Dawn Brookes Publishing

Publishing Topics by author Dawn Brookes

Category: Children’s Books

Happy New Year!

Starting a New Year 2018

It is always exciting to start a New Year and reflect on the one that has passed. Last year was my first full year as an author and I enjoyed every minute of it. The learning curve has been huge and I still have so much to learn, particularly around book marketing which is really not my favourite activity!

2017 was very exciting and I can’t believe that I published eight books including a second in my series of memoirs around my nurse training. Hurry up Nurse 2 is proving popular.


My first memoir ‘Hurry up Nurse: memoirs of nurse training in the 1970s‘ is my bestselling book and it reached ‘Bestseller’ status on Amazon US last year. I am thrilled today to see that it has now received that all important ‘Bestseller’ ribbon on Amazon UK. What a great start to the New Year! I guess people are enjoying some reading time and spending their book and kindle vouchers that they had for Christmas!

My second bestselling book is the second of the Hurry up Nurse series and I am pleased with reviews for both books.

Plans for this year

I am in the process of writing my first novel which is set on a cruise ship. I have been on a number of cruise holidays and thoroughly enjoyed all of them so I wanted to write novels that are set around cruise ships. I haven’t got a title for this one yet as it is still evolving!

I will be publishing a third in the children’s Ava & Oliver series in the spring. This will be Ava & Oliver’s London Adventure.

My third memoir will be around my midwifery days and I hope to publish this in the late spring or early summer! It will be called Hurry up Midwife.

Ambitious plans then for 2018, I would love to hear what yours are.

Reading Challenge

I want to read a lot more this year too. I used to read a lot but when working in the health service it was hard to fit in leisure reading except during the holidays because I had so many text books and professional journals to read in order to keep up-to-date.

Do you like to review?

I am looking for experienced reviewers, book bloggers and journalists who would be happy to receive Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of books in each of my series of books. If you are interested in providing genuine and honest reviews and willing to commit yourself to reading an ARC, please contact me via the Contact Form on this website.

I would also love book bloggers and journalists to review any of my published books. Please let me know which book and format you would like to receive via the contact form.



Hurry up Nurse 2

Early Readers

Ava & Oliver Series

Christmas Nativity

Christmas Nativity

I found this video recently and as I am about to publish a children’s Christmas Nativity adventure, it seemed rather apt, albeit nothing like my book! I thought it would be fun to share.

An angel came to see Mary. She was doing the laundry and then the angel appeared and she was really scared. So, Gabriel was like, “Mary, you’re gonna have a baby…I, uh…You’re gonna have a baby and you will call him Jesus. And then Mary like, “I’m not gonna have a baby yet, I’m only a teenager and I’m not married.”

Then the angel Gabriel told Joseph that, “Mary was not lying.” She..you..are having a baby. And so they met up. They went to Bethlehem, which was in Joseph’s old town. They ride a donkey. “This donkey’s fast.” They tried to go to a hotel and they asked the inn keeper for a place to stay.

And the keeper said, “We have no rooms…literally, no rooms.” So Mary and Joseph walked away sadly but then he said, “The only place here in Bethlehem that you can stay is a stable” and then he just pointed the way and they followed.

While the shepherds were taking care of the sheep, they saw an angel. The angel said, “A new baby is getting born…who is king of the Jews!” The angels were singing, “Glo…oh…ohoo…ooo oooo…oooo…ooooo…rius.” And then the shepherds said, “I think we should go and meet ’em.” Second, I think said, “I agree with you.” And the other said [Sigh], “Yeah, me too.” They had to walk through a bunch of grass and bushes. Maybe had to camp out a night.

And then the wise men heard about it… and then a star appeared. “We should probably follow that star. It’s pointing down to that barn.” “So, maybe we should follow it.

Maybe..” So, the wise men went to Jesus They gave them gifts… A stuffed animal…like a hippo one. I have at home… some nappies, and some wipes, and some milk. Gold, Frankenstein, and myrrh. And I don’t know how I would survive in that barn… too stinky too crowded. Thank you for coming.

He’s adorable! He’s going to be our best friend. I love you…and…you are the best baby I have ever seen. There, I said it. The new baby is going to change the world….

I thought it would be a bit of fun to share this video and script with you as it made me smile.

As found on Youtube

Ava & Oliver’s Christmas Nativity Adventure


Ava & Oliver’s Christmas Nativity Adventure will be the second book in the Ava & Oliver adventure series for kids.

This time the children are preparing for a very special Nativity play with some very unusual castings. They are hoping that all will go well on Christmas Eve when they perform but animals are unpredictable!

The first book, Ava & Oliver’s Bonfire Night Adventure is available on Amazon in kindle and paperback.

Products from Amazon.co.uk


    Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night – Pocket History

    Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night – Pocket History

    I found an interesting video about Bonfire Night History that I thought I would share.

    The Year 1605 to Now!

    It’s November 5th and the night is full of fire and explosions, but don’t be alarmed. This is the annual British event called ‘Bonfire Night’. So what’s the story behind the fires and pyrotechnics? Well, we have to go back to the time of King James I in the 17th Century to find out. The main character to remember here is one Guy Fawkes – a member of a group of 13 English Catholics who took part in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born in York, England, and as a soldier fought on the side of Catholic Spain against the Protestant Dutch Reformers. Because of his skills with explosives he caught the eye of a man called Thomas Wintour who, back in England introduced him to Robert Catesby, the leader of a group of influential Catholics. Now, Catesby had a plan to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne of England.

