected twists.

These poems that embrace nature and human-nature will wrap and swirl around you as you read in their surrealist wonderment that simply hooks you into reading them all in one sitting, before wanting to go back and dip in and out of it.

Stuart Buck’s acknowledgements are impressive and in a sense, may also give hope to other budding writers, so do check them out at then end of the book.

Buy Link: https://thebrokenspine.co.uk/product/blue-the-green-sky-stuart-m-buck

An #Excerpt from Empire of Ants by #Susanne Foitzik #Olaf Fritsche @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #Extract #Nature #Ants #Insects #NonFiction #BlogTour

Empire of Ants

The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth’s
Tiny Conquerors

By Susanne Foitzik and Olaf Fritsche
Extract/Excerpt

Empire of Ants Graphic

Ants are amazing insects in my humble opinion and they are a gardener’s friend. They are, like worms, great for the soil. In saying that, there is more to an ant, as tiny as they are, they have been around for centuries. There is more to the ant than meets the eye… Find out more in this excerpt I have kindly been provided with by – RandomThingsTours and publisher Octopus Books for the blog tour.

Empire of Ants cover

Excerpt

Taken from Empire of Ants: The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth’s Tiny Conquerors by Susanne Foitzik and Olaf Fritsche.

Empire of Ants GraphicIf there’s anyone for whom the phrase L’état, c’est moi (“I am the state”) is true, it’s the ant queen. She is the past, present, and future of her colony. She establishes the colony, bears all the ant workers, males, and young queens that live within it, and once she dies, the colony will often perish soon afterward. And to achieve all this, all she has to do is take a trip out her front door.

A QUEEN’S GIRLHOOD

Ant queens are generally made, not born. Excluding a few exceptions, genes rarely play a part in this process. The nannies in the nest nursery follow to a T the recipe for creating “young queens” (as we call them). First, the red wood ants, Formica obscuripes for instance, take one of the winter eggs, laid at the end of the dormancy period necessitated by the cold temperatures. This process is not possible with eggs laid in the summer, for reasons that remain a mystery to science, and don’t seem to bother the ants much either. But the right egg is just the beginning; the wet-nurse ants must also feed the royal larvae a special diet. This must be plentiful and of high quality. If a red wood ant princess receives this cocktail of nutrients within the first three days of her life as a larva, then the die is cast and she is on the path to becoming a hopeful young queen. And she will be queen—along with a couple hundred of her sisters from the noblest caste.

When it comes to the line of succession, ants do not like to put all their eggs in one basket. The risks of something going wrong are many. From the disappointment of no suitable prince being available or a failure to mate, or the lack of an appropriate location for a new nest nearby, to a deadly encounter with a predator such as a woodpecker—which feast on well-fed young queens—there are any number of opportunities for failure and an early demise. According to estimates, only one in 10,000 young queens is successful in founding a new colony.

The young virgin queens have no inkling of this at first. They are far larger than their worker sisters and have no need to work away, boasting two pairs of wings on their backs. What these are good for, however, does not become apparent until a mild day between June and July in North America,

when it is warm enough.

When the moment comes, the whole anthill is seized by a curious unrest, unlike anything seen in the nest. An innate urge forces the flying young queens and males—still around, for once—toward the nest’s exits. Anyone else wanting to follow the call is held back by scrappy ant workers. Only on a secret signal do all the nests of a particular species open their doors to release the reproductive insects all at once, and in one fell swoop the exits are swarming with flying males and young queens. They traipse around somewhat aimlessly and eventually take to the air for their nuptial flights.

The timing of the nuptial flight during the summer depends on the species of ant. Ants of the species Temnothorax nylanderi fly out in the two hours before sundown, while reproductive ants of the species Temnothorax unifasciatus prefer to swarm in the morning, around dawn. These different swarming times ensure that nuptial flights do not result in hybrid couplings between males and young queens of different species. Some ants don’t leave the nest at all: Young army ant queens stay home on their wedding night, awaiting their lovers in the safety of the nest.

The choreography of nuptial flights also varies according to species. Some males move around in thick swarms of young bachelors, appearing like dark clouds from a distance. If a young queen collides with one of these groups, it swiftly descends into an enormous orgy in full flight. Other queens prefer solid ground. They seek out a romantic spot and emit pheromones, scent signals that no male can resist. Young queens can have sex with as few as one or as many as a dozen males—but just this once. Once the wedding day is over, that’s it for life.

