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, February 19, 2013

Ding Duck I Want To Fly! by Gary Clark

How does Australian Cartoonist Gary Clark so easily take one duck and give him loads of personality that has you laughing and smiling from page to page?

Ding Duck I Want To Fly! is a book that entertains the young and the old. I definitely had to fight my household during the review process to get access to the book. Every time I placed it on the table and left the room I would return to the sound of snickers from the office chair as someone had ‘jumped in my grave’ to get their part of Ding. Even my 5 year old loved the adventures this cute, yet rather daft Duck provided. Ding Duck definitely stands in a league of his own. After 30 years will he ever fly successfully?

To be honest with you I have never been into cartoons. As a child the cartoon section of the newspaper really never held my interest. I was quiet willing to let my older brothers have them first. In later life I found myself in love with a man who is not only an artist and cartoonist but also an aviation nutter. I was soon put in my place. As time has progressed I have found myself involved in a world of visual characters that charm and entertain and a world where my feet are not always on land. Ding Duck I Want To Fly! was my initiation into the world of a comic books.

In Ding Duck I Want To Fly! Gary Clark gets your imagination and visual cues stimulated with a Ducks eye view of the Swamp on a typical day. Bright, busy and comical the reader is taken into the world of the characters, followed by a brief introduction to the Swamp Support Cast and Aircraft within. For a novice like myself I enjoyed this initial journey. I went into the rest of the book feeling like a Ding Duck pro.

Gary writes “ This book is a snapshot of the wonderful and diverse world of aviation...It is about Commercial Air Transport, Military Jets, Helicopters, Aerobatics, General Aviation, Recreational Flying, and ....Duck. Mostly it’s about Duck aviation...In particular one unique Duck named Ding.

Despite receiving over 5000 flying lessons and many attempts, Ding Duck still can’t fly. But that doesn’t stop him trying and failing and trying again.

The Swamp that Ding calls home features two good runways, an Air Traffic Controller, a Flying School and a host of other assorted wildlife including all the other Ducks who get to do what Ding is hoping to do himself one day...Fly South for the Winter with all the other Ducks.

As you follow Ding’s daily life cycle of flying attempts, failures, flying lessons, theory classes, exams and everything else that goes on in this feathered parallel world to the other less natural , mechanical form of aviation you will discover a wonderful truth: There is little difference between these two worlds and there is much humour to be enjoyed in both."

It seems Gary Clark knows his work well. If there is a word stronger than humour then it would refer to the work of Gary Clark and Ding Duck. From the beginning to the end of laughed and Ismiled. There is no feeling down in the dumps when Ding is around. This duck has stolen my heart. He is cute, determined and doesn’t really need to do or say much to have you wondering about the logic of life. Ding is a Duck that has something to say that will touch a nerve in everyone. Having no aviation knowledge, except for that of the fact that planes take off and land, I still found myself welcome and with friends when visiting the Swamp.

Ding Duck I Want to Fly! is a beautifully presented, high quality A5 publication. Its glossy colourful and humorous cover welcomes all that hold it. The professionalism and understanding of the industry by publishers Martin Leeuwis Publications, who have been publishing books with aviation humour, anecdotes and cartoons since 1982, shines through. My copy has been used and abused over the last few months yet shows no sign of wear and tear. The quality of the book meets the quality of the contents making the overall reading experience enjoyable. At 160 pages and with a recommended retail price of $18.50 it is money well spent.

I couldn’t put Ding Duck I Want To Fly! down, finishing it in one sitting and being left with wanting more. It was nice to have a book that the family could discuss, share and laugh about together. My 5 year old already had her heart set on being an artist like daddy and Ding Duck and Gary Clark have certainly enhanced that dream, whilst introducing her to the world of reading and books.
This book has left me envious of Gary Clark and subscribing for my daily Swamp email. Guess who is getting Gary Clark Ding Duck Aviation products for his birthday and Christmas? Oh and I think I have found just the spot on a wall in my house for the Ding Duck About To Fly framed print or comic strip signed by Gary Clark.

If only I was as clever and creative in both my writing and my art as Gary. All I can do is listen to the sound advice of Ding Duck as he shouts loud and clear ‘If you fail try and try again... you never know one day you may succeed’

Grab your copy of I Want To Fly!, your Gary Clark merchandise and a free subscription to the daily Swamp email at www.swamp.com.au

ISBN: 9789490008123

review: Jennifer Deaves

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Other Side of the Ledger - Ruth Miller

'While one of the keys to life may be in keeping the balance between the yin and the yang, the pros and the cons, the plusses and the minuses; and while there may always be three sides of a story – yours, mine and the truth; there are only two sides of a ledger – the debit and the credit. Or that's what we are told.......

