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 20, 2015

The Lornesleigh Legacy by Kay Bell

The Lornesleigh Legacy is the first book by Kay Bell, an Australian author who resides in Victoria. Set in Australia during the time of convict settlement, the  gold rush, the boom years and the depression of the 1930’s, The Lornesleigh Legacy takes the reader on a journey of love, loss and life as it use to be.

The Lornesleigh Legacy is focused around Will, a young boy living on a cattle station in North Queensland and John Clark, Will’s grandfather. Poppy John, as he is known to his family, is a well respected man and the patriarch of the family empire.  With the family falling apart and Will suffering an injury, Poppy John takes Will away to recuperate. It is here that the reader begins their journey of time travel as Poppy John shares his secret box of treasures from the past with Will.

The Lornesleigh Legacy surprised me. I found way more than I thought I would. I soon became attached to the 90 year old man and this boy who deserved more love and respect than his parents seemed to offer. Kay Bell writes with eloquence and grace as she captures the time and place in history that we can only imagine and read in books. Through her writing she is able to give the readers a clear visual of each scene, allowing them to imagine the sights, smells and emotions of the characters. 

I loved everything about this book. Although fiction I was enveloped in history and the love between Poppy John and Will. I angered at the treatment of Will by his mother and the weak role his father seemed to play.  I rode the tidal wave of the family bickering and division. As Poppy John aged through the years of his life I felt his love and his loss. I gasped in places and I shouted no. I turned each page awaiting the next part of the journey as the years in Poppy John’s life diminished, not wanting this man to leave yet knowing his time was limited. I lived in hope that the end of the book did not see the end of this old man, feeling Will’s heartbreak before I knew the outcome. 

I read The Lornesleigh Legacy in ebook format which I purchased from Amazon.com. This has left me a little disappointed as it is one of those books I would love to have displayed in paperback on my shelf having the opportunity to  discuss and share it with others. I can only imagine what it would feel like to hold a little bit of Poppy John’s life in my hands. I imagine it would feel soft, gentle, alive and full of the love of an old man who lived his life. 

The Lornesleigh Legacy has left me hoping we will see more from author Kay Bell. I await to see if we are given the opportunity to follow the continued journey of Will’s life in a sequel. 

Visit Kay Bell’s website www.kaybell.com.au

Review: Jennifer Douglas

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cassie's Marvelous Music Lessons by Sheri Poe-Pape

Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons is the first book by Sheri Poe-Pape. When not writing Sheri is the director of Pape Conservatory of Music where she has spent the last thirty three years teaching piano. Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons is based on fourteen years of sharing her teaching with her beloved canine companion.

Within Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons Sheri Poe-Pape introduces us to a sweet little dog Cassie and her owner Mrs Applebaum. The  personification of Cassie ‘the marvelous music mutt’, whilst still maintaining her dog qualities, had me wondering if it was going to work but Sheri has pulled it off nicely, producing a character that delighted my 7 year old daughter. 

Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons speaks of love and warmth. Cassie is an instant hit with the children who attend the piano lesson of Mrs Applebaum, providing an atmosphere that promotes learning and understanding. For Mrs Applebaum having Cassie in her life opens her heart and helps her tune into her skills of listening and understanding. Cassie has something to say to Mrs Applebaum but she does not seem to understand. With a lot of perseverance from Cassie and a little bit of patience from Mrs Applebaum the message is soon loud and clear and Cassie is rewarded.

As far as illustrated children’s books go Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons is a little more wordy than the norm. This makes it more suitable for the older reader or as a read to me book for the younger child. I feel the illustrations within Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons are very basic, not quiet giving me what I would have liked.  With the length and depth of the book I would have liked to have seen illustrations that are more inviting and have a more 3D effect, matching the personification and bouncy flamboyant feel of Cassie. In this instance the match of author to illustrator was done by the publishers Mayhaven Publishing, being a reflection on their choice not that of the author. This reflection should not take part in the consideration of purchase as Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons has a great story to tell. 

Overall Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons is a fun loving read with positive messages. Speaking of the universal language of music and the companionship provided by a canine friend, Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lesson has the ingredients of a book that will be loved by children. It is presented as a hardcover high quality book that sits nicely on a child’s book shelf, lasting for years. I look forward to following the growth of Sheri Poe-Pape as an author.  I wonder if we will see further adventures by Cassie the marvelous music mutt. 

ISBN: 9781932278361

Authors website: www.sheripoe-pape.com

Purchase a copy of Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons from the author’s site, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

review: Jennifer Douglas

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius: Chase Your Shadow by John Carlin

Reeva Steenkamp died by gunshot in the apartment of her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius. Oscar was the one who pulled the trigger. The world soon became captivated and followed the journey as Oscar was charged with Reeva’s murder. There was much debate and differing opinions on whether it was premeditated or an accident. In The Trials of Oscar Pistorius Chase Your Shadow John Carlin enters into this debate, giving an insight into the life of an athlete known to all as the ‘Blade Runner’.

When first receiving this book I held it in my hands with trepidation. I was eager to take the leap into the pages but hesitant at the same time, wondering if this was going to be a book that was unbalanced and biased. The question that kept going through my head was whose side John Carlin was going to take. I was pleased to find the answer to be neither. John Carlin does a wonderful job at keeping balance within his report. He uses facts from the court case and the lives of those involved to allow the reader to form their own opinion. At times I was sure Oscar Pistorius was innocent, but then at times I wondered if maybe I was wrong. 

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius is more than a book about the event, it is a look into the life of Oscar from birth to committal. It gives us an insight into the person he is outside of that of an olympic athlete. John Carlin allows us to see the ‘human’ side of Oscar Pistorius without playing the poor special needs man card. For Oscar life is different to that of the able bodied man but he proves that a disability need not hold you back, a reflection of his upbringing and the messages instilled in him by his mum.

So what of Reeva Steenkamp? There is not as much of a mention of the life of Reeva within The Trials of Oscar Pistorius, the title making the reason for this obvious, but John Carlin provides the reader with enough of an insight to allow them to form a visual of her life prior to and whilst in a relationship with Oscar. He shows the love she had for Oscar, and he for her, but also places a shadow of doubt as to whether their love could have been tainted. 

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable and balanced read that left me sitting on the fence wanting to discuss the book with someone else and put together the pieces floating through my mind. 

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius Chase Your Shadow is well written, showing the experience John Carlin has in the field of journalism and writing. If you wish to fill in the gaps left by the media this is definitely the book that will do it.  

RRP: $29.99

Available from www.allenandunwin.com.au

Reviewed by Jennifer Douglas