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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Out of Australia - David J Delaney

In David Delaney’s third book Out of Australia he uses both conventional poetry and poetic licence to take us on a journey around a vast land. A journey that introduces us not only to wilderness and wildlife but to the way of Aussie life and to a man who understands what it means to be Aussie through and through.

Formerly from Brisbane but now residing in Cairns, David Delaney is an inspiration to many. Having had limited education, including no formal education in writing, David reached his 50’s and wanted to show others that someone like himself, with no higher schooling, could write about life and his love of the land and enjoy it. In May 2007 David released his first book “My small book of poems”, which was done to gauge the reaction of the public. With an amazing response from the likes of John Williamson and Mel from Sunrise, David was inspired to release his second book “Rhymes of Times”.

David Delaney writes from the soul and from his years of experience traveling extensively with his own removal business. His poetry brings to life the history, vastness, harshness and loveliness of this land called Oz. Out Of Australia is the reality of Australian life, the perils put before us by nature and the joys we share as the seasons pass. It is also the love of family and friends that make this book, the poems of David Delaney, touch the heart and speak to the soul.

In his poem Diggers which can be found on page 69 David is able to catch the thoughts and feelings of an Australian Digger who lays awake in the middle of the night, sweating, fearful, wishing his ‘nighttime in the jungle’ would pass.  He captures the heartache and pain of this Digger and the realities of life after returning home.

“ Here I am, awake again, it’s the middle of the night
Lying covered in sweat, heart thumping from the fright
I truly wish they would pass and I no longer see
Nighttime in the jungle, another fight with the VC...”

And who doesn’t remember Cracker Night? That night when not that long ago kids alike caused havoc with those crackers, scaring neighbours, blowing up letterboxes and leaving little girls screaming. In his poem ‘Cracker Night’ on page 119 David takes his readers down that memory lane. 

“I want to tell a story so let me set the scene
T’was some time ago, before “the chasers” and their team...”

Out of Australia by David Delaney has a poem for everyone and for every Aussie occasion. I found myself relaxing, reading, laughing and became engrossed in times long forgotten. Still today, weeks after reading the entire book, I find myself pulling it off the shelf and reading a poem or two. I couldn’t say I have a favourite, they all tell their own little story of the good old Aussie life. David Delaney and his poems show the ‘fair dinkumness’ of the Aussie way. He writes with genuine Aussie spirit, allowing the larrikin in him to shine. There is also the serious side to David Delaney but this blends well with the larrikin, giving balance and truth to his poetry and life.

For those with a love of poetry in their heart or for those who simply want to explore a little bit of the Aussie culture and be taken to places long forgotten, Out of Australia will not only educate but have you pondering Australia’s way.

Five out of five David Delaney for bringing Australia to life in a fair dinkum Aussie way!

ISBN: 978-061546780-1

Available at selected online bookshops or from David by emailing info@davidjdelaney.com

review: Jennifer Deaves

Monday, January 7, 2013

Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Cold pressed, organically grown and harvested in Fiji, Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is not refined, deodorized or bleached, providing a rich natural coconut taste and aroma, with all the health benefits coconut oil has to provide.

There has been a lot of media coverage over the last few months about the benefits of coconut oil, with it being labeled as 'A super food' and 'The healthiest Oil on Earth'

Miranda Kerr has even been reported to say that coconut oil is why she has clear skin, shiny hair and her trim figure.

"I've been drinking it since I was 14 and it's the one thing I can't live without," Miranda said.
"I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea."

The health benefits of Coconut oil are said to include those of reducing fat accumulation in the body and helping to maintain a healthy ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids when consumed as part of a diet. Coconut oil has a rich content of lauric acid, the source of disease fighting fatty acid derivative monolaurin and it does not circulate in the blood stream like other fats, being sent directly to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy.

Reports have been made stating that coconut oil is easy to digest, relieving poor digestion and stomach bloating problems and helping control weight. A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts the metabolism. Participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body's immune system and keep weight off. The Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Coconut oil has also been hailed as being the cure for Alzheimer and as having great dental benefits.

Applying coconut oil directly to your skin is said to help with the aging process, eliminating wrinkles and sagging. It is said to condition your hair, nail and skin. Many report using it daily for an all over healthy glow.

