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.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mad Science 2: experiments you can do at home, but still probably shouldn't by Theodore Gray

Mad Science 2 follows in the footsteps of Theodore Gray’s 2009 book Theo Gray’s Mad Science Experiments You Can Do At Home, But Probably Shouldn’t. In Mad Science 2 Gray bravely dips his finger into molten lead to demonstrate what’s known in science as the Leidenfrost effect. In a particularly messy experiment he crushes a tomato demonstrating the extreme power of neodymium-iron-boron magnets. And, in a wonderful instance of science meets art, he creates lovely, albeit ephemeral, trinkets out of solid mercury, thus demonstrating how the state of matter depends very much on the temperature at which it exists. 

Science, does any layman really understand it? It is one of those topics that you either get or you don’t, yet it is one of those things that happens around us every day and we never question it. As a homeschooling mum it is one of those topics I sure dread. Yep when they are little it sure is easy, grab a magnet or two or do some cooking, but as the high school years creep upon us we scratch our heads and wonder where all these bigs words came from.

Never fear, Theodore Gray is here! Mad Science 2 explains it all and even throws in a little history. Did you know that the first Light-Emitting Diods went on sale in 1962 and that in July 2007 Scott Showalter climbed into a manure pit on his Virginia farm to clear a blocked pipe, dying moments later?

Mad Science 2 is interesting, well thought out and visually pleasing. It has a good balance of reading to picture, with the large photographs giving you the visual that helps your mind fill the spots where the written has you scratching your head. As a homeschooler of a teenage son this book has been a hit. 

There is the practical knowledge, the impractical knowledge, the practical fire and the impractical fire. Throw in the danger factor of the chapter in which the author endangers his hand, some chemical power and a little bit of making stuff and you are sure to have a best seller.

Well done Theodore Gray, you have managed to take the topic of science and put a little spark in the interest column.

ISBN: 13978-1-57912-932-3


Friday, June 21, 2013

Aspects of Creativity by Dulcie M. Stone

Aspect of Creativity by Dulcie M. Stone is a book that opens the debate for the need for free expression and creativity in our education system. Dulcie M. Stone uses her professional knowledge and experience from her lifetime commitment to the arts, creativity and education to weave a magic spell on the importance of learning through creativity.

Born in Melbourne in 1924 Dulcie M. Stone has spent her lifetime dedicated to the education and wellbeing of those with special needs. Her experiences as a teacher, coordinator of volunteers, tutor of creative writing groups for children and adults and work as a probation officer have led her to a vast and interesting life where she has had an insight into the good, and not so good, of services within society. Dulcie has committed her life to that of community services being granted Honorary Life Governor of Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne in 1962, Life Member of W.J. Christie Centre Mildura in 1979, Life Member of Upper Yarra Community House Inc 1980 and M.B.E ( Member Of The British Empire) in 1981. Today at the young age of 89 Dulcie is still as passionate about creativity and life, working on her next book. She is a true inspiration to women Australia wide.

I enjoyed every page of Aspects of Creativity. As a home educating mother and a mother of an Autistic Child Aspects of Creativity rang true many times. It inspired me and led my thought patterns on a challenging journey. Dulcie Stone writes in a manner that is easy to comprehend and flows beautifully. Her use of scenarios and examples allows the reader to grasp a full understanding of the point at hand and debate the issue within their own mind. The atmosphere created within Aspects of Creativity is one of support, compassion and love. It is a book that wraps its arms around you providing you with its warmth whilst stimulating you to creatively make a difference.

In Chapter Three, Atmosphere, Dulcie writes ‘ ....sight, sound, taste, smell and touch, incites different emotions and invites different reactions.’ So too will Aspects of Creativity. That is one of the things I loved about this book. It opens itself to be read by a vast array of readers from different backgrounds and for different reasons yet has a message for all. Originally written with those that work with the intellectually disabled in mind Aspects of Creativity contains information relevant to all areas of education. As far as non fiction books of this topic go Aspects of Creativity is a rare gem. It is hard to find a book that is Australian published with Australian content and that speaks of organisations and places within Australian Society.