    To accomplish this dastardly deed, the plotters bought the lease to an undercroft (a large cellar) beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the 36 barrels of gunpowder they put there. The idea was that on the day the King opened Parliament, there would be a large explosion and a sudden vacancy for a new Catholic monarch. However, because of the receipt of an anonymous letter, perhaps sent by one of the plotters, the authorities searched Westminster Palace during the early hours of 5 November, and found Fawkes guarding the explosives. Over the next few days, he was questioned and tortured, and eventually he broke, naming the rest of the plotters.

    Gruesome Executions

    Some of these were killed, others caught and sentenced to death for treason. At this time Britain used a particularly gruesome method of execution where prisoners were hung, drawn and quartered followed by having their heads removed and spiked somewhere in London. Interestingly, Fawkes managed to escape this painful fate because he jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck.

    Bonfire Night

    So Guy Fawkes became the symbol of the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been celebrated in England since 5 November 1606. The tradition of marking the day with the ringing of church bells and bonfires started soon after the Plot’s discovery, and fireworks were included in some of the earliest celebrations. In Great Britain, the 5th of November is called Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night and his effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, usually accompanied by a firework display. These lines from a nursery rhyme of the period have become famous:

    Remember, remember!

    The Fifth of November,

    the Gunpowder treason and plot;

    I know of no reason

    Why the Gunpowder treason

    Should ever be forgot!

    Guy Fawkes and his companions

    Did scheme contrive,

    To blow the King and Parliament

    All up Alive.

    Threescore barrels, laid below,

    To prove old England’s overthrow.

    But, by God’s providence, him they catch,

    With a dark lantern, lighting a match!

    Not a nice end for Guy and his followers but nevertheless, many lives were saved on November 5th 1605, including those of King James I and all of Parliament and many people who would have been in the vicinity on that day.

    As found on Youtube

    For great children’s book including Bonfire Night facts

    Products from Amazon.co.uk


      Bonfire Night & Guy Fawkes

      Bonfire Night & Guy Fawkes

      Ava & Oliver's Bonfire Night Adventure

      Every year on November 5th most people across Great Britain celebrate Bonfire Night. Apparently many children (and adults) are unaware of the history behind the celebrations. Most people do know that it is linked to Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up Parliament.

      King James I and VI

      Ava & Oliver's bonfire night adventure

      17th century royalty was all powerful but also precarious due to various plots and divisions across Great Britain. James’s mother was Mary, Queen of Scots and he became king of Scotland in the late 16th century. When Queen Elizabeth I died, he also succeeded her. He was then known as King James I in England and King James VI in Scotland.

      King James became most well known for sponsoring the translation of the Bible into English – the King James Bible is still used in many churches throughout the English speaking world, although modern translations have largely replaced it.


      Guy Fawkes

      Guy Fawkes was a radical catholic who joined with others to plot against the king. They wanted to restore a Catholic to the throne and planned to blow up Parliament during State opening where the King would be in attendance. The opening of Parliament had been delayed until November 5th, 1605 due to fears of the plague spreading.

      Ava & Oliver's Bonfire Night Adventure

      Image Copyright Dawn Brookes

      Guy was not the leader of the group but he was the one caught guarding the gunpowder that was to be used. Someone had tipped off the Government and later the King and following a search of the under-buildings, Guy was found, arrested, tortured and executed.

      Traditionally he would have been hung, drawn and quartered but he managed to leap off of the platform and break his own neck, preventing this barbaric execution.

      Bonfire Night Tradition

      After the failed Gunpowder Plot, celebrations began every year on November 5th and an effigy of Guy Fawkes, known as a guy was burned on a bonfire. As fireworks were developed, the celebrations became more and more lavish in future years.

      Children would make a guy each year out of old clothes stuffed with newspaper – usually the guy was given an ugly mask but in later years the heads became less horrid. Children would often take out their guy, leading up to bonfire night and ask people for ‘a penny for the guy.’ I remember doing just that throughout my childhood and I would use the money to buy sparklers or chips for Bonfire Night.

      Halloween or Bonfire Night?

      In many ways, Bonfire Night has been eclipsed by Halloween as far as children are concerned. Most children these days appear to go ‘trick or treating’ rather than making an effigy and asking for a ‘penny for the guy’. For the most part though, Bonfire Night continues to be celebrated with bonfires and fireworks and due to the proximity of Halloween the fireworks seem to start earlier and earlier, culminating in the grand finale on November 5th.


      This has been only a short description of the history surrounding Bonfire Night – the true history involves much more complexity and many other people who were involved in the plot. Guy was the one caught with the gunpowder and so he has become the most famous.

      Many people still burn guys on top of bonfires but it is a tradition that is waning as many bonfires do not feature a guy at all. Some people are calling for a ban on firework sales to the general public due to the number of injuries that occur every year – but for now the tradition continues.

      Ava & Oliver’s Bonfire Night Adventure

      Early Readers

      70 page picturebook

      In this story, two friends are asked to make a guy for that will be burned on the village bonfire. Ava & Oliver and Oliver’s dog, Buster grow increasingly attached to the guy. As bonfire night approaches, they are filled with dread. What will happen to their guy?

      This is by far my favourite writing so far and the book has been beautifully illustrated. It will educate young children about some of the history whilst creating a magical story of friendship as the children realise that there may be more to their guy than meets the eye!

      Suitable for:

      Early readers, 4-7 year olds.


      Now available in paperback and kindle format.

      Products from Amazon.co.uk

        Images not attributed are used care of Creative Commons license from Pixabay.