Take a journey with me
Hi! Thanks for stopping by. This is my site to show you the books I have written and why.
I have written three books so far and they have all been very close to my heart. Each book is set as fiction but I have pulled from my own experiences from each one to tell a story with the intention of connecting with the reader on a deeper level so they know they are not alone, even if we feel it sometimes.
About the author
Take a Journey with me began in lockdown. I have always wanted to be a writer and growing up I would always be writing poems, short stories and day dreaming about the next words on the page. When I became a parent, as so often happens, my goals were set aside while I pushed the children towards theirs and my writing became forgotten although the desire was still there. I realised in the winter of 2019, I needed to focus on my writing to make my dreams a reality as my children are getting that bit older and I am always telling them they should reach for the stars; I needed to set that example of not settling for anything less than your dreams, so I wrote my first book called The Secret Forest which tells the story of a young boy with sensory challenges through a child's eyes, wonderfully illustrated by my son, Since then I have written a second book called The Perfect Mask which is now featured in The Sue Atkins book club, this book is about parenting, mental health and friendship.
I have written a third book called Harry's New Wings, beautifully published by Emmie Schofield and this is to introduce the simple conversation to younger children about gender identity to help them start a conversation they may not know how to have. It is also to support siblings who may have a change in the family and to learn to accept changes in their friends at school. Our local school wholly supported the book and is using it in their nurture hubs as a resource to support children with gender identity through Harry's New Wings which gives me immense pride as this is what the book is intended for.
The Perfect Mask
I have written this book to highlight the issues around mental health. How the constant high expectations we place upon ourselves as parents can eventually wear us down. Depression can come in many forms and is often hidden well.
Jenny Jones was beautiful, always impeccably dressed, had the gorgeous husband with the good job, twins! - One of each! Big house and nice car; she had it all, her life was perfect. Or was it?Under the surface no-one could see the demons she faced, the guilt she carried and the pressure she put herself under every waking moment of each and every day.
The truth was, she was struggling, more than even she realised; just existing day to day, her secret burden weighing her down, not able to connect with people or make friends, becoming increasingly distant from her devoted husband. She tries desperately to keep it all together, maintaining her image to the world. The pretense exhausting her, until she no longer knows how to keep going and everything begins to fall apart.
This book is about three friends who share the common struggles of parenthood, juggling life with the added pressures of caring for children with extra needs, following their ups and downs, their pitfalls and joys, their mental health and the one thing that keeps them strong, their friendship. It's this friendship that Jenny needs desperately but can she let down her guard enough to let it in?
I inadvertently binge read this book - I was totally hooked all the way through, couldn't put it down. Relating to the characters, well one in particular, I felt what they felt, I cried with them and I laughed with them, I hope this author writes more because she "get's it". She took me on an emotional journey which was surprisingly healing, and gave me a glimmer of hope.
The Perfect Mask is definitely a novel you should read if you work in SEND. Often we're oblivious to how much is going on behind the scenes for the parents of children who have additional needs. This book brilliantly captures the reality in a story beautifully written by Claire Lamb
This book is a must read! It's a delightful little gem of a book that explores friendship and difference. The exploration of societies pressures and the need for perfection is beautifully written and resonated with me. The story was well developed and the characters very relatable. The topic of special needs was well developed and so lovingly explored. If you are looking for an honest, well written and relatable book then this is it. I couldn't put it down and it created many emotions within me as a reader.
The Secret Forest
Let Jake take you on a journey; inviting you to experience his sensory world, full of challenges with him as his study of self discovery unfolds. Jake is an 11 year old boy with an excitable younger sister. They couldn't be more different with Jake's need for quiet and Sarah's naturally loud ways, but they share a bond nothing could break and a love for the forest which is where their adventures really begin. Jake finds unexpected ways to cope with the difficult days of secondary school that he struggles to function in daily. He finds he is stronger than he ever thought he could be, especially when someone needs his help. "Come with me"
This book is for ages 11 upwards to help conversations around additional needs, bullying and differences.
A thoroughly enjoyable read that's sure to appeal to anyone whose ever felt a little different.
Written with a raw warmth, a wonderful charm, and packed with some adorable characters.... something I find all too often missing in today's world of best sellers.
It's a story about many things, but for me, it was about friendship, acceptance, connections and differences