‘ Is the atmosphere consistently positive? Or consistently negative? Is there an underpinning process that, no matter how loud an argument or how hurtful an incident, guarantees healing? Or does argument and hurt sink underground, and fester?
Outrageous or insidious, pre-planned or spontaneous, habitual or erratic, negative is negative.’
pg 37
For a very long time it has been said that negativity creates negativity and this has been one that has been proven to me time and time again. Aspects of Creativity brought this home for me and gave me a further understanding of how I can make changes in myself and the way I interact with others to help create a society of positive outcomes, compassion and understanding. Dulcie M. Stone makes it clear that the allowing of creative freedom creates a world that builds self esteem, self worth and positivity. Dulcie speaks of how all we say sticks in the mind of others. The message is simple, think before you speak and act with compassion and a good heart.

For me chapter three, Atmosphere, rang home. It made me consider my own ‘atmosphere’ and how it affects my life. I stopped to think about how I relate to others and how I can re create the atmosphere of my life to provide others and myself with positive experiences.

Dulcie M. Stone is a creative thinker who, with Aspects of Creativity, shares her mind in the hope of helping others think outside the square and use creativity to create life changing experiences. Aspects of Creativity has you considering your life values. It touches on political debates within Australia and uses articles and issues within mainstream media to heighten points. It takes a look at how creativity has shaped Australia and the world.

Aspects of Creativity could be seen as a controversial book that treads on the toes of some industries but to me as a reader it is an open and honest look at society and how it functions in relation to creativity, and its role in the lives of all from different walks of life. Within Aspects of Creativity Dulcie M. Stone creates an argument that shows research and balance.

Aspects of Creativity is not just a book for those involved with the intellectually disabled but a book for all who care. It is a look into the attitudes of society as a whole and how our relations and thoughts shape our community.

I urge all to read Aspects of Creativity and challenge their mind. This is a book that has the potential to change lives and create harmony within society as a whole, and communities that work with the disabled.
ISBN: 978-1-921574-38-2

Other titles by Dulcie M. Stone

Saturday, June 15, 2013

For Freedom's Cause by Barry Smith

A historical novel that speaks of the reality of war and the loss, love and unity of those who may never have met, For Freedom’s Cause is the first novel in an Australian Dynasty trilogy by Barry Smith.

Dan Bevan is a working class English Army Officer from Manchester. Charlie Elliot, a Melbourne Barrister, is serving with the Australian Light Horse. By chance these two chaps meet during the first world war, forming a friendship that lasts several major battles. Barry Smith has done an excellent job of weaving history into fiction, placing the reader into the moment. For Freedom’s Cause is written with the knowledge, experience and passion of the scholar Barry Smith is.

I enjoyed For Freedom’s Cause but will admit it took me a chapter or two to get into the flow of the writing style. I also found it slightly annoying that all speech was written in italics, finding that I paused each time I came upon the speech, which on some pages was frequently. My brain seemed to need just that moment to register the changes in font. This did make the reading a little slow going in places but did not take away from the great narrative and history lesson of my journey.

Being Born in Manchester England and having lived in Australia for over forty years Barry Smith is able to take the reader to the place and time using characters that balance each other and at time draw at the heart strings. For Freedom’s Cause is a book that is ideal for one who wants to touch base with history yet not dig into the often dry factual text book content that is required. For Freedom’s Cause provides a timeline of history and a little bit of journalism in the content of fiction, providing a reading journey that educates and informs in an enjoyable and light manner.

I love the historical cover of For Freedom’s Cause. I feel it compliments the story providing an initial visual that sets the scene for the story to come. Within the cover sits patriotic passion, mateship and love. The antiquated sepia tone of the photography leaves a warm historic feel enhancing the personality of the novel.

As number one in The Kimberley Trilogy For Freedom’s Cause is followed by Battle For The North. Book three Kimberley Kill is yet to be published. After finishing For Freedom’s Cause I am sure I will be moving on to Battle For The North as I continue the journey with Dan, Charlie and the ladies of their life. They are now part of my life too.

ISBN: 978-098717791-9

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Miracle of Love by Ondine Sherman

To have twins come into your life when you already have one small child can be overwhelming and challenging but for Ondine Sherman and her husband Dror life has decided to throw that extra challenge their way. By six months of age her identical twin boys, Dov and Lev, are failing to meet important milestones. This leads to endless doctors and specialist’s appointments, frustrations and family heartache, all in a foreign country with family miles away.

