#SecondHalf Update

So, I can’t quite believe it’s been nearly a year since we said goodbye to corporate life, and our world in Joburg. I’ll do a proper update on July 2nd when the year is up, but today was a very special day for us. As most of you will know, we’re on a two year sabbatical to detox from corporate, work on personal stuff, regroup, heal, pray, read, write, publish, and seek God’s will for the second half of our adult life.

It’s been a huge lesson in patience, and will no doubt continue to be. It’s been well over two years since we decided to do this, and the answers are coming slowly… but as always… perfectly. It’s been a huge leap of faith in every way, but we’re starting to bear fruit of our hard work, trust, patience and obedience.

There’ve only been a small handful of concrete directions since the first plans thirty months ago and we’ve just had to keep trusting and pushing forward. Then a month ago there were a couple of biggies and today, almost out of nowhere, a bunch more! In some ways they feel like they’ve come tumbling out of nowhere, but as the kids have reminded us, looking back, everything’s pointed to this!! For so long! Even the little things!

I’m sorry to be so vague, but we’re still working through details and we don’t have all the answers ourselves yet. And we’re so excited and I want you to know we’re working hard on stuff and we aren’t just following our noses around Italy or anywhere else for nothing. And because people keep saying “I hope you’re enjoying your retirement!!” as if we’re wasting our lives doing nothing. We aren’t collecting seashells and we aren’t being mindless.

So if you’re part of the tribe who’re praying for us, please keep praying! If you’re not, that’s ok too and we still appreciate your support and your messages and you’ll know what’s happening the same as anyone else 😊

Thanks too for sooo many book sales and climbing! This is all coming together and we’re enormously thankful!

With love from both of us,

My Captain and his Stoker (photo cred: the Captain 😊)

Reader's Club!Do you want to know more about what’s behind my books? See exclusive photos? Get other free stuff?

Join The JPeaSmith Reader’s Club for non-spam emails with all that and more by clicking HERE. (Yes, this used to be a newsletter but I found that a bit stuffy, which doesn’t suit me).

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

Tribes!

You already know I have a thing about tribes right? If not, it’s time you did. We’re on day eleven (I think) of our #SevenFerries trip to the UK to get some paperwork sorted then back again via Portugal and Spain to try ride some of the #CaminoWay on Daisy! Not as a spiritual journey but because we were close by anyway, and I’d always thought I’d like to walk here, (then when I couldn’t walk any more – certainly not any kind of distance), I thought I’d never do this. So in some ways this is a bit of up “up yours!” at mah Eeds as I ride bits of it instead.

We arrived via ferry from the UK a couple of hours ago and we’re tucked inside doing work for the book launch week and writing madly for the next two books. We love wild camping and there’s nothing quite like sitting in Molly working away. But some of the camping is a bit odd. In France they provide free spots of mostly small green patches, but in Spain they do things differently.

They use sporting facility car parks and other tarmac areas that otherwise sit empty. It sounds very odd but it’s brilliant and so clever. Like the French, these stops have rubbish, water, and dumpling facilities for a small fee. It’s often not as pretty, but when you’re only staying to sleep, it really doesn’t matter once it’s dark.

It’s safe, you know you’re welcome, but above all, it feels great to be amongst our own. We’re surrounded by mostly huge beasts, so we’re the babies by a long shot, but as the sun goes down and little lights go on and the little homes light up with cooking and chatting and settling in for the night, as bicycles are strapped down and dishes are washed and out comes the red wine, we feel like we belong in this strange tribe. We’re in the middle of a miniature village.

The guy in the van in front of us offered to move (we didn’t need him to but thanked him), but he doesn’t speak a word of English. Our tribe is made up of all kinds of people from all over the planet. We’re bound by one thing only; this place and our similar journeys! One that knits us together just a little bit. 😊

Nighty night from Spain!!

PS: My Africa my Home eBook is on sale today and tomorrow if you didn’t get your copy before launch!! http://getbook.at/MyAfricamyHome

Reader's Club!Do you want to know more about what’s behind my books? See exclusive photos? Get other free stuff?

Join The JPeaSmith Reader’s Club for non-spam emails with all that and more by clicking HERE. (Yes, this used to be a newsletter but I found that a bit stuffy, which doesn’t suit me).

