Jennifer Douglas is a literary publicist who believes in the right of equality for all authors. With a vision of a world where positivity is the norm and negativity is long forgotten Jennifer works alongside authors creating a marketing and publicity plan that meets the needs of the individual.

With years of experience in publicity, public relations and the marketing industry, which includes working with Allen and Unwin and Palmer Higgs Publishing, Jennifer has become a well sort after reviewer. To work with Jennifer is to know you are working with someone who will not hold back on being open and honest about your book and its marketing possibilities.

Having undertaken many courses in writing and poetry over the years Jennifer has a vast knowledge in the field of writing and reviewing, being able to provide an efficient, effective and professional service. As a qualified Early Childhood Educator and a home educating mum with over 16 years experience, she has a passion for quality children's books and educational resources.

Having spent 6 years as the founder and managing editor of two magazines, Good Gabble and Rattling Reviews, Jennifer has an eye for marketing and sales, knowing what the consumer is looking for and how to reach them. She works individually with each client meeting their needs and the needs of their product. She has many years experience in critiquing websites, placing herself in the shoes of the consumer who is browsing. Many clients return time and time again knowing they will be receiving an honest, open and non judgmental review or critique. Jennifer prides herself on providing a friendly, non threatening and personal service. Her clients are able to contact her personally throughout the whole review process.

For further information on the services Jennifer offers please visit her website www.jenniferdouglasliterarypublicist.com. This blog is a review base only.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Eventful Life, Life Stories Of Eventing Champions - Alison Duthie

Beautifully presented An Eventful Life, Life Stories of Eventing Champions by Alison Duthie is a written and pictorial journey into the lives of six Australian eventing riders. It shows the courage and determination it has taken to get to the Olympic medalist level they have achieved. Megan Jones, Sonja Johnson, Shane Rose, Wendy Shaeffer, Stuart Tinney plus up and coming rider Emma Scott are all featured within this book.

Alison Duthie takes the reader into both the private and professional lives of each rider with eye opening grace and compelling intrigue. She shows both the seriousness and fun of the horse business mixed in with all the heartache and pain it takes to get to Olympic medalist level. She shows a group of unique athletes who not only have dedication but a love for what they do – it is in their blood.

These true stories provide background information into what it takes to become a medalist and the hard work and hours of commitment required to maintain that level First and foremost this book shows the understanding and love that this special breed of people have for their horses. With a deep respect and dedication to their four legged friends these unique athletes often go beyond the call of duty to make sure their horses are comfortable and able to compete at this top level. With the love also comes the heartache and pain as horses are injured and lost . And of course there is the commitment by family and friends, the mateship and support between riders and competitors that makes this industry what it is today Above all these are ordinary people with ordinary lives who have worked hard and followed a dream that has lead them to become Olympic Champions.

Having evented to two star level herself, Alison Duthie has done a wonderful job of introducing the world of eventing to those who may not have otherwise bothered. Not being one with a love of horses and having no eventing knowledge I was never at a loss for the understanding of terms or jargon and learnt more than I bargained for in a book that I read mainly for its human interest and Australian content. A background on eventing is provided explaining what it all means for those who find it necessary but I felt that by the time I had got to the back of the book were this is found Alison had already lead me through the eventing process. What I did find helpful was the rider biographies at the end of the book, these allowing me to piece together the history of the riders as mentioned and fill timelines within my head. Tables of Australia's World Equestrian Games Records for Eventing are also included.

This book is a breath of fresh air amongst the normal learn to ride and how to care for your horse books. A welcome diversion for the horse lover who time and time again has searched in vain for something to read on a topic that is overdone in its usual form.

For those who are not horse lovers I recommend you give this book a go. It is more than just a horse book. It is a book of lives, careers, compassion and a group of extraordinary people who, as individuals and a team, go beyond their love of horses to represent their country in an event that deserves recognition for the stamina and sweat that is put into it by both horse and man. As an Australian I am proud of what these people stand for and commend them for their dedication and love of their sport. Until I read An Eventful Life I had no idea what being an equestrian rider really meant.