Humorous and intriguing accounts of office shenanigans, corruption and ambition gone too far are expressed in vignettes based on many real life experiences that are common part of office culture world wide. Heavily laced with a good dose of tongue in cheek and wicked humour, The Other Side of the Ledger will weave its magic spell and keep you enthralled, amused and wanting more”

Initially I wondered how I was going to handle this book. I had visions of pages filled with the bitchiness of office gossip. The he said, she said, they did world of female office staff with nothing better to do. How wrong I was. The Other Side of the Ledger has a story for everyone. Humorous at times yet thought provoking, it is an easy entertaining read. The Other Side of the Ledger is full of real life stories that take you on a different journey through the corporate world and the thoughts and actions of the female staff that keep the cogs turning. From office friends and affairs, to working around family life, traveling abroad and the balance of life, love and loss of employment, The Other Side of the Ledger has it all. It speaks of the reality of the day to day grind of office workers in a light hearted and fun manner.

It is obvious that Ruth Miller knows the world of the working woman and the office. The Other Side of the Ledger is written with professionalism, style and truths of the working world. Ruth has not held back but allowed the reader to take a step in the door of each individual office scenario, taking them through the motions, emotions and hustle and bustle that each day brings. When reading The Other Side of the Ledger I laughed and I related. Having worked in an office myself I could all too well relate to the squabble, cat scratching drama that embraced a group that too often competed against each other. Of course there is also the love, friendship and goal driven desires.

One thing that did leave me wondering about this book is the use of a subtitle underneath each chapter (short story) title. As I reached each chapter I would scratch my head trying to work out the reason why this was done, going back to the previous to see if I was missing a link between the two. Have I missed something that may be a vital part to the book? Each subtitle starts with the prefix 'un'. There is undulating progressions, unintentional indiscretions, undiminished services, undeniable ineptitude, unacceptable hypocrisy and the list goes on. By the end of the book I was all 'un'ed out. These subtitles set the mood for each chapter and as I became irritated by the 'un' I became a little annoyed with the book. I found each story spoke for itself, subtitle not needed.

Overall, I was impressed with the feel and presentation of this book. The cover is glossy and smooth, feeling soft to the touch and pleasant to hold. The presentation is plain and simple but clearly gives a visual cue of the topic within. It leaves one with enough information to set the scene, invoking an inquisitive mind which leads to reading the back blurb and turning the pages. If only all of life was as simple, plain and entertaining as The Other Side of the Ledger.

So did The Other Side of the Ledger weave its magic spell and keep me enthralled, amused and wanting more as it claims. I do not know about weaving a magic spell as such or keeping me enthralled but it kept me amused, entertained me and held my attention enough for me to continue to read from front to back. It was a non threatening relaxing read that allowed me to remove myself from the grind of my own life and take myself into the world of others. The Other Side of the Ledger is a book that every woman, from all walks of life would understand and enjoy, after all what woman doesn't like a bit of gossip.

ISBN: 978-064658982-4 

RRP: $24.95

Available online: www.palmerhiggsbooks.com.au

Review: Jennifer Deaves 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Get Drenched

With A Loved One This Valentines Day

Get Drenched are the Australian distributors of Bomb Cosmetics, a UK based company who only use natural products, butters and oils to create little luxuries that not only pamper but enliven the skin. They are against animal testing and believe that neither animal, human or the environment should suffer for our luxuries. All products are hand made rather than machine made, giving them all an individual personality and love.

A visit to www.getdrenched.com.au is a step into paradise. A soft visually appealing site, Get Drenched had me wanting to reach into my computer and devour the products. Soaking in a bath has never looked more enticing. With bath treats, shower treats, skin care, homemade soap, massage bars,essential oils, candles and gift packs your bathroom is sure to become the favourite room in the house, your little oasis that takes your senses on a holiday that they never wish to return from.

With Valentines Day approaching we test ran a group of products that not only say I love you but show  how important your loved one is to you. What better way to let them know they deserve only the best than with a sensual soap, bath bomb and candle from Get Drenched. There is no more romantic way to spend Valentines Day than sinking into a warm bath together filled with the sexy, softening aroma of  Roses, whilst a Love Rocks Candle sets the mood. Not only do Get Drenched products smell divine but they look delicious as well, providing that all over sexy, sensual, feel good experience.

This Valentines Day forget the chocolates and roses, they are done and dusted. Consider checking out the following products at www.getdrenched.com.au

Crazy Cupid Handmade Soap with Essential Oil
Beautifully packaged in a clear wrapper this soap has a red love heart situated within. This soft romantic look of this soap carries through to the feel and smell. We were surprised when we unwrapped it. We did not expect the velvety soft feel we found. To hold in your hand  dry  is a divine feeling but to rub it over your body moist is a textual experience fit for the gods. Soft, with a subtle aroma of Lavender, Chamomile and Ylang Ylang this soap leaves you feeling relaxed, revitalized and ready to release the 'crazy cupid' within.