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

Launch Day Thanks!

Well, I had two options the last few weeks: pour my heart and soul and currently limited energy supplies into getting these books out, OR throwing everything at yesterday’s launch day. I knew I’d do both poorly if I tried to do everything. So writing became the winner, and I’ve fallen short on any kind of huge hurrah… and maybe that also has a little bit to do with denial? Maybe there’s a little bit of concern about my own failings as a writer, an author, a storyteller, and whether or not I even have anything worthy to say. So if the book flopped it would be because I didn’t have a launch party.

And so I left the publishing work to him, and let him advertise and upload the books, and check it was all as it should be… while I moved on to working on the next couple of books due to launch in May and June respectively.

So in some ways, I expected launch day to be a little like any other day. Immensely thankful for the hundreds of preorder sales under our belts, I let go and let things happen a little organically. I didn’t expect everyone to buy it, or to read it this weekend just because it arrived in so many Kindles today, but from Thursday, the responses and reviews and messages have flooded in and I’m both floored and thankful!!

Helen Pryke is my proof-reader, a professional I pay not to like my book but to iron out the last of the editing creases, to make sure the little things are all sorted. She’s amazing, and I highly recommend her as a proofreader. I’m thankful for her and the skills she brings to the final copy of my books.

But imagine my surprise to see this wonderful review, and award, that popped up in my newsfeed on launch day morning!

“….so when Jennifer asked me to edit her memoir, I knew it would be a good read. What I didn’t realise is that it would be a great read! From the first pages, Jennifer had me hooked – if I hadn’t had to read it slowly due to editing, I’d have devoured it in a day!” Helen Pryke – author and proofreader.

img_3684

I was flying on the high from this when the next picture popped up with a tag request, all the way from Melbourne Australia!!

savingpng-64

And then my messages started going off and this came through:

“I’ve just sat and read your whole story 🙂 You’re probably up to your eye balls in floods of messages, but I just wanted to say, I LOVED reading your book! I can’t wait to read the next one! 😀 “

A full-length novel is 85,000 words long. My Africa my Home is slightly short of that at around 60,000 words, so for someone to read it in one sitting is a huge compliment and everything I’d hoped for!

And last, but by no means least, this notification popped up. It’s been a hugely busy week on my Author Page!

savingpng-65

So anyway, thanks to everyone whose been a part of this wonderful and very special day!! It was by pure coincidence that we landed up in the UK, amongst family and friends for an impromptu celebratory drink, dinner and evening with the guitar … we went to bed rather late and over the moon!

And now we wait for the Amazon reviews – please don’t forget to leave one, and to share any of the book posts on Facebook?? The sharing over the next few weeks will make or break the success of this book!

Reader's Club!Do you want to know more about what’s behind my books? See exclusive photos? Get other free stuff?

Join The JPeaSmith Reader’s Club for non-spam emails with all that and more by clicking HERE. (Yes, this used to be a newsletter but I found that a bit stuffy, which doesn’t suit me).

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

The Wedding!!!

So, we’re on this fabulous -91- sleep round trip to a family wedding in Italy and we’re nineteen sleeps in, so that leaves -72- to get home again. The straightest route home would be to head south again:

….but instead we headed north and we’re now slap bang in the middle of Switzerland. On a farm.

… and tomorrow we’ll be heading off even further north. So follow along if you’d like. But seeing as this trip was all about the wedding, I’d love to share a little of it with you. As it’s not my wedding, I won’t overshare someone else’s day, but I do want to share with you why yesterday was so special for me.

If you’ve read any of my books, you’ll know I’ve never belonged or been welcome in my family of origin. You’ll also know how aware I am of the roles our tribes play in everyone’s lives, and how discombobulating and soul destroying it can be to feel you don’t belong anywhere. You’ll also know that for many good reasons, we’ve lived all over the world. That’s a great thing and I’m most thankful for that. But the two (no tribe plus nomadic lifestyle) can be a lethal combination. Especially for the things so many “normal” people take for granted; friendships, weddings, funerals, rites of passage, to name a few.

