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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oscar's Way - Elizabeth Mellor

Photograph: Samantha Lo http://samlophotography.blogspot.com
Oscar's Way by Elizabeth Mellor is a book of adventure and fun that has the reader turning page after page. Suitable for both the young and old, the imagination is taken on a journey through the Australian bush with characters that touch you with their charisma and soothing style.

   Oscar is a blue tongue lizard who lives beneath the house of the Brown family, but he is no ordinary blue tongue, he loves to spend his days pondering and mulling over the meaning of life and why he was placed in this world. Oscar realizes he is different to other blue tongue lizards and although he has tried hard to be like the others he just hasn't managed it. Knowing this about himself Oscar makes an important decision.He will call himself a creature rather than a blue tongue lizard and refer's to himself as a b-t-l.

   Jambie is a bedraggled, just out of the nest, possum who won't sleep during the day so is left under a tree by her mother to 'work it out'. This is were Jambie is standing, sobbing and unhappy, when Oscar finds her. Feeling Jambie may be a 'creature' just like him Oscar befriends the possum, inviting her to his place for a cuppa. So begins a friendship between two unlikely creatures who set out on an adventure of a lifetime, “to the hill a long way off in the distance past the creek that has a couple of trees on the top.”

   The adventures of Oscar and Jambie are ones of friendship, trust and positive messages. Written with a meditative style Elizabeth takes the characters through many tests and trials as they meet other animals of the bush. There is Samuel a copperhead snake, Gus a white cockatoo, Claude a wedge tailed eagle and Jax a kookaburra, to mention a few. Each have their own personality that not only fits their description but allows them to play important roles in the messages the book holds.

   Full of positivity and enlightenment, Oscar's Way provides important messages about being different, accepting  ones self, and others, and about finding your way in life. With lines like “ I am who I am and I will be who I will be” and  “Your life is valuable, so take care and don't waste it.” messages are clearly  directed at the reader but woven into the character.

  Written simply but with depth Elizabeth Mellor has created a work of art that is sure to become a classic as the years pass. This is a book that will be handed down through generations of families and shared together by young and old.

  I loved this book. I became engrossed in the words, the characters and the plot. I eagerly turned page after page relating to both Oscar and Jambie on different, but personal, levels. As character became part of their lives they also became part of mine. This book has it all – adventure, spirituality, enlightenment, love, hope and unity.

ISBN: 1-920892-91-5
Available online at: www.awakeningnetwork.net

review: Jennifer Deaves

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zoe's Puppy - Joel Hart

Illustrations Melissa Daw

* as published in November 2010 Good Gabble Newzine

photograph: Samantha Lo

  A story of love, family, friendship, growing up and loss, Zoe's Puppy by Joel Hart is sure to touch the hearts of children and adults alike. Colourful illustrations by Melissa Daw compliment a story with messages that are sure to heal.

  “One beautiful Autumn Day” Zoe is born. Each birthday Zoe is given a stylish item that relates to a dog. On her third birthday she is given a real puppy that her mum and dad got from the pound. They name her Pooky. As Zoe grows so does Pooky, each enjoying the journey of love, friendship and family. Shortly after Zoe's eighteenth birthday Pooky becomes ill and dies thus beginning the journey of loss, memories and moving on. Zoe soon marries and has a daughter of her own, Kayla. On Kayla's third birthday she is given a dog. Pooky lives on in the hearts and minds of the family.

  With the main message of Zoe's Puppy being that of  loss I found this book to be of use in many area's. Hidden within is the message of  love and the unity of family. The love of parents and a child and the love of a pet. On each page, as Zoe grows, the words and illustrations compliment each other to show the changes as we age and mature and a time line of events within our lives. Not just do Zoe and Pooky grow but the events within their lives and surrounding change with them showing the adventures and  patterns of the change. A gentle way of dealing with the messages of life, Zoe's puppy helps children deal with changes around them and heal in times of loss.

