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

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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.

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

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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!

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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:

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@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).

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I don’t Own a KINDLE!

Because my books are available on Kindle, people assume I have one. I don’t, but I do buy Kindle books all the time and read Kindle Books almost exclusively.

This is because I read them on my phone.

The app is free, easy, and any device I have has the potential to become a Kindle reader… even my computer. So if this is what has held you back from the wonderful world of Kindle, then look up Kindle App on your device, and download it.

Kindle App

My Africa my Home

Have you bought your copy of my first memoir yet? It’s 66% off if you buy it now, and it’ll land in your Kindle or Kindle app on launch day!

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 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:

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@JPeaSmith
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What’s a Pre-Order?

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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:

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@JPeaSmith
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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).

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

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@JPeaSmith
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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.

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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.

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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!

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

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New Look, New Book!

It’s not quite official yet, but the long-awaited, much anticipated first book in my memoir series is just about ready! Amazon is doing their thing, we’re just sorting out pricing and fiddling with boring things like blurbs and bios… all of which I hate doing. But it needs to be done and by Monday we should have all the links and the ball will begin to roll. It will be ten weeks till launch but if you’re on the email list I’ll sneak you some photos, snippets, and even the first chapter!

I’ll tell you more about it this week, but in the meantime we’ve both been completely lost down the rabbit hole of artwork, cleaning up links, giving this old blog a new look, dotting all the “i”s and crossing all the “t”s. So if you notice anything that needs fixin, pleeease tell me!

I’ve even updated the “Who am I?” post HERE which was very out of date, so check it out if you’d like.

And I love my header. I do almost all my writing on my lap in bed, at airports, on couches, in Molly…. so I no longer have a real desk, so my new header is the one I created. It’s my imaginary desk, (though the photos are real… I took them and pieced them together)… I think I need to add a cup of tea, what do you think?

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If you’d like to receive the first chapter of My Africa My Home – The Fault in the Family Memoirs Book 1 (for free, in your mailbox), then sign on for my “big news only” (I promise I won’t spam you! I only send them when something important is happening) then click HERE.

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Are You On Board?

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Hi to all my readers, friends, supporters and fans (like I have fans LOL)… are you able to help me launch my next book?

Next year I will be launching my first full-length book, my memoir, but I won’t launch till I have a full support team and the support to launch well. So this month I’m going to be sorting it all out, and I’d love to know who’s in, who’s out and what people are happy to do. I don’t want to put ANY pressure on anyone, I also don’t want you to feel you need to be there for me in ways that you don’t want to. Many of you signed on last time to be a part of my launch team and I made the HUGE mistake of thinking that everyone could do everything. But I was wrong and I apologize deeply and sincerely!

I want to do things very differently this time. To give you some idea of how this is going to go, here is what you can expect to see:

November will be loads of posts and lots of sorting, then we will be relatively quiet through to next year. I can’t launch till I get the numbers spelt out below, but when that happens, it will be all systems go for a couple of months through launch and that’s when I’ll need most of your support.

I need you to work out what you are happy with, so please feel free to A: pick one kind of support, B: pick a few ways to support or C: nothing (or to pull out now if you’ve already signed on), or at least pull out well before launch, so I don’t count on you and then get let down.

Here are the different kinds of support:

1: BETA READERS.
A handful of you signed on to be Beta Readers last time and you were an immense help. I have a bunch of tools and an editor this time, so by the time the manuscript gets to Beta Reading time, there will hopefully only be a few mistakes (if any LOL). For you lot, once you have signed on I will interact with you one on one. Beta Readers won’t be needed before next February, maybe even later. I need about 6 of you for this job. If you’re in please email me on the address at the bottom 🙂
2: REVIEWERS:
Some of you are verified Am8zon reviewers, some of you want to be but don’t know how. If you are or want to be (or have a friend who is and is happy to let you review on their account), then you could be a part of this team.
I know that many reviewers hate lots of Facebook posts and don’t need to be part of the build-up and “hype”. So through November, I will be posting HEAPS here about ways to be a good reviewer, how to build your own reputation as an Am8zon reviewer (which has huge benefits), how to get books for free from my other author friends, and so on. Then at the end of November, I will create a mailing list for the Reviewers so that you can get once a month emails specific to this task without having to search your newsfeeds all the time for the relevant info. So again, please let me know if this could be you?
I can’t launch till I have 70 verified reviewers on the team, I’m praying to get at least 50 by the end of this month, and that’s a VERY tall order. These people don’t have to do a thing until launch, but I need them to commit now (and follow through). Then once the book is out those people will “buy” the book for free through the launch, read it and review it with an honest review.
3: BRAND AMBASSADORS:
Others of you don’t want to, can’t, or won’t do verified reviews, and aren’t into Beta Reading either, and I want you all to know that that is TOTALLY fine! I also know that many of you in this category are on Fb almost every day and that you are very visible. I desperately need a team of people like this as well, who can spend a minute or two when you are on Facebook, supporting my brand. “Likes” on posts these days have no success anymore because of “Like farms” and “click farms”, but comments and shares have huge power still. I won’t expect anyone to do things every day, but if you would like to support me by being a Brand Ambassador for Jennifer Peacock-Smith, then that would be awesome! The more the merrier of course, but I can’t launch till I have at least 20 of these. Again, please let me know if you’d like this to be you!
If none of the above appeals to you, please don’t sign on (or quietly remove yourself from the group if you are already on it). I don’t expect ANYONE to stay and won’t be offended I promise, but I need a solid team I can rely on and it’s better to slowly build it with committed members than to think it’s big enough to launch when it isn’t and in reality, half the group aren’t involved.
If you don’t join, (or leave) you will still be loved and you can still see everything when it happens on my Facebook Author Page linked below.

But if you want to join my team, I will eternally grateful! Please either:

*Email me at JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

and/or

*Sign on for my private Facebook Street Team Group HERE!

and/or

*Sign on for my usual brief, monthly newsletters which will have the basics each month HERE.

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

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

@JPeaSmith