I love weddings, and one of the careers I might have had, if I’d been given normal opportunities, would have been somewhere around weddings. There are lots about that in my memoirs, but the bottom line is, that over the years, just for love, I’ve made half a dozen wedding dresses, a number of wedding cakes, run a handful of weddings, done the flowers for more than a few, and decorated for more than I can count. But being a “normal” attendee; not so much. And other than my children’s weddings, or the ones I’ve been involved in, I’ve missed almost all the family and friend weddings of my life.

Many of us don’t think of wedding attendance as being a rite of passage, but it’s only when you miss out on most of them that you realise what an important part of tribal culture they are. For the last few days, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching that play out at this wedding. Being a “destination wedding” everyone stayed a few nights at least, and we didn’t know anyone except the immediate family. So The Captain and I got to be a fly on the wall as the other guests assumed we had nothing to do with the wedding and did their thing. We got to sit around the pool next to some of them and overhear them sharing stories of the couple and themselves of years gone by. We got to watch them singing silly songs in the pool as they anticipated some antics for the reception ahead. Later, as they sat at the table next us to, we got to see the odd friend shed a tear of joy he thought no one saw.

The last few days we’ve watched friendships gather new depths, and relationships strengthen. We met super proud uncles, adoring cousins, and we got to see some people at what they thought were their worst but we thought were their best. When people feel pressure and rise to the occasion anyway, it’s such a pleasure to watch.

It was a gift. It was an honour to be there. But most of all, it was super special for me because the mother of the bride is my cousin. A third cousin I think, but none of this once or twice removed nonsense. We share an incredible heritage, and we share passionate Scottish blood. I had no idea she existed till just a few short years ago and suddenly I have family in ways I never thought I would. I do have another set of cousins whom I love just as dearly, but there’s always room for a second set I say! So the bride was my niece of sorts and as the Captain said so many times yesterday, we’re so proud of her!! How can someone new pop into one’s lives and take up a place so special so quickly? I think that’s the blood thing.

The Captain and I scrubbed up alright for a couple who’d been camping for three weeks! 🤣

The bride has brothers and of course a groom and it’s been incredible getting to know them too. One we’ve known for a while but for the baby of the family, I was so nervous to meet him for the first time. But we clicked and he found his way so quickly into my heart and when I learnt he was the baker of the cake and he learnt I could string a couple of flowers together we hit it off immediately. I’d already been given the honour of doing the flowers by his mother, my cousin, so this was really just an extension of that. But we had so much fun as he added the flowers to his creation and I got to cheer him on every step of the way. If you need a wedding cake (any cake!) anywhere in Europe, this is your guy!!!

To be included the way they included us was beyond special for me. To be there as a guest because they wanted us there was amazing. To attend a family wedding other than my own or my babies, was uniquely heart warming, and to get to contribute was also to be included – which means everything when you live on the fringes. To be invited in was so wonderful.

If you read anything I write or know anything of my greatest passions, you’ll know they’re all about community and inclusion and working alongside each other.

The wedding was beautiful and not just for this incredible setting and GORGEOUS bride, but because of the connections and the love and the laughter and the community and the kin!!!

So… now we’re off home again the loooong way around, AND book two in the memoir series goes live on Monday! So if you haven’t grabbed your copy at preorder prices then grab it HERE before then 😊💜👊🏻.

Reader's Club!Do you want to know more about what’s behind my books? See exclusive photos? Get other free stuff?

Join The JPeaSmith Reader’s Club for non-spam emails with all that and more by clicking HERE. (Yes, this used to be a newsletter but I found that a bit stuffy, which doesn’t suit me).

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

What’s a Pre-Order?

Screenshot 2019-02-06 at 09.52.20

Ok, so the two hottest questions in my inbox right now are “What’s a preorder?” and its cousin “I bought your book and I can’t see it yet!” – with a mild sense of panic.

But there’s no need to fear. This is how it’s supposed to work. You buy it now at a huge discount, and then on launch day, if it’s an eBook it’ll pop up on your device, or if it’s a paperback Amazon will send it to your mailbox – for you to read at your pleasure (not forgetting to review at the end too of course :p ).

Why would I buy a pre-order?