With all that is being said about the wonders of coconut oil we put Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to the test, providing a small group of our reviewers with some to try. Our results were varied as far as taste and smell were concerned, some saying they could not taste it when used for cooking, others saying they could not stand the taste of the food they cooked it in. Some loved the smell or were just fine with it, whilst others said they could not stand the smell. These two factors were a personal preference depending on the individual, however all said it had a better cooking texture than other oils and did not leave behind a slimy, icky residue on utensils. Some stated that they felt it did not leave the gross feeling around the mouth that some oils do. We tested it cooking various food products, including eggs, pancakes and bolognaise, finding it suitable for all.

All our reviewers agreed on one thing. That Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil does have many benefits. One of the biggest benefits found was that of weight control. Used over a period of a month some found it stabilized their weight, when they would usually struggle, whilst others found a minor loss. We did challenge our reviewers to the one tablespoon a day before a meal but none could stomach placing a tablespoon directly into their mouths as reported. I tried placing some in my coffee but, being one who does not like the smell or taste of coconut of any type, could not get my coffee to my mouth. Being a little on the podgy side and seeing and hearing the weight benefits of reviewers I am keen to try the Banaban Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Soft Gel Capsules as these are said to provide the same health benefits but without the taste and smell of the oil. Nature Pacific are proud to be the first company in Australia to develop Virgin Coconut Oil Capsules.

Kelly in Western Australia says: “ I have found so many uses for coconut oil. My husband and two year old son also use it. It is good on my child's eczema . I found it was too strong for cooking as everything tasted of coconut but love it as a hair conditioner. I suffer from mild dandruff and have found it has
helped immensely. I dampen my hair and rub coconut oil into my scalp, wrapping it in a towel and leaving it in for 20 mins. I then wash it out with a natural shampoo. I find I only need a small amount of oil – a little goes a long way.”

Nature Pacific have Kelly's dandruff problem under control, not only in the form of their oil but in the form of their Banaban shampoo and conditioner, which contains 5% virgin coconut oil and is free of
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

Samantha stated: “I personally can't taste the coconut flavour in the foods, but it has been made clear to me that others can. It is very strong in smell when cooking which may be a definite no go for some. I tried to take it in hot water and on a tablespoon, as suggest in internet articles, but could not stomach it. It is definitely a healthier alternative than other oils and one I will continue to use.”

When purchasing Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil at this time of the year it is important to remember that as the weather changes to the hotter summer months so does your Virgin Coconut Oil which will become liquid. If the temperature drops at night below 18C your oil will crystallize and set solid again.This is a completely normal process and shows the purity of your oil. We found this to be the case with our Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. When crystallized it was just a matter of standing the jar in a bottle of warm water to liquidfy it.

Overall our reviewers felt that Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil was a product they would continue to use. When going over the web site we were impressed with the range of products we saw. Nature Pacific has everything covered, from organic food to body products, sensual oil, pet products, stop itch and of course the shampoo, condition, virgin oil and capsules, there is a product that allows all to benefit from the properties of the wonderful coconut oil.

To find out more and purchase products visit www.naturepacific.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Little Book Of Everyday Miracles - Sharon Snir

The Little Book of Everyday Miracles by Sharon Snir brings with it a part of everyday life that is often overlooked and taken for granted. The saying goes that miracles happen every day. This book is one of those books that has you realizing that miracles are around us and experienced when and where we least expect them and without us even realizing they are miracles.

I must admit I was skeptical when this book first landed on my desk. The cover and title looked a little flouncy for me, and being printed in a small format it seemed to get a little lost amongst the other books. It reminded me of a book that I may give my elderly mother or an older person in a nursing home. How wrong I was!

From the moment I picked this little package up I was hooked. It actually held nicely in my hand and felt nice to hold, being soft and glossy with a soft 3D texture to highlight the words and floral design. This feel good feeling carried through to the feel good content. Full of 50 stories based on everyday life, I laughed, oohed, and shared my way through this book with my teenage daughter. I became so engrossed that I even read as I stirred the pot on the stove. Some stories grabbed my heart whilst others left me in disbelief, questioning the events that happen in my life and the meanings behind them. I was left thinking about the 'coincidences' in my life. Were they really coincidences or were they miracles? What exactly is a miracle?

"There's something about miracles that's utterly enticing. Just to hear about a miracle makes you feel more hopeful. It doesn't matter whether this miracle happened to your or to a complete stranger - it can still delight you. It's a delight that lingers, that leaves you with a spring in your step. Suddenly life doesn't seem so difficult. But where are miracles to be found, and how do they come about?

