Books, featured

Exclusive! Check out this unseen sketch from the new Untamed book …

So we’re almost at the end of the blog tour for the launch of the fourth book in the Untamed series, Destroyed, and I have a real treat for you. Having illustrated Eternal Seas myself, I’m always interested in how the author imagined their characters so I am HUGELY excited to be able to share this exclusive character drawing from Madeline Dyer of Seven (the main character) and her dog …

 

 

Wait for it …

 

 

 

Keep scrolling …

 

 

 

 

OK I can’t wait any longer! Here you go …

47354941_195898914651446_644115205999034368_n

How cute is that dog with his wonky ears?

 

Blurb

47390658_758895104454995_5259264346751500288_n

Seven Sarr, the most powerful human in the world, is alive–and she’s on the run from her enemy. With the Dream Land gone, the Gods and Goddesses dead, and the Untamed’s number of Seers at a record low, Seven knows she must attempt to control the Lost Souls–including the most volatile and dangerous spirits–if her people are to have a chance at beating the Enhanced Ones once and for all. But when the Enhanced impose a new threat and Corin’s life is at stake, Seven must make her hardest choice: save the man she loves and let her people perish, or allow Corin’s death so the Untamed can survive.

Locked into a tight countdown to her own demise and solitary entrapment within a torturous realm, Seven must make her decision quickly. Her Seer powers are the strongest, and her death will end the War of Humanity once and for all.

When the new morning dawns, the world as she knew it will be gone. What–and who–will be left behind is up to Seven. Will her love shape the future of the world?

Here is the Amazon link for the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destroyed-Untamed-Book-Madeline-Dyer-ebook/dp/B07GQTFYV7/

Author Bio

47317041_1195414740610906_2690195822896742400_n

Madeline Dyer lives on a farm in the southwest of England, where she hangs out with her Shetland ponies and writes young adult books—sometimes, at the same time. She holds a BA Honors degree in English from the University of Exeter, and several presses have published her fiction. Madeline has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and she can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes.

 

Books, Family - Adventure, featured

How to boost your child’s emotional intelligence with journalling

Journalling can be an effective tool for exploring your emotions – it can help you put things in perspective, understand and process your feelings, and focus on positives. At this time of year, the stationery shops are overflowing with gorgeous diaries. I can’t resist a fresh notebook for a fresh new year, even if I mainly use it to make lists.

thumbnail_IMG_2548

But keeping a diary doesn’t appeal to every child, so prompts are a really useful tool. I was shown The Happy Self Journal at an event and totally fell in love with it. It’s beautifully packaged, comes with some free stickers (who doesn’t love a sticker!), and it’s a fab bright yellow colour with a good strong cover. Those aren’t the important points though …

  • Firstly, it’s gender neutral. If we’re avoiding stereotyping girls and boys emotions, thats obviously important.
  • Secondly, you don’t have to work through it chronologically like a diary. It’s like a colouring book – flick through and the child can pick whatever activity that appeals. I guess if you wanted them to explore a particular theme, you could point out a few pages.
  • Thirdly, of course, it’s not overwhelming in quantity – just a few sentences is all that it takes so its also good for reluctant writers.

 

It says its aimed at 6-12 year olds, but I’d probably narrow that to a core of 7-10 year olds. If you’d like to check it out, here’s the link https://happyselfjournal.com

I’m thrilled to have a copy to giveaway – just comment and share this post on Twitter tagging @lexi_rees and @HappySelf_. Competition is only open in the UK. Closing date 30 November 2018.

Drj-33IW4AElgiI

 

#feautured, Family - Adventure, featured

NLP and Parenting

I’d heard of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) for adults, but I hadn’t considered its applicability for children. I thought I should find out a bit more so I’m delighted to invite NLP specialist Arantxa de Dios onto my blog today to share her thoughts. My take-away is that the term NLP makes it sound a lot scarier and more complicated than it actually is: NLP is basically the language of the brain, i.e. communication. That’s like parenting 101, but we all need tools to help us put common sense into practice, so over to her …

IMG_2520

Hi, I’m Arantxa. Parenting was, and continues to be, the most challenging thing I have ever done! Before starting my self-development journey, I would get cross and frustrated with my child and ultimately with myself. I knew that what I was doing wasn’t working: it wasn’t getting the result I wanted and often seemed to make things worse. And I didn’t like myself for what I was saying and doing, day in day out … but I didn’t know what else to do. I seem to be saying no all the time shouting and “losing it” focusing on the negatives and feeling guilty.

I wanted to become more confident and competent as a parent to feeling more in control and least of myself!  I wanted something better something more useful and sustainable for myself and my children. I wanted to be the best version of me. And I decided to become a life coach and then I trained as a neuro – linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnotherapist practitioner.

With NLP which focuses on getting the results you want, especially using languages and behaviour to positively influence those around you. It had an immediate and major impact on my life for the better. I’m a calmer and happier Mum!!

Good communication skills are often overlooked or taken for granted and yet they are at the heart of positive, fulfilling relationships. How you relate to and communicate with your child makes all the difference!