1: The best reason is that it’s the cheapest way to do it. It’s an incentive to get the sales ball rolling, and so far it’s working. It means that on launch day, only seven weeks away, instead of starting with zero sales, I’ll start off with hundreds, and I’ve got my readers to thank for that. When everyone else sees it go “live” and grabs their own copy, they’ll pay three times as much as you did.

2: The second reason is – you won’t forget. We all have great intentions, and after my last book, some people who genuinely couldn’t wait to read it – forgot to. And that’s ok, but I don’t like reminding people so I didn’t say anything more. Then a few months later something popped up on their Facebook feed and they wrapped me over the knuckles; “why didn’t you remind me” they asked. When you preorder, we can all forget, and no one gets sore knuckles.

The bottom line is:

Strike while the iron’s hot AND get it on sale!

Here are the main preorder links, but you can get it on all the Amazon sites: Just click on your region and it’ll take you right there – USAusUK, and Canada.

JPeaSmith Reader's ClubDo you want to know more about what’s behind my books? See exclusive photos? Get other free stuff?

Join The JPeaSmith Reader’s Club for non-spam emails with all that and more by clicking HERE. (Yes, this used to be a newsletter but I found that a bit stuffy, which doesn’t suit me).

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
Author Pic

My Africa my Home PreOrder LINKS

FiF01 Square thumbnail copyThanks so much for the support so far! Day two and your purchases have already pushed “My Africa My Home into #1 spot in some New Release categories. If you haven’t got your copy yet (66% off if you preorder now), then just click on the links in your COUNTRY below (where you buy your Amazon books from), and it will take you directly there, where you can buy it at 66% off, for preordering.
It’s available on any Amazon worldwide, but here are the short links to USAusUK, and Canada.
(And don’t forget to sign onto my personal, no spam mailing list for lots of free stuff! (not just free stuff, but some of the upcoming short books and personal photos will only be released through my mailing list).

cropped-author-twitter-cover-3.jpg

  Newsletter link:  http://eepurl.com/cvljU9

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
Author Pic

My Africa my Home!

Here it is!! I’m beyond excited to announce that the first book in The Fault in the Family memoir seriesMY AFRICA MY HOME is ready for preorder! I’m nervous, I’m excited, it’s been an incredible journey, and it’s not over yet. I would just love it if you could have a look, maybe a buy (it’s way cheaper to buy it as a preorder than once it launches on April 12th). It’s available as an eBook on all Amazons around the world.

Book Cover Medium One

Here’s the blurb:IG Author Bio-2Scrawny and straw-haired, seven-year-old Jenny wakes up frozen. Her eyes won’t open, her voice refuses to work, she can’t even move her lips or her tongue. In fear, she grasps for her face, but her arms are both tied down, splayed out at either side. Why can’t she move? Where is she? And how did she get here? Her immediate assumption is that this is a punishment. But what was her crime? She searches through a mass of fear and fog, and as a blurry picture begins to form, of noise and drama, snot and tears, horror and panic …. she finds it. That must be it. She’d ignored the rules, fractured the silence, made a scene. She’d broken the cardinal rule; she’d been disobedient. Publicly. She’d broken free of invisible and caused all this terrible trouble. And now she was paying the price.

In this, the first book in the Fault in the Family Memoirs, Jennifer shares her gripping story of chronic neglect and loneliness in her teeny-tiny-bubble-of-a-world, slap bang in the middle of white, privileged, apartheid South Africa in the seventies. In My Africa My Home, Jennifer sets the tone and the background for this epic journey that will transport the reader through five decades, two families, eight international moves, and a shocking hundred-year-old legacy that underpins it all, in her search for identity, “home” and a place to belong.

As a teacher, mentor, author, artist, disability activist, TCK, corporate-wife and above all, mother, Jennifer brings her wealth of life experience as well as and her beautiful, heartfelt, vulnerable, passionate writing style to this incredible life story of hope where there shouldn’t be, and of redemption in ways she would never have imagined.

—- * —-

If you’d like to read the first chapter, sign on to my email list HERE and I’ll email you a copy.

Please share, and shout if you’d like an interview, a chat, a review …. or to help spread the word!

img_4812

 Newsletter link:  http://eepurl.com/cvljU9

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
JPS Author Signature 02