This is why the queen diligently gathers as many sperm as she can and stores them inside a special pouch known as the spermatheca. This can hold a few hundred million sperm cells. Not all that many, when we consider that many queens will produce up to 150 million offspring in the next ten, twenty, or thirty years of their lives. A third to a half of these sperms will fertilize an egg and thus contribute to the next generation of ants. This is a considerably better ratio than human sperm enjoy, as only around one in every 250 million human sperm cells succeeds in merging with an egg. Human sperm also have an expiration date of around a month after production, while the cells stored in an ant queen’s spermatheca remain viable for decades.

Once the sun begins to sink toward the horizon, the wedding celebrations are over. These millions of future mothers and fathers have little to say to each other after sex—and very different fates await them.

About The Authors

Empire of Ants Suzanne Foitzik Author Pic

Susanne Foitzik is an evolutionary biologist, behavioral scientist and international
authority on ants. After completing her PhD in ant evolution and behavior and conducting
postdoctoral work in the US, she became a professor at Ludwig Maximilian University of
Munich. Currently, she teaches at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany,
where she studies the behaviors of slaveholding ants and different work roles in insect
colonies. Her findings have been published in over 100 scientific papers to date.

Olaf Fritsche is a science journalist and biophysicist with a PhD in biology. He was
previously an editor at the German-language edition of Scientific American, is the author
and coauthor of many books, and has been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines.

Empire of Ants BT Poster

#Review by Lou of Notebook by Tom Cox @cox_tom @unbounders @RandomTTours #NonFiction #Notebook

Notebook
by Tom Cox

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am absolutely delighted and excited to be on the blog tour for Notebook by Tom Cox. It is humorous, moving and highly engaging. I read it all in one sitting! 

Thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to review and to Unbound for sending me such a beautiful copy.

About the Author

Notebook Tom Cox Author Pic (1)Tom Cox lives in Norfolk. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Good, The Bad and The Furry and the William Hill Sports Book longlisted Bring Me the Head of Sergio Garcia. 21st-Century Yokel was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize, and the titular story of Help the Witch won a Shirley Jackson Award.Tom Cox has 75k followers on Twitter and 25k on Instagram. He is also the man behind the enormously popular Why My Cat is Sad account, which has 250k followers.
@cox_tom

Notebook Cover (1)

Blurb

Sure, sex is great, but have you ever cracked open a new notebook and written something on the first page with a really nice pen?
The story behind Notebook starts with a minor crime: the theft of Tom Cox’s rucksack from a Bristol pub in 2018. In that rucksack was a journal containing ten months worth of notes, one of the many Tom has used to record his thoughts and observations over the past twelve years. It wasn’t the best he had ever kept – his handwriting was messier than in his previous notebook, his entries more sporadic – but he still grieved for every one of the hundred or so lost pages.
This incident made Tom appreciate how much notebook-keeping means to him: the act of putting pen to paper has always led him to write with an unvarnished, spur-of-the-moment honesty that he wouldn’t achieve on-screen.
Here, Tom has assembled his favourite stories, fragments, moments and ideas from those notebooks, ranging from memories of his childhood to the revelation that ‘There are two types of people in the world. People who fucking love maps, and people who don’t.’
The result is a book redolent of the real stuff of life, shot through with Cox’s
trademark warmth and wit.

Notebook (2)

Review

Firstly, got to feel very sorry for the theft of his rucksack on all this writing, but this is a marvellous book that has come from experiencing such a terrible crime.The writing is absolutely exquisite, from the humour to the descriptions. It is such a pleasure to read about these seemingly random things and yet to put the observations into a book in such a way that is the complete opposite of mundane that brings such joy is wonderful and no mean feat, it shows skill as he tells anecdotes that are both moving and such fun. There’s an honest about his recollections and Tom Cox writes as though you could be right beside him or as though you’ve unlocked some written treasures. It has the air of intimacy about it as he tells of many places and days. It makes me smile that he talks of Mansfield and around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire places I know well (and no I don’t live there). He also talks candidly about Norwich and its churches and a ghost walk, before moving onto Norfolk and Somerset and what can be found there. He takes notes on the countryside and nature that can be found in the places he has been to.
The anecdotes throughout the book are humorous and really bring the book to life in the way they are written, whether its about a place, the people, the nature or writing.

There’s so much of life (and death) in the book and so much that is also moving, but it is also incredibly uplifting and is sure to capture people’s humorous side of life and give them a chuckle. As in the style of any notebook, nothing is dwelled on too much and it is jam-packed full of all sorts of curiosities that make it engaging and would defy not to draw any reader in.

The strings of ideas, points of views and observations and thoughts are expertly woven together and yet in the air of a very well-kept notebook, yet raw, honest, no airs or graces and all scribbled down as he sees and thinks things, which is quite a delight for the senses. 