An Eventful Life , Life Stories of Eventing Champions is a soft back book of 304 pages. Inspiring and uplifting it touches the heart in many places and takes you on an emotional journey. With a cover that catches the eye and words that touch the soul it is Australian, it is history and it is what real champions are made of.

ISBN: 978-098078671-2

Available online at www.palmerhiggsbooks.com.au

review by Jennifer Deaves

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Your Life Manual, Practical Steps to Genuine Happiness - David Ambrose

* As published in Good Gabble Newzine September 2010

 In Your Life Manual, Practical Steps to Genuine Happiness David Ambrose provides a straight forward, easy to read guide to the happiness we deserve in our lives. Full of practical advice and a philosophy that caters for all regardless of  religious beliefs Your Life Manual is motivating and uplifting. Full of personal experiences and scenario's it is easy to relate to everyday life situations.

 David writes: “Life is not meant to be easy. We are meant to confront tests and grow, then confront more and grow further. We can choose some of our challenges and grow faster, or wait idly for life to throw them at us whether we like them or not.”

  He acknowledges that when it comes to self development there is no such thing as one-size-fits all, we all have our own personality and needs. David encourages your right to disagree with anything he has written, encouraging you to analyze your reason for disagreeing. He sees thinking about things as an enriching process, understanding the reasons for your opinions as valuable.

  Divided into four parts (The Philosphy, The Principles, The Transformation and some thoughts and ideas) Your Life Manual walks you through the basics of life and the solid foundations required to reach happiness and take control of your mind. David shows how our outlook and happiness in our lives not only affects our immediate belonging and interactions with our world but that of all around us. He speaks of the “butterfly effect”, how “a butterfly fluttering its wings over a flower in China can set in motion a series of events which will result in a hurricane over the Carribean.”

  For some this book may at first seem challenging and confronting but it will soon provide food for thought and have them questioning their acceptance of the way society functions and how they intend to sit within.

  I started this book with an open mind wondering how it was going to fit into my life. I consider myself to be at peace with  where I am at this current moment and happy with the road my life is taking. I am confident in my choices and happiness abounds me, so how could Your Life Manual create me more genuine happiness than I already had?

  I need not have wondered as I found this book suitable for all regardless of what stage in their life they are at. Your Life Manual is rich, pure stimulation for the mind. It is thought provoking and provides a place for one to assess, reassess and connect with their current life and circumstances, good, bad or indifferent.

  As I worked through the sections I was left questioning my views and the process I have taken to get to where I am today. I delved deeper into the road I am travelling and the road I wish to take. I was left assessing the way I cope with the walls that are placed in front of me. Section three, The Transformation, helped me find my 'self time'. As I worked through the 'sittings' I explored my mind and soul on a level much deeper than I normally would. I was able to explore my being, both negative and positive, in a non threatening way, becoming at one with my future happiness.

  Your life Manual is more than just a book, it is a way of life. Once read you will be empowered to continue along your new found road of happiness, affecting all who you meet. People will relate to the new you in a more positive manner and pay it forward, creating a chain of events that will only be of  benefit to all.

  'The Philosphy' of Your Life Manual speaks of the topics of love, peace, freedom, harmony and happiness. In chapter 10 David speaks of our absolute rights; The right to love, The right to peace, The right to freedom, The right to harmony, The right to happiness. He speaks of the rights to 'all creatures' rather than that of  'all people'. Your Life Manual is about steps that you, the reader, can take to increase all the above experiences in your life while at the same time generating the flow around the world.

  Through Your Life Manual David reinforced my love of life and the importance of balance and happiness within my world. This book is the starting point to a new you. A you that has the skills to continue to find happiness and fulfillment in all you do.

  Winner of the Readers Views 2007 Reviewers Choice Award I highly recommended Your Life Manual, Practice Steps to Genuine Happiness. It will empower you to do everything at the best of your ability finding the happiness within. It will empower you to listen to the messages your feelings convey allowing you to create much more happiness. You will tune into what your feelings are saying making problems easier to process. You will be able to make informed decisions leading to further happiness and empowerment of the mind.