  Zoe's Puppy is the third book to be written and illustrated by the team of Joel Hart and Melissa Daw, following Joseph and the Magical Moose and Edward's Watch Mouse Experiment. With an Australian author, illustrator, publisher ( Watch Mouse Publishing ) and printer ( Copy Magic), Zoe's Puppy is sure to appeal to a large range of audience.

ISBN: 978-0-9807924-0-9


Review: Jennifer Deaves

An Interview With Joel Hart - Australian Children’s Author
 Completing a teachers degree in at Flinder's University in South Australia, Joel Hart is using his love of literature and education skills to provide quality children's books. Teaming up with illustrator Melissa Daw, Joel's three books, Joseph and the Magical Moose, Edward's Watch Mouse Experiment and Zoe's Puppy, are sure to instill a love of books and reading in children of all ages.

   Along with teaching and wtiting Joel, accompanied by Melissa, is spending time conducting writing workshops for children during the school holidays. During these workshops the children work in groups going through the process of planning drafting, illustrating and publishing their own picture book narrative. The next workshop witll be held in Fremantle WA during January 2011.

  Good Gabble asked Joel the following questions:

  Were did your teaching career first start  and were have you taught?

  I started my teaching career in Adelaide in 1991. Since then I have taught in Perth, Kalgoorlie, Coonana Aboriginal Community, Ravensthorpe and now Fremantle. I  have been teaching in the Fremantle area for 6 years.

What would you say is the most rewarding thing about being a children's author?

  I love watching children engaged in my books and telling me about their favourite parts and characters. That's the ultimate reward.

  As you promote your  newest book Zoe's Puppy has there been any single event that has left a memorable moment in your mind?

  Zoe's Puppy is a little sad but quite uplifting at the end. A friend of mine read the story to her son who had recently lost his grandmother and thought the story had helped them both. It was quite satisfying to hear that because this is the intention of the book.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

  I always thought that one day I would write a book and probably a children's book. Mem Fox was one of my lecturers at Flinders University in the late 80's and looking back, I can see that she was the one who planted the seed. It wasn't until my first son was born in 2002 that the inspiration came. My first book is called Joseph and the Magical Moose. My son's name is Joseph and the moose idea came from a little stuffed moose that sits in a ceramic bowl at our house. That moose has been there for 12 years!

What lead to you becoming a published author?
  A lot of determination and a belief that the material was good enough to be published. It's important to get feedback, particularly from people who aren't your friends because friends will often say what you want to hear, or at least a watered down version of what they really think. A good editor will give you the honest feedback that you may not want but need. Sue Moran from Dramatically Correct is my editor and she is fantastic!

What do you hope your books achieve?

I just want my books to be read and enjoyed by as many children as possible. There are a lot of laughs in the first two and I hope Zoe's Puppy can assist children that have experienced loss and help them move on.

What words of wisdom would you give to another who hopes to one day become a published children's author?

Don't be disheartened with knock backs from publishers. It doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have good material. Publishers have quotas, text lengths and genres they're looking for and there is a good chance that your story just doesn't fit the criteria. Get feedback from your target audience and make sure you are writing for a target audience. Ask yourself, 'Who's going to read this?' You might be interested in albino yaks from southern Mongolia but the audience might be thin. If you're writing children's books, make them fun, dynamic and with no boring bits. You have to keep children turning the page. Create plenty of visuals in the text, even if you are using illustrations. Roald Dahl did this well. Also, treat children like intelligent human beings. They are capable of understanding a lot more than adults often give them credit for.

Is there an author you admire and who keeps you motivated?

Well there's a lot more than one, but Roald Dahl is definitely my favourite. I also love Paul Jennings, Mem Fox, Graeme Base and Rob Scotton.

If you had to give a message of positivity to someone else what would it be?

Believe in yourself and take any advice as an opportunity to improve.

For further information on the workshops and to get the latest news on Joel visit him at: www.joelhart.weebly.com

article: Jennifer Deaves