 

Notebook BT Poster (1)

#BookReview of #ChildrensBook -Love Our Earth by Jane Cabrera #JaneCabrera @MacmillanKidsUK

Love Our Earth
By Jane Cabrera
Rated: 5 stars *****

Love Our Earth is perfect for the little ones in your family. Thanks to MacMillan Children’s Books for accepting my request to review.
Follow on down to the blurb and my full review.

Love Our Earth

Blurb

A young and playful picture book about caring for our Earth. With lots to spot and count, and a fold-out surprise at the end!

Meet planet Earth and come on a colourful adventure across mountains, rivers, jungles and oceans. Spot and count the friendly animals along the way. And say hello to the smiling flowers, trees and hills.

Includes a surprise fold-out ending, with simple tips on how to look after our amazing planet.

With warm, playful illustrations from Jane Cabrera and a gentle read-aloud text, this is the perfect introduction to the wonders of life on Earth.

Love Our Earth

Review

What do you see? Come and meet, in gorgeous illustrations, some animals having fun, travel to the jungle, the hills, the desert and the sea and river too. Come and see the flowers and the snow and all around planet earth and read aloud this beautiful short and sweet story. It really is enticing for your little ones as they get to know the world around them and come to love it.

The book encourages children to be observant when reading the book. It’s a book that would be perfect to snuggle with your child and read aloud and see what your child can see as you read along. It lends itself perfectly for some fun and easy interaction as an introduction to what is on planet earth. There is also some fun within the short sentences of the lyrically flowing text, which is also written out in a fun, flowing way, that fits well with how it is naturally read.

#Bookreview by Lou of #ChildrensBook for 5-7 year olds What The World Needs Now: Bees by Cheryl Rosebush @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

What The World Needs Now: Bees
By Cheryl Rosebush
Illustrated by Zuzana Svobodova
Rated: 5 stars *****

First, I took part in the cover reveal. Now I have even more for you. I am starting off the blog to a review of this wonderful book for 5-7 year olds. It’s a sweet, well illustrated story mixed with facts in various ways that will both entertain and add to children’s knowledge.
Thanks to Freshly Press for supplying me with a copy of the book and to Love Books Group for inviting me to review.
Find out more in the blurb and review and discover more about this intrepid author below.

BeesTour

Blurb

Inside the sprawling forests of Ontario, Canada lives a  friendly black bear named Melly. One of Melly’s favourite  things to do is EAT! And many of the delicious fruits she  snacks on wouldn’t grow without the help of some very  important little forest creatures.

What the World Needs Now: Bees! explores the vital role  busy, busy bees play in helping plants to grow the food  people and animals love to eat.

bees Cover_Final RGB

Review

Bees… We all know how important bees are to the environment and to the human and animal race. This bright and very cute book tells a story as to why in a way that children can follow… Children can follow the black bear – Melly, who is in Ontario, Canada. It is however quite a universal, environmental story.
It is fun and cute to explore with Melly through the forest to the berries she eats onto the flowers she plays in to the friends she meets. Throughout it also tells the story of the busy bees and how they help pollinate flowers and food and why that is important. Children can also learn in little segments, away from the main story, in neat fact boxes, about the bear too. There is minor trepidation when chemical pesticides are used, until natural sprays are used instead. It’s an absolutely great story that is pitched very well for 5-7 year olds. They get a cute story, plus facts along the way and at the back there is a great page about bees from around the world and other wildlife species that can be found in Ontario, Canada.

About the Author

What The World Needs Now -author picI was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m aging myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-paneled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me.

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again.

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist.

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

Website: https://www.cherylrosebush.com/

What The World Needs Now – Bees By Cheryl Rosebush @cherylrosebush @freshly_press @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #ChildrensBook

What The World Needs Now – Bees
By Cheryl RoseBush

What The World Needs Now Blitz Banner

Today I have the great pleasure in introducing a wonderful, very exciting, timely children’s book called –What The World Needs NowBees!
Look out for my review coming soon. For now, take a look at the vibrant cover, the fun sounding blurb and some fascinating information about the author and her website.

What The World Needs Now -Bees cover

Blurb

Inside the sprawling forests of Ontario, Canada lives a  friendly black bear named Melly. One of Melly’s favourite things to do is EAT! And many of the delicious fruits she snacks on wouldn’t grow without the help of some very important little forest creatures. 

What the World Needs Now: Bees! explores the vital role busy, busy bees play in helping plants to grow the food people and animals love to eat.

About the Author

What The World Needs Now -author picI was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m ageing myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-panelled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.

I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me. 

The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again. 

September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist. 

So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as a local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.

Website:  https://www.cherylrosebush.com/