The importance of reviews

 

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I have always been an avid reader and prior to becoming an author I would never leave a review at the completion of an e-book. I know that books are subjective so I felt it would make little difference to someone what I had to say about the book I had read.

Now that I’m a published author my perspective has changed completely. I never realised the weighting that Amazon puts on books based upon the number of reviews and their star rating. The best way you can support an author is to leave a review. It helps their ranking and affects the way Amazon lists the book and recommends it to readers.

If you appreciate the creative skill, the time and effort an author puts into writing something that has transported you into your imagination, please take a few minutes to leave a review.

If you are interested in reading my new novel ‘In Another Life’, it will be free on Amazon Kindle this weekend (Aug 6 & 7). I hope you enjoy it and please leave a review!

 

(Image courtesy of adamr, freedigitialphotos.net)

New Release – In Another Life

In_Another_LifeI’m really excited to announce that my latest novel, ‘In Another Life‘, is now available on Amazon Kindle.

Lily hopes to find a connection with her late mother by doing a past life regression. She is taken back through her memories from childhood and then back to a previous life in the early 20th century in the country town of Bathurst in Australia. Lily is shocked to find out she was a male in her previous life and her Dad from this life was her brother. 

After the regression, Lily researches the places she saw in her memories and discovers her little sister from her past life is still alive as an elderly lady. Curiosity gets the better of Lily and she meets her sister from her past life to see whether they have a connection in the present.

As an indie author, I would really love your support in reading and sharing this new novel.

Growing Pains

 

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My ten year old son recently began limping and telling me he had a sore foot. He is extremely active so I put it down to a stone bruise or something innocuous. I finally decided to take it seriously when he was hobbling around like an old man when he first got up in the mornings. It was the end of the summer sports season and he was nearing the finals for all his sports. It also coincided with the start of training for his winter sports. Every day of the week he was exercising and it was at that point that he was diagnosed with ‘Severs Disease’.

The name conjures images of a contagious infection where the foot is severed from the body, but thankfully it’s not as disturbing as that! Put simply, it is when the growth plate in the heel grows faster than the achilles tendon can stretch and is very common in active kids after they have had a growth spurt. The only course of action was to rest and to do stretches to help the achilles lengthen. As he already wears orthotics in his shoes, these were raised slightly in the heel to relieve the tension in his tendon.

To my son’s horror, the diagnosis of severs required him to limit his activities. He had to give up rugby training, competing in his school cross country and sat out a game or two of basketball. After reducing his sport, which let’s be honest is like a cruel form of torture for an active ten year old, the pain subsided.

Severs is a condition that will flare up off and on as he grows and he just has to manage it with ice packs to reduce swelling and stretching exercises.

As a side note, the podiatrist mentioned to me that kids that get ‘Severs’ often then get another growth related disease called ‘Osgood-Schlatter Disease’ a few years later in life when the growth plates in their knees start to give them pain. He advised that my son should try to build up his quads to help support his knees before the pain sets in.

So if you have an active kid complaining of sore heels or knees there is a good chance that they are suffering from good old growing pains!

 

(Image courtesy of photo stock, freedigitalphotos.net)

Spirits

Hot off the presses is my new short story ‘Spirits’.

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When four women travel to tropical Mexico they find themselves in heaven. Their days consist of sipping margaritas on the beach and dining in cute cantinas being serenaded by mariachi bands.

Their holiday turns into their worst nightmare when they are kidnapped and held for ransom.

This short story details how each of the women deal with this traumatic event.

 

$1 at Amazon kindle store now.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Spirits-Joanne-Nicholson-ebook/dp/B018UJDMR0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449133811&sr=1-1&keywords=spirits+joanne+nicholson

Adult Child

We’ve done it – we’ve managed to raise one child to become an adult. It’s a strange feeling to think that our daughter is no longer legally a child and is responsible for herself – well sort of! My daughter would like all the freedom that comes with being an adult but isn’t so keen on the responsibilities.

It only seems like yesterday she was a newborn baby swaddled and nestled in my arms. It’s hard to comprehend that she is now an adult. I still want to wrap her up and keep her by my side, but while that isn’t possible, I am at least proud of the woman she is becoming.

It really doesn’t matter how old your child is, you will always want to protect and care for them. My daughter is currently on ‘schoolies’ (an end of school tradition where kids go on holidays to celebrate graduating). This is the first time she has holidayed without a chaperone and I must admit I’ve had sleepless nights wondering if she is ok. It’s not that I think she will do anything stupid but where you get a group of teens conglomerating under the influence of alcohol and god knows what else, there is a propensity for trouble. I just don’t want her to get caught up in any violence or drink spiking etc. I know that as our kids grow up I have to learn to give them freedom, but until she is back home safely I think that I will feel uneasy.

It’s hard to believe I have an eighteen year old daughter as I still only feel eighteen myself. I look forward to the progression in our mother/daughter relationship from me being the disciplinarian to being more of a friend. In fact, since she has finished school I’ve noticed a shift in our connection, as she is now happy to hang out with me for a coffee and she has begun to confide in me more.

Parenthood is a journey through your kid’s different phases and now we embark on our next phase.

So today we celebrate our daughter’s milestone birthday in her absence and can relax in the knowledge that we’ve succeeded in getting our first born to adulthood. One down – three to go!

Dress for Success

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My daughter recently finished her high school education and attended a formal dance held to celebrate her cohort’s graduation.

In the months leading up to the dance we were busy with preparations. We purchased a gorgeous navy blue sequined gown that she loved, but a few weeks out from the event, she learned that several other girls were planning to wear navy blue dresses that were similar.

She hurriedly purchased a new dress – a long, vibrant red backless gown, so that she would look unique on the evening.

On the day of the formal she looked stunning. Not wanting to sound biased (although realistically of course I am), she looked like a model that had just walked off a catwalk. We are so proud of her achievements and the amazing lady she is becoming.

After the evening, my daughter looked into selling the navy gown she hadn’t worn. She found a Facebook page where not only can you sell dresses but you can rent them out as well. She has since sold the navy gown and has rented out her red dress twice, covering the purchase price for both dresses.

I’m thrilled that she has been so proactive and that she has made money from items that would otherwise be gathering dust in the wardrobe for years to come. I have never thought that dresses were assets from which you could draw an income – maybe there is a business model there to be exploited?

It makes me wonder what the future holds for my entrepreneurial daughter when she is able to use a dress for success!

Embarrassing Kids

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All children, at some point in their life, cause embarrassment to their parents. There was a time when one of my kids was a new born and had an exploding nappy incident that shot ‘pumpkin soup’ like poo up to their shoulder blades as I was holding them whilst waiting in a queue. Needless to say I had to leave my place at the front of the queue to immediately deal with the explosion that ended up not only coating my child but also me in their excrement!

There were other embarrassing moments like when my son pointed to a man with an eye patch and yelled out at the top of his voice, ‘Look Mum, there’s a pirate over there,’ and another time when he spotted an elderly man with a white beard and again in full voice whilst pointing, drew my attention (and everyone in the whole vicinity), to ‘Santa’.

Whilst these cringe worthy moments are truly embarrassing, the time I felt was the worst was when my kids were just learning the art of walking. There is a period of a few months when your kid’s reach the age when they are pulling themselves up on furniture or just learning to walk and run independently when they are completely accident-prone. This period is marked by your child constantly being covered in bumps and bruises, from head to toe. Every time you step out of your house you are sure that every person is looking at your child wondering whether they need to alert child protection services to your neglectful parenting.

At the age of 13 months, one of my daughters split her lip when she slipped walking around the hob of the bath, another tumbled down a flight of stairs after a visitor didn’t close the gate and yet another split open her forehead when she tripped over her feet. The worst accident, not in pain but embarrassment, was when my daughter overbalanced when running and face planted on a tiled floor, chipping half of one of her front teeth. I took the fragment of tooth to the dentist and asked that they glue it back on. The dentist laughed and said as it was a baby tooth it wasn’t worth doing anything about it. My daughter had to go through the first few years of her life with only half a front tooth. I felt like we were a group of hillbillies who didn’t care about the fact she was missing half a tooth. Thankfully she lost her baby teeth very early; so that by the time she started school she had already lost what was left of her front tooth.

Now whenever I look at a toddler with bumps and bruises covering their body, I think back to that dreadful stage where even a flat and level surface is like an obstacle course for your child. Thankfully their co-ordination improves with practice and eventually you can show your face in public again without feeling the embarrassment of everyone judging your parenting skills.

Of course you can’t wrap your child up in cotton wool, but for the first few months of your child learning to walk, it would be great to be able to wrap them in bubble wrap!

What do you think is the most embarrassing age of kids?

(Photo courtesy of nenetus, freedigitalphotos.net)