Ondine Sherman is no stranger to a challenge having set up the Australian animal advocacy group Voiceless with her father some years earlier. Miracle of Love is her story of the rollercoaster ride she travelled trying to find someone who could tell her what was wrong with her boys and the future ahead of them. It is the story of a mother who never gave up hope. Who, with the help of her supportive family, seeks answers to the lack of development in her little boys. 

The Miracle of Love is a book about family and the extent a mother will go for her children. It oozes love compassion and understanding whilst speaking of the frustration, uncertainty and confusion that parents with special needs children are often up against. Ondine Sherman was one of the lucky ones, she had the strong support and understanding of family and friends and money to pay for doctor’s and therapy. She also had the help of a professional and educated family to help her travel this difficult road. For some this is not available and they too quickly become forgotten. Putting all of this aside Ondine shares her story in the hope of empowering others to never give up.

The Miracle of Love is well written and flows beautifully but at times I will admit I did become a little bored. I questioned whether this book would have been offered publication had Ondine Sherman not been the founder of Voiceless. Without Voiceless I am sure Ondine would have seen herself self publishing as this book misses the mark of that of a best seller.  For me it lacked the oomph or pizzaz of a book that really grabs your heartstrings. The Miracle of Love is enjoyable but it is ‘just a book’. I would recommend this book to those who are traveling a journey of uncertainty with their children as within they will find comfort in knowing that another has been there too. For one who is seeking a book that will grab them I recommend you pick it up without expectation, allowing yourself to form an opinion as you turn the pages.

My thoughts - A no fuss give it a go read that will pass the time.

ISBN: 978-1-74331-620-7

Monday, June 3, 2013

Into My Arms - Kylie Ladd

‘The kiss ignited something, blew it into being, and afterwards, all Skye could think about was Ben’

Into My Arms by Kylie Ladd is promoted as being a love story with a shocking twist. Shocking as it may be to some the topic within is real. I for one have had personal experience with this topic, having it effect my life on a scale that could be seen as being larger than life.

Genetic Sexual Attraction is a worldwide phenomenon that strikes unexpectedly when biologically related family members, who have been kept apart for many reasons, meet as adults. The feelings can be instant, intense and confusing yet one is engulfed with an immense feeling of love and longing.

I commend Kylie Ladd for taking on a topic that is not only controversial but difficult for most to comprehend. Kylie is not only a novelist but a qualified neuropsychologist. She has been able to use her professional knowledge, and facts found during researching and talking to those effected, to correctly portray the immensity of GSA.  Kylie shows compassion for the topic. Until one actually experiences the immense emotions and push and pull GSA creates, one can not fully understand it, but within Into My Arms Kylie Ladd has given the reader a deeper understanding of the intensity involved. Her characters correctly display the push pull and immense need. I did feel the story played down the turmoil GSA causes within the extended family unit but will acknowledge that this is different in all situations depending on the family dynamics.

Into My Arms is more than GSA. It is a story of love, passion, family, unity, need and conflict. It is a story of the reality and struggle of life, of the decision to try IVF and how that decision can affect the rest of your life.

I love the way Kylie interweaves the struggle of families who immigrate and the longing of a mother who does not know where her children are, lost in a country she use to call home, with the immense feeling of loss and longing that GSA creates.  Into My Arms smoothly moves from one topic to another integrating them without the reader giving it much thought. The characters blend into each other, with the issue at hand floating above just high enough to make an impact on the readers thought process. 

Although fiction Into My Arms has an important message. Genetic Sexual Attraction is real. Society can debate it, they can be disgusted by it and they can ignore it but as Kylie Ladd makes clear it is destroying the lives of families and individuals whilst also uniting and creating love and peace.

Into My Arms is a love story with a difference. Beautifully written with compassion and understanding Kylie Ladd has excelled. It is easy to see why it has been placed on the list of ‘A Book You Can’t Put Down’ and why Allen and Unwin give it the Read it. Love it. Or your money back guarantee.

Smooth to read and topical Into My Arms takes you to a fictional world where you feel love, lust and a little lost whilst the pages wrap you in security and warmth. 

Definitely on my ‘Go on, give it a read’ list. 

Available from www.allenandunwin.com

ISBN: 978-1-74331458-6