Author Guest Post: Jennifer Gilmour

‘Our wings were clipped, our restrictions were made, our boundaries were tested but now we are free, aren’t we?We look above in the sky at the birds and hope to be free. But the birds make their nests in the trees high above, to protect themselves from predators. Free birds must keep looking over their shoulders the same way all of us have to.’

-Jennifer Gilmour

Today I have a very special guest post for you from Jennifer Gilmour who will be discussing a very important topic with us. I have read and reviewed both of Jennifer’s books and they were fantastic. Jennifer is an Advocare for women in using relationships. Author of Isolation Junction, Clipped Wings and columnist for CCChat Magazine.

The Darker Side to Christmas

You may think I am going to write a piece of flash fiction or talk about a recently read thriller book – but I am not. What I am going to share with you is, in fact, reality for so many people all around the world – especially at Christmas.

My name is Jennifer Gilmour and I am a survivor of domestic abuse, I have published two books both with a focus on raising awareness about domestic abuse at their core. Whilst both aim to raise this awareness one is written as a work of  fiction whilst the other is a compilation of survivor stories and therefore non-fiction. Both work in different ways to educate and raise awareness of this insidious and unacceptable behaviour.

Over Christmas, incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police rise. Assault and domestic murders increase 25% during the festive period with a third of them been on Christmas Day itself. Bombarded with images of the perfect nuclear family gathered around the gold baubles of a Christmas tree, it can be easy to forget that Christmas is a time of coercion, punishment and violence for many women* and men.

Christmas for me was one of the loneliest times of the year and a time when I would try to be on ‘my’ best behaviour’, meaning that I didn’t even think of not doing as I was told because I didn’t want to ‘set him off’. I wanted to keep my partner happy and in trying to do so, I endeavoured to take on the financial pressures myself despite there being rules surrounding gifts for family members. Most of the time I handmade gifts for relatives and although this is a popular option now, compared with the glossy, manufactured offerings, my gifts looked cheap and homely. This made me feel guilty and embarrassed.

Alongside this, Christmas was a perfectly orchestrated opportunity for arguments and the reality was that my ‘best’ behaviour was never ever going to be acceptable to him. There was always something to nit pick at even if it was that I didn’t react to a gift the ‘correct’ way. This criticism nearly always escalated and I always felt he was  simply looking to create conflict with me and I could never understand why this should be the case. It was a relief to be able to look forward to him going back to work after Christmas and thankfully his job didn’t allow for much time off over the (not so) festive period.

I have reduced the price of Clipped Wings which is my latest publication until 25 December to mark this time of the year. I ask you all to share the link and break the silence surrounding this kind of behaviour this Christmas.

* https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2015/12/it-s-hardest-time-year-why-domestic-violence-spikes-over-christmas

You can find link’s to Jennifer’s profiles below.

Website; www.jennifergilmour.com

Facebook; www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

Twitter; www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

Clipped Wings on Amazon UK; https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076KNZJZQ

Clipped Wings on Amazon USA; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076KNZJZQ

Goodreads author profile; https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferGilmour

Clipped Wings on Goodreads; https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36449221-clipped-wings

Huffington post blogger profile; http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

Thank you so much Jennifer for taking the time to talk to us today.

Emma-Louise x

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Book Tour: Isolation Junction {Review and Author Spotlight}

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Hey Everyone,

Today I have another wonderful Book Tour for you. The book in question is Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour.

The Blerb…

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.  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 a 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?  Will Tim help her?  Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves?  Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Review…

Isolation Junction is a very quick read. Each chapter goes between Rose in the present and Rose in the past and gives insight into her situation and background. There are points in the book which may be triggering for those who have suffered domestic violence however I did find the book very well written.

It is easy to feel for Rose, for what she has had to endure and to sympathise with the decisions she makes especially the ones which most of us feel we would never chose ourselves.

I was suprised that the relationship with Tim developed so quickly given the situation however for Rose her relationship with Darren was over long before she had left him.

All in all this is a good book and definintely worth a read.

Author Spotlight…

Years Ago

It was when I was at high school I realised I had a passion for writing. I particularly remember one occasion when the class was told  to write a short story of approximately 500 words.  We were given one title – The Assassin. I still have the piece I wrote. This, I believe, was the moment I realised I had a love for writing creative fiction. After that, I started to write short stories – many of which remained unfinished along with a couple which I illustrated.

I qualified from Hull College with a National Diploma in Acting. At the time, I was proud to receive a DDM (Distinction, Distinction, Merit). Drama was something I particularly loved while I was growing up and so my time at college gave me some fantastic memories that will never be forgotten.

After college, I moved to Leeds to undertake a gap year with the Oasis Trust. This was a community based year out experience. I mainly spent time doing youth work which I found rewarding in so many ways. I followed this path by going to University to take a degree in youth work. I recently (for family reasons) resigned from a job in children’s work.  I thoroughly enjoy the challenge this gives me and hope to recommence this work should an opening come up which I can amalgamate with family life.

Family

I am a mum of three. Sophie is almost seven, Riley is five and Robyn is one. I am married to my wonderful and supportive husband (Rob), we married two weeks before Robyn was born. We clearly like to live life on the edge!

I have a number of close friends who I consider as part of my family. My best friend is called Vicki. We have known each other for 10 years now and she has supported me no matter what. She is the sort of friend who is not afraid to disagree with me and she has certainly helped at times when I have felt low or unsure. I am proud to say that she is also a Godmother to my three children. She is a great role model and I know values her involvement with the children. Thank you, Vicki, for all that you have done in supporting me, you will never know just how much it means.

Work

I work alongside my husband in our family business. We provide an embroidery, printing and bespoke gift service to a variety of clients. We work fantastically well as a team and our differing skills complement each other.

o When I am not working on the business then I tend to be working on my writing and networking for it. However, time is at a premium as being a full-time mum takes up most of my time. My 2 eldest children are at school but I still have my 1 year old at home and it is a privilege to be able to spend so much time with her.

Hobbies

Alongside writing, I have enjoyed enjoy reading from an early age. I suppose that these two things go together.  I spent much of my free time at high school in the library. At the time this seemed embarrassing but now I embrace it and would love to go back and tell myself not to worry what others thought.

I have always been creative and which is unsurprising as both my mum and dad were creative and in particular they have a talent for art which I share with them.

I am a film buff and enjoy a good thriller, drama or action and relax to romance and comedy.

If that isn’t enough then I do like to organise events. This ranges from craft fayres and events at my home church to organising family get togethers, celebrations and festivities.

When I am focused, I love to keep fit and healthy. Recently I have taken to going power walking and more excitedly fitness classes at the trampoline park.

Future

I plan to write another book that follows on from Isolation Junction but at the moment that is all at the research stage.  I am working a project where I am looking to speak with survivors and victims of domestic abuse who are comfortable sharing their experiences. You can find out more here: http://jennifergilmour.com/new-year-new-opportunities/

Personally, I hope to write full time and my husband to take over the business fully with the ability to work from home but we are at the beginning of this working dream. I am lucky to have him as a huge support and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him, I thank you Rob for being my rock.

Thanks for reading

The Stationery Geekette x