Sweet Love Bath Tulip

Well what can we say about this one but Wow! What an aroma, one of  love and lust for your Valentine. There were two things we loved about this bath tulip. One was the fact that it was so easy to use. Simply pop it into a warm bath, allow it to dissolve for a short while and then remove. The second was that it lasts for up to three uses. It is easy to store in between use by simply placing it back in it's patty pan wrapper. This tulip presents itself as a beautiful cup cake decorated with pink glittery icing and a love heart. The perfect way to show your 'cup cake' you care.

Love Rocks Truly Sensual Candle

There is nothing more sensual than bathing by candle light. This Love Rocks Candle presents itself in a tin for safe use. The  tiny pink love hearts situated around the edge add to the gentle loving feel. The placement of the hearts means they do not burn away immediately but sit as a reminder of your love time and time again. Hand crafted this candle is infused with seductive Ylang Ylang and Geranium to help set the mood. This is a long lasting candle that has a burning time of 30 – 35 hours. We found this candle to have a good quality wick that, unlike cheap nasty candles, continued to burn even when it reached the wax. It sits nicely on a bathroom shelf and with a lid for storage the concern of dust imbedding itself within the candle when stored is eliminated.

Sensual Rose Gift Set

This boxed gift set includes a Rose Bath Creamer, Darling Buds Bath Blaster and Rose Shower and Bath Oil.

The Rose Bath Creamer is infused with pure geranium and lavender essential oil and over 20% cocoa and shea butter. Simply pop it in the bath and listen to it's soft relaxing fizz. As you sink your body into the bath you instantly feel the soft moisturizing affect that the cocoa and shea butter have on the skin.

The Rose Shower and Bath Oil provides a slightly oilier effect than that of the cocoa and shea butter restoring oils to a more dry skin. Infused with pure geranium, ylang ylang and rose essential oils it definitely relaxes the senses. We found this great on a loofah in the shower. Presented in a clear bottle with floating rose petals this oil is great sitting on the shelf and can be used on the hands when they feel dry. I personally used this oil as a hand moisturizer throughout the day finding that it sunk into the skin quickly keeping it soft. The summer heat of the day strengthen the essential oils, providing a relaxing perfume that carried me throughout my day.

The Darling Buds Bath Blaster is a cricket size ball of rose petals that fizzes when popped in the bath, releasing pure essential oils. This provides a relaxing  essential oil experience for the nose follicles and the mind. The rose petals add to the sensual, sexy and relaxing feel.

This gift set lends itself nicely to a romantic and thoughtful gift for the older lady from the older man. A great way to say you deserve to be pampered, at any time of the year.

Je T'Aime Gift Set

This 'I Love You' gift set consists of a Miss Pinkwhistle Soap, Ruby Vegas Soap, Summer of Love Bath Blaster, Bedazzeld Bath Blaster and Love Cloud Bath Creamer. This is a lovely set that we felt was let down by it's presentation. The initial presentation, that of gift wrapped in red love heart paper and ribbon, provides appeal that is suitable for gift giving but the disappointment comes upon unwrapping. You are then met with a plain brown paper box. We would have liked to have seen the love theme carried through in packaging, but on a more positive note the packaging does provide a natural environmentally friendly message. The items were secured nicely within the box using wood wool packaging.

Both the soaps in this set were as stated for the Crazy Cupid Soap, showing consistency in the products of Bomb Cosmetics and Get Drenched. One thing that is worth noting is that these soaps dry quickly after use and do not seem to leave the soap residue over the soap holder that some soaps tend to do.

Wow! to the Love Cloud Bath Creamer. This product won our hearts as soon as we opened the box. This bath creamer has a luxurious centre of  vanilla, cocoa, cherries and anise, finished off with chocolate & vanilla. We surely wanted to eat it but had to settle for second best, indulging in a tub of warm floating chocolate heaven. The chocolate sprinkles and lolly look love hearts rolled through this creamer added to the delicious smell and appeal.

Both the bath blasters present nicely topped with hearts of love, accentuating the feel and meaning behind this boxed set.

Products within this gift set can be purchased individually on the website.

This Valentines Day, February 14th, shower your loved one with an array of gifts from www.getdrenched.com.au.  After a romantic bath together continue the mood in the bedroom by lighting an essential oil candle, popping the cork on  some bubbly and whispering sweet nothings in her ear. With Bomb Cosmetics you are sure to have her heart fluttering!

Receive 10% off your order in February 2013 by quoting code  RRFEB