In this beautiful collection of inspiring true stories, everyday people share moments of unexpected courage and kindness, chance meetings and remarkable coincidences, showing us that miracles can take us out of the darkest places and give us the courage to get moving again. They're a divine catalyst, which reminds us that the impossible may just be possible."

I read this book in one day. As a book of short stories it nicely lends itself to that of a coffee table book that can be picked up, read for a moment and placed back down for another moment. This was my intention when I picked up The Little Book of Everyday Miracles. Just a quick read before I cook dinner. Yep, that definitely did not happen, I was hooked.

Did I have a favourite short story? I have to honestly say I enjoyed every one of them for what they offered. Each provided a different insight, thought or lesson. Each left me with a different emotion, but each left me feeling I had to share it with the others in the room.

The Little Book of Everyday Miracles by Sharon Snir left me feeling floaty and free. It left me with hope and vision of a world where miracles do happen, love is bountiful and life has a new meaning. I was saddened as I came to the last story, wanting to find more pages to turn and more miracles to fill my day. They say one should never judge a book by its cover, or at least by your personal interpretation and feeling of the cover.  The Little Book of Miracles certainly had me fooled. I am glad I took the time to pick it up. Five out of Five Sharon Snir!

ISBN: 978-1-74332-133-2


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

A Journey From Lost To Found

Not many books have me crying by page 24 but Wild by Cheryl Strayed certainly did.

Cheryl Strayed is a woman on a journey, one about determination, life and finding yourself.  In Wild, Cheryl captures love, family, friends, relationships and accounts of loss, both mentally and physically, in a way that takes one to hell and back with mixed emotions. At the end of Wild I was left feeling exhilarated, empowered and in awe of this woman's strength and commitment. If Cheryl Strayed can walk eleven hundred miles alone then my goals in life can also be

'At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed though she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's rapid death from cancer, her family grew apart and her marriage soon crumbled. With seemingly nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decisions in her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America – from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington State – and to do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing together a life that lay shattered at her feet.

Strayed's account captures the agonies – both physical and mental – of her incredible journey; hit it maddened and terrified her, and how, ultimately, it healed her. Wild is a brutal memoir of survival, grief and redemption; a searing portrayal of life at its lowest ebb and at its highest tide.'

Cheryl Strayed writes with consistent flow and humor yet provides seriousness to the reality of life. At times she is able to laugh at, and with, herself and the ridiculousness of her life and thoughts.  You see her  as a 'normal' woman with thoughts, feelings and impulses that make you realise that we are all only limited to how we see ourselves and what is put in front of us.

“ I scooted over the carpet and situated myself on my rump right in front of my pack, wove my arms through the shoulder straps, and clipped the sternum strap across my chest. I took a deep breath and began rocking back and forth to gain momentum, until finally I hurled myself forward with everything in me and got myself onto my hands and knees. My backpack was no longer on the floor. It was officially attached to me. It still seemed like a Volkswagen Beetle, only now it seemed like a Volkswagen Beetle that was parked on my back. I stayed there for a few moments, trying to get my balance. Slowly, I worked my feet beneath me while simultaneously scaling the metal cooling unit with my hands until I was vertical enough that I could do a dead lift. The frame of the pack squeaked as I rose, it too straining from the tremendous weight. By the time I was standing – which is to say, hunching in a remotely upright position – I was holding the vented metal panell that I'd accidentally ripped loose from the cooling unit in my efforts” (pg 43)

Thus starts the journey of Cheryl Strayed, her 'Volkswagen Beetle' back pack and those she meets.

Wild contains important and thought provoking messages for all. It provides an insight into the way we look at life and those who pass by us, some staying for a long time, others blessing us for only a moment. It made me think about the things I take for granted and had me assessing my life based on the experiences of Cheryl

On page 143 Cheryl writes “That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant that I too could be undesecrated, regardless of what I'd lost or what had been taken from me, regardless of the regrettable things I'd done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me”

Writing on the day before the fourth of July and with certainty that her friends would be having parties and attending parades, Cheryl brings home the reality that we are 'no more or less significant than a single one of the nameless birds in the trees.'

I found myself engrossed in every page and every word that I read. I laughed, I cried and I felt every emotion with Cheryl. Already on Oprah's Book Club 2.0 inaugural selection of books list I would definitely place Wild in the top five of my best read books of 2012. I was never lost whilst reading Wild but definitely found myself  by the time I had finished.

ISBN: 9780857897756

Published by Atlantic Books

Available online at: www.allenandunwin.com

review: Jennifer Deaves