For further information or to purchase your copy visit

review: Jennifer Deaves

Bushfire - Elizabeth Mellor

* As published in Good Gabble Newzine June 2010

Bushfire by Elizabeth Mellor, a reflection of loss, a celebration of life and a book that heals. Having first hand experience of the terror of a bushfire in 2002, Elizabeth writes with truth and detail that takes the reader within the life of Ruby, her family and their hardship and joys.

It all starts on a hot sultry day as Ruby sits under the peppercorn tree with her dog Gypsy. Ruby lives on a property out of town with her mother and her father. Life is soon to change as a bushfire rages across their property. With howling winds, fireballs landing in trees and heat that is described as 'sitting in the middle of a furnace', there is no time for this family to stop as they defend their property and protect themselves against the forces of nature. Ruby hates wearing all the clothing that her parents insist will protect her from the fire but she does not complain. With her lungs filled with smoke and her eyes stinging she unites as a team, with her parents,searching the house for amber's and distinguishing them before fire takes hold. There is little time for the family to stop and no time for sleep as the fire rages through the property.

From the heat and fear of the fire the journey continues as reality sets in and the family are left to clean up the mess left behind and sort out their lives. For days they are alone on their property, with little supplies, left wondering if they where the only lucky ones and hoping that their friends and neighbours are alright. Ruby and her parents, along with Gypsy, soon find themselves amongst others within the community in a camp set up at the local cricket ground. It is here the reader meets the many different characters of the town and is taken on a journey of the affects that the devastation of fire can have on different people. With the use of descriptive detail and emotional statements Elizabeth takes the reader on a journey of heartache and loss, fear and pain but also of joy and elation, mateship and unity. She shows the true meaning of friendship and of community as all work together to help each other get through a time of hardship.

During her time at the cricket ground Ruby meets up with many of her school friends but worries of the whereabouts of her best friend and next door neighbour, Joe. It is not until she goes back to school that she learns, within the playground, of the loss of her friend. This loss is not only felt by Ruby but also by her parents who, over the years, had formed a close friendship with Joe's family. Together Ruby and her family cope with the loss, joining together to remember their friends, the good times they had and returning to the remains of the house where they perished.

The ending of Bushfire is one that leaves the reader feeling an immense loss but also the joy of the celebration of survival and the rebirth of nature. Six months after the devastation Ruby and her parents organise a barbecue for the community at their property. Here they hold a memorial for those friends and family that passed, grieving together, supporting each other. Each takes turns to read the name of a deceased and light a candle in their memory. Tears flow but everyone understands, 'the relief of grieving together was huge'. Finally there were the celebrations. Celebrations of a new life, new friends, new beginnings.

Elizabeth Mellor has done a wonderful job with Bushfire. She has used her life experience combined with her experiences as a qualified social worker and counselor to weave magic into a topic that is often difficult to approach and explain to children. In the early chapters of the book Elizabeth cleverly describes the actions to be taken in the event of a fire and precautions to take to prevent disaster if a fire should hit. In Chapter 2 the reader is introduced to the wearing of fire safe clothing as Ruby and her family dress in their fire gear which includes woolen socks, jeans and long sleeved heavy cotton shirts, they place on their cotton hat and grab their face masks. It is in this chapter that Ruby is given the task of making sure all the windows and curtains are closed and wet towels are placed against all of the outside doors. In Chapter 3, Fire Storm,the reader is introduced to the onslaught of the raging fire. It is here that Jack, Ruby's father, addresses the family describing tasks that must be done to protect themselves and the house. He talks of checking to see that blankets and towels are in the bath, of grabbing buckets and filling them with water and patrolling the house for sparks. Bushfire takes children through the steps of a fire plan, prevention and defense, in a non threatening manner. It is a book that should be read in all classrooms promoting a program of awareness and opening discussions with adults on how to cope in a fire, before it happens and it is too late. Although Ruby and her family experience a bushfire, this book could be used to approach the topic of any sort of fire within any community.