NLP gives you methods for communicating effectively with your children, nurturing mutual respect, confidence and happiness in your relationships. It gives you ways to:

  • choose words that work to get great results, quickly and easily
  • use actions that help you understand your child better
  • change your thoughts in challenging situations, to find new solutions
  • be in a better mood more of the time, for everyone’s benefit
  • enjoy learning alongside your children on your parenting journey.

In parenting is very important you focus on YOUR needs, as well as the needs of your children. You are a key part of the relationship and have a major effect on the results you get.

YOUR CHILDREN NEED YOU

When it comes to parenting, they are not the right answers, no universal solutions, no absolute truths. There is only the here and now of what is going to work for you and your children, moment by moment, on your parenting journey.  You are the expert on your family and your children. You are in the front line no matter how well intentioned the advice of others, it is you who must decide…and who must live with the consequences.

Parenting can be frustrating, overwhelming and sometimes utterly exhausting. But it can also be the most rewarding, inspiring and joyful experience too. I’m here to show you how you can make parenting easier, so you can feel confident and enjoy your precious time with your children.

Enjoy your Journey!

Arantxa De Dios

Transformational LIFE COACH, NLP & HYPNOTHERAPIST.

arantxa@arantxadedios.com

http://www.arantxadedios.com

WORKSHOP OPPORTUNITY

If you’re based in London, you might be interested in this workshop that Arantxa is running.

PARENTING WORKSHOP: POWERFUL NLP METHODS TO STAY ON TOP OF CHALLENGING SITUATIONS.

RESULT= YOU FEEL MORE IN CONTROL – CALMER – HAPPIER AND MORE POSITIVE.

More details here:

https://www.facebook.com/1945663648979600/posts/2141771592702137/

 

 

Family - Adventure, featured

Who will win the ultimate Halloween challenge?

Let’s get two seasonal heavy weights to go head to head for the ultimate Halloween battle … Pumpkins vs. Apples.

Challenge one: Halloween lanterns

 

IMG_2748

I grew up in Scotland where we carved our Halloween lanterns out of turnips, not pumpkins. Just to confuse things further, turnips are what the English (I now live down south) insist on calling swedes. Confused? Me too. If I do my groceries online I always end up with either 1 tiny swede/ turnip, or enough to feed a herd of cows. My dad, a farmer, considered turnips only fit for two things – cattle fodder (lucky cows, I love turnip) and Halloween lanterns.

I do like the lumpy shape of turnip lanterns, but they are way harder to carve, whilst the pumpkin arrives helpfully already hollowed out. One nil to the pumpkin.

IMG_2734

Challenge Two: the sweetness test

There’s only one way to do this properly. Pumpkin Pie vs. Toffee Apples. Turnip is not going to score highly in this category, unless you’re a cow of course. Both of these were a disaster. I’d share the recipes, but you wouldn’t thank me. My pumpkin pie (shop bought pastry and a tin of pumpkin puree) was pretty grim, and the toffee didn’t set on my apples, but in terms of a sweet, sticky, gooey mess, the toffee apples got the kids vote.

Does anyone actually know how to get the toffee to set all hard and shiny like when you buy them in a shop?

One all.

Challenge Three: other family activities

I’ve utterly failed to come up with any other fun activities involving pumpkins – any suggestions welcome! But who remembers bobbing for apples as a kid? Why did we think shoving our heads in a bucket of icy water was fun? I’m sure our parents thought it was HILARIOUS. Tried to get my kids to give it a go … “muuuuuuum, no waaaaay.”

That’s a no score draw.

But making apple juice is a great family activity. We are lucky enough to have a few apple trees in our garden. We bought a press a few years ago and make enough apple juice to freeze. Top tip – half a teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder in the bottle stops it going brown.

Apples just nudging ahead here.

So who wins the seasonal challenge?

It’s really no contest when you’ve seen the Trumpkin …

gDmiQb4(image from Reddit.com) 

Books, Family - Adventure, featured

Isolation Junction: a harrowing tale of abuse and survival

I normally blog about kids books and family activities, but domestic abuse is a topic that I feel I need to cover as it’s sadly part of the family reality for too many people. The author, Jennifer Gilmour, is very active in campaigning against domestic abuse. If you’ve been affected or would like to get involved, you can find her through the hashtag #isolationjunction.

block the road

Although fictionalised, Isolation Junction is a very personal story and the first edition was full of raw emotion. This is the only time I’ve ever sought out a second edition of a book to read, but the topic is so important I wanted to see what had changed. This updated edition has been smoothed out and polished but, despite having read it before, it hasn’t lost its power and still made me cry.

The main changes are that it’s now chronological and all in third person, so it’s much easier to follow. It also fills in several gaps and is a stronger narrative as a result. It should be compulsory reading.

Well done to both the author and editor (the fabulous Emma Mitchell from Creating Perfection, who also edited Eternal Seas for me). I gave the first edition a 5* rating so this has to be a 6*.

Synopsis:

IJ - NEW COVER Isolation Junction

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

 She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. But through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business. 

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t will she be able to do it? Will Tim help her? And will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Based on true events.

 

About the author:

 IJ - Jennifer Gilmour

Born in the North East, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children.  In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years.  A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write this first novel. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.  

Links:

Website; www.jennifergilmour.com

Facebook; www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook 

Twitter; www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour 

Instagram; https://www.instagram.com/authorjennifergilmour/