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By James Minter, Sep 3 2018 09:09AM


Any author going down the self-publishing road needs all the help they can get. There is a heap of information out there on the internet, but what Ms Inglis has done is make an excellent attempt at bringing it all together into a single place. By doing so this she’s made the information more accessible, as well as presenting it in a logically structured style – you only need to read the Table Of Contents to see that. Moreover, it is massively sourced with her hard-won knowledge and experience gained by going through the process with her books. That’s why I love “How to…” books. They capture hard-won knowledge and experience and make it available in an easily consumable form so saving you making the same mistakes, wasting time, money, or going off tangent.


Self-publishing and book marketing are significant, evolving processes, and a guide such as this cannot be complete or entirely up to date. As with all eBooks, it can be continuously corrected, amended, or added to. Ms Inglis makes good use of live links, and a password-protected resources page on her website to allow the reader to explore the software products and tools she discusses.


In conclusion, this is a book well worth purchasing for potential, new, and existing authors. For the price of your morning coffee and pastry, you gain the knowledge and expertise of successful children’s author who speaks from the heart and shares not only her successes but things that didn’t work out so well. And, that takes courage but gives the book huge credibility.



By James Minter, May 23 2018 03:40PM

For me, the holding of positive values for children and adults is essential. A set of positive values is the most significant legacy any parent can leave their child, and so I applaud any book which promotes and guides the development of values and notable in this case, kindness, respect, and trust.

Our values shape our behaviours and are especially important when we have to deal with difficult situations. Through acquiring positive values children are empowered, they can make better decisions, and are more likely to overcome the challenging issue.


My Actions Matter – A Book on Life Values by Kayla J W Marnach, is aimed both at young children and their carers. Using this book as a vehicle, teachers and carers can start a conversation with children about the issue under discussion. In addition to the illustrated story, the book features a section on behaviours and the needs the child is displaying, and further a section with open-ended question suggestions caregivers can ask children to get a discussion going.


Although the book is well presented – font choice, size and line spacing, and the illustrations are beautiful, the overuse of repetition in the narrative is too much. I know and agree that 5, 6, 7-year-olds need repetition, but in effect, there are four identical double-spread pages which are not necessary. I would have liked to see the messages given on the same pages being built upon as the book progressed.



By James Minter, May 11 2018 03:02PM


I’m a man and a husband. I appreciate this book was written tongue-in-cheek, but I hoped the Diary of A Stressed Out Mother would provide me with some insights into women and especially mothers and wives. It didn’t but instead confirmed what I always suspected we, that is men, and women, mothers, and wives are very different creatures when it comes to dealing with the home, work, children, family, friends, pets, and neighbours.


Nicola’s narrative covers a wide and varied patchwork of improbable situations, juxtaposing the surreal with the sublime like grandparents caught smuggling drugs to the free-spirited neighbour indulging in swinging. Dora, the main protagonist, has unique relationships with her parents, children, husband, sister and animals, all of which are explored in the fast-paced cacophony of absurdity. A well written, laugh-out-loud look at a middle-class, middle-aged couple dealing with life, direction and purpose.


A great pool-side read accompanied by a G&T!



By James Minter, Mar 10 2018 03:56PM


“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ― Mark Twain


Billy and Ant Lie is the fourth book in James Minter’s ‘Billy’ series – a life learning collection for children entering adolescence. The series focuses on difficult or troubling situations faced by many preteen’s as they embark on their journey towards adulthood. The world is a confusing, complex and ever-changing place, and Minter’s Billy series attempts to help young adults to understand the decisions and situations which they many encounter. The first book in the Billy series – a review of which you can find here – in which Minter’s main character, Billy, has his extra-special birthday present stolen by an older boy, tackles the issue of bullying, and how best to react, and deal with situations in which you find yourself victimised or picked on by other people. The fourth book, which uses a very similar approach to Minter’s first book, tackles the issue of lying.


The book begins with Billy setting off on his bike to meet his friend Ant so that they can ride to school together. It is a simple, ordinary enough day, until Billy and Ant stumble upon a £1 coin in the bus stop. Despite running a little bit late for school the two friends head off to buy some sweets from Mr Gupter’s garage.


There is something to be said for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, which Billy and Ant discover, when their sweet buying attempt is interrupted by a fleeing shop lifter. Shocked, and presumably a little upset, the pair rush off to school before they can be questioned by anyone else at the scene. Worried that their lateness will land them in trouble, they concoct an elaborate lie to get them off the hook, deciding to say that Ant had a flat tyre, and that they had to return home to get it fixed before coming in to school.


Lies are never simple though, and they rarely get you off the hook. So when the police come to school appealing for any witnesses from the incident at Mr Gupter’s garage it is only a matter of time before the Billy and Ant’s story begins to unravel. When the local Police Constable asks to speak to Billy and Ant about the situation their teacher is shocked – they couldn’t possibly have seen what had happened, they were very specific about their whereabouts during the incident. Billy and Ant realise that it is only a matter of time before the truth catches up to them, and they discover just how much trouble their lie has caused.


The guilt and fear at having told a lie proves to be more trouble than it was worth. When Billy and Any made the decision to hide their true whereabouts from their teacher, they may have thought they were committing a victimless crime, but in reality, like a pebble being dropped into a pond, their lie created ripples that were more far-reaching than either boy could ever have imagined.


The reality is that if they had just told the truth to begin with, they wouldn’t have got in any trouble – their teachers and parents would likely have been concerned for their wellbeing, rather than disappointed and hurt. By telling a lie, they made things the worse not just for themselves, but for all those around them too.


Billy and Ant Lie is another a wonderful example of a story that young children can enjoy reading along with the parents, while learning a little bit about the world around them. The book is well-written and easy to follow, offering an accessible route for parents to broach an issue that is likely to affect many young children as they begin their journey into adulthood.


Minter’s Billy Books are designed for parents, guardians, teachers and the young minds they care for, to help smooth the journey along the bumpy road from late childhood into adolescence. The books provide lessons and advice for children, as well as a conversation starter for adults wishing to approach these subjects with their young counterparts. By providing a character than children can relate to, the books help children to form an understanding of the real-world implications of their actions.


https://jadetheobscure.com/2018/03/10/billy-and-ant-lie-james-minter/


By James Minter, Jan 16 2018 02:59PM


For me “how to” books are the best and V.V Cam’s books are up there with the most useful. This book is the latest addition to her “Because Money Matters” series and is a very worthy addition it is indeed.

V.V Cam has a particular structure and style to her writing – honest, inclusive, and written from hard-won experience and knowledge presented in a concise, yet extremely readable style. She includes many self-check questionaries’ and dozens of links to really valuable websites for the reader to get extra information or guidance.


Although this book focuses on Fiverr.com as the platform on which to build your freelancing business, the breadth and depth of the content and lessons learnt make it suitable for any intending, new or recent person thinking of going it alone. Becoming your own boss sounds very glamorous, but the reality is, the buck stops with you every time: this fact alone makes many an individual think twice about going down this route. The truth is, with planning, preparation and a copy of V.V Cam’s book under your arm you will be off to a great start…and just in time.


The rise of the Gig Economy - an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements, i.e. freelancing – is predicted by Intuit to account for 40 percent of American worker employment by the year 2020. This book is very timely, and for only the price of a cup of coffee, a very worthy investment. Hone your skills, develop your communication abilities and take control of your working life.

A copy of this book was provided by the author for review purposes.



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