Elizabeth Mellor has written and provides ,as downloads,a parent guide and teachers guide. Both are available free of charge at www.bushfirebook.com.au. Both guides are set out in chapter by chapter format making them easy to follow and use. The teachers guide includes questions and worksheets to be used in conjunction with the book, a valuable resource in any classroom or for the homeschooling family. Also available on the same site is bushfire information containing helpful websites and organisation to contact. The book and guides provide a very useful, informative resource that is well thought out and compliment each other with success
Review: Jennifer Deaves

ISBN: 978-0-646-52891-5

Published: 2010

Bushfire is an inspiring book about a girl named Ruby and her beloved dog Gypsy, who get caught in life threatening fires. Through the book you follow Rudy on her emotional journey. You are with Ruby through the lose of her best friend, the adventure of making new friends and the building of a new life. I felt the heartache that Ruby felt when she found out her best friend had perished in the fires and I felt the warmth of the community spirit as they pulled together.
I found this book enlightening, warming and heartfelt. Once I had finished reading I felt refreshed and close to Ruby. The book has made me more fire aware and I now feel ready if the time ever arises that I'm stuck in a fire. I found the book to lag in some places, but it was easy to pick up again as I was dying to find out what happened in the end.
Elizabeth Mellor has done a wonderful job at writing a touching book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an inspiring read of the journey of life after tragedy.
review: Samantha Lo

Stream Of Consciousness

* As published in Good Gabble Newzine June 2010

The Hip Hop scene in Australia is about to get a shake up with the arrival of Streamlyne ( Joshua Lynagh ), a 21 year old emcee from Mt Gambier S.A.

  With tracks previously being played on radio in Mt Gambier, Adelaide, Melbourne and England, Joshua has recently seen national attention on Triple J’s unearthed, where his songs Lost and Hip Hop 101 both reached No 2.

  Influenced by Australian artists such as The Herd, 360, Pegz, Drapht, Seth Sentry and The Hill Top Hoods, the music of Streamlyne is not only thoughtful but intriguing and captivating.

  “If I can change (their) views on something, or affect them emotionally, that satisfies me. When people tell me that my music has changed their lives, or that they were in tears hearing my music - I love that”

  When asked what influenced his writing Joshua was quick to point out that there are many things.

“ Sometimes I wanna get a message across to people, and music is how I do that. Sometimes there are things I gotta say, or wanna get off my chest, or appreciation I want to show to people”

  Recording from his home, with no soundproof walls, using a Samson USB Condenser Microphone, Streamlyne (Joshua) is  seeking a recording label with the plans of releasing his first album, ‘Stream of Consciousness’, late 2010.

article by Jennifer Deaves

2012 State Of Mind Feat. Demo (Lyrics)

I got twenty twelve state of mind, every hand pay it rignt
Every day take the time, to say the things to make it right
Stop wasting time each day and night there’s such a long way to climb
Spend every hour like the very last day is nigh

Time’s running out so what do you do now
Pegz gave you options but its up to you how
To live it out, have you got some ideas written down?
Or try and find another way, search for a different route
If it’s your last.....day on earth
Would you do something crazy to make it worth it?
Or spend your last 24 sittin whe your turf is
Laugh with your loved ones make the night perfect
Let old emotions and flames resurface
Or go with the flow hit the wave and just surf it
Ride it out and realise your life is now worthless
Or sit around and wonder what was your purpose
Make up for lost time, apologise and make it right?
Solve all the problems that kept you awake at night
Fix everything that you never could mend
Or just sit and just watch, as everything ends...

Every day’s a gift so make the most but make it fit
Sometimes you gotta take the risk, live on the edge be dangerous
What a way to live, every step every breathe
Every second you’re alive while they simply exist
Get on your feet and pump your fist, move the masses
Take them from their lives where they’re ruled by plastic
Eradicate the hate and maybe prove to the youth
That the truth can be told if they move their asses
Or arses, don’t live in the shallows of the past and
Move on from the tragedy of shadows that they’ve cast
Make every second count, battle to defeat your pride
So the ones you leave behind are never left with doubt
Never left without knowing just how you feel about ‘em
Always let them know you couldn’t live here without ‘em
So when the reaper comes you know made a change
And your light will remain, to never fade away

To listen to 2012 and other tracks by Streamlyne visit:


Join Streamlyne on Facebook at:


Enrich Your Lifestyle, Memoirs Of A Homestay Host - Clay Tenni

* As published in Good Gabble Newzine May 2010


 I recently met Clay Henry Tenni in the oddest of situations in a caravan park in South Australia. We both have black Labradore x Kelpie’s which greeted each other openly, leading to a few weeks of human conversation on pets, family, children, writing and life.

  I had no idea that this bubbly friendly gentleman was a bilingual university graduate and published author until he handed me a copy of his book Enrich Your Lifestyle - Memoirs Of A Homestay Host. Upon handing me the book he gave me no indication of its content, just asking that I read it and give my honest opinion.

  That night I read as promised, engrossed from front to back, completing the book in the small hours of the next morning.

    Having never travelled overseas, knowing nothing about homestays or having ever considered running one I read this book with a light interest wondering where it would fit into my life. Had Clay not given me a copy I would certainly have never picked it up, missing the opportunity to be inspired, motivated and uplifted.

  Clay writes with honesty and interest of his experiences as a homestay host. After studying abroad himself under the care of homestay families he set out to turn his own home into an inviting experience for students of other cultures. Within his book he talks not only of his own personal experiences but points out the pitfalls and benefits of a homestay business. You are soon left thinking differently about the spare bedroom in your house.

  Enrich Your Lifestyle, Memoirs Of A Homestay Host is not only a book for those involved, or considering being involved in, the homestay industry but is a book that contains chapters of life experiences that are thought provoking, enlightening and more than often humourous. Within this book I found a feeling of inner calm and acceptance of my life situations both past and present.

   Clay Tenni uses situations and lessons from  his own life to relate messages of positivity and guidance to the reader.He writes of  “expecting the unexpected sometimes because stuff just happens in life.” He provides insight into how “your thoughts have impact on your feelings, which affect your wellbeing and outlook on life in general” He advises to “Think happy and be happy, Think sad and be sad.” He advises that “Prosperity isn’t always measured in monetary terms. It’s really a lifestyle thing!”

  Chapters 14,15 and 16 provide the homestay host with dollar saving tips around the home that not only save the budget but the environment as well. Tips that we all should be considering in our day to day living.

  I closed this book with the finishing chapter leaving me feeling at harmony with myself and with a sense of positive kharma and enlightenment. I didn’t feel as though I had read a book about a homestay business but a book of one man’s life experience’s and his need to not only return the positive experiences he had as a homestay guest to others, but also to spread the positivity of his life to  society as a whole. His messages are clearly those that should be shouted from a mountain top.

Enrich Your Lifesyle, Memoirs Of A Homestay Host is refreshing, welcoming and friendly yet interesting, educational and thought provoking. A journey worth taking that will leave you floating on a cloud of positive thoughts.

RRP: $29.95

Publisher: Seaview Press South Australia

Available from: www.seaviewpress.com.au

Article Jennifer Deaves

Circus Olympia - More Than A Show...........A Community

* As published in Good Gabble Newzine July 2010

  To live in a circus community is to live in a community of trust, friendship and loyalty. With a blend of cultures from all around the globe there is a sense of tolerance, sharing and understanding. There is little time for  fights or judgement. To observe the work of a circus community is to watch a group of individuals who unite together, enjoying the company of each other and life.

  I was recently given a glimpse of the circus life with a behind the scene's tour and a chance to watch a show that will stay in my memory for a long time to come. 

  It was evident that this small community of 29 people are unified with their love to perform and their love of this country. With acrobatics and feats that not only entertain but send a thrill up your spine, there is no time for harsh feelings or bitterness. The Circus Olympia community is built on togetherness and lots of fun.

“There is no boss/employee within this community, it is one big family,” Kyra, my tour host, informed me. “If you have a disagreement you just get over it. There is no time to hold a grudge as the show must go on.”

  Respect and friendship was surely noticed in Kyra's interactions with Chavella, who works in office administration, as they joked light heartedly together. As I observed the community in action I saw a group of people who, although busy, had time to stop, smile and chat amongst themselves. Even though I was an outsider I was instantly made at ease and felt very welcome.

  Having only been touring for 2 years, Circus Olympia is still young. They are small in comparison to other circus's with the youngest performer being 5 years old. Each member or family travel with their own caravan which is either provided by the circus or self owned.

“When you join a van can be provided but if you want to do anything to it, like hang things up, you are best to purchase your own. A bit like renting and buying” says Kyra.

  Circus Olympia are fully self contained with their own bathrooms and washing facilities. All motor homes and vans are a home away from home with the community travelling for 11 months of the year. Many return to family during the one month break over December.

    Of the 29 members in the community there are only 10 who perform with others involved in behind the scenes work, administration, sales and various other roles. All members pitch in together, being versatile in their job, ready to lend a hand when called upon. “When times get tough there is always someone to talk to and someone to help you out” says Kyra

  When the show is over and it is time to move it is all hands on deck as the tent is dismantled, the animals packed up and the caravans hitched and moved. It takes a team of 10 -12 men  6 hours to dismantle the tent but 11/2 days to erect. Moving involves a lot of organisation, with a tight schedule. Circus Olympia keep the distance between show destinations to a minimum so as to not have the animals caged and transported for long periods of time. The animals are the first that the team relocate. A safe open area is immediately set up for them where they are given fresh water and food. It is obvious that they are very much a part of the community and a great companion to all.

  Next time you attend the circus or see them on the road I urge you to stop and think of the lifestyle they lead and what it must take for a community to work so tightly together 7 days a week for 11 months of the year. Circus life – A special life full of special people!

See photo’s and read a review of the show at  http://gabblingaroundaustralia.blogspot.com

article Jennifer Deaves

Oozing Arts - Sherryl Clarke

* As published in Good Gabble Newzine July 2010
Sherryl Clark

 Australian Author and Poet

  If you have children you may of heard of Sherryl Clark, a successful Australian author and poet. If you read a lot of poetry you are sure to have come across some of Sherry's work over time.

  Born in New Zealand in 1956, Sherryl first came to Australia in 1978. In 1981 she moved to Melbourne and attended a creative writing class at the Footscray Women's Learning Centre. This lead to a study of an Arts Degree at Deakin University.

  Sherryl then moved into the area of community writing. She became an active member of Victorian Community Writers and taught writing workshops, whilst also becoming the writing and publishing officer at Footscray Community Arts Centre for 6 years. Her first writing class soon developed into an ongoing women's writing group, Western Women's Writers, who still today continue to produce the only women's poetry magazine, Poetrix.

  In 1996 Sherryl began writing for children. Her first book 'The Too-Tight Tutu' was published by Penguin in 1997 as one of the first Aussie Bites. She has since had titles published within the Aussie Nibbles and Aussie Chomps series. Her book series 'The little Pirate' and 'Tracey Binns' both have their own websites.

 Sherryl has had over 40 children's and YA books published in Australia and several in the US and UK.

  Poetry can also be added to Sherryl's list of achievements, having written a vast amount over the years. She has two collections published by Pariach Press – 'Edge' and 'Thicker Than Water'. This has lead to her expanding into writing poetry for children, with her first poetry collection 'Farm Kids' being published by Penguin in 2004. Farm Kids went on to win the 2005 NSW Premier Award for Children's Writing. Since Farm Kids Sherryl has written two more verse novels – 'Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!)', honour book in the 2008 CBA Awards and 'Motormouth', published March this year.

  Today Sherryl's time is spent between teaching, speaking at conferences, visiting schools and participating in events such as the MS Readathon and children's book events. Sherryl does hope to eventually write full time but can't imagine giving up teaching altogether.

 To find out more about Sherryl, her books, Poetrix Magazine or to link to 'The Littlest Pirate' and 'Tracey Binns' websites visit: www.sherrylclark.com

article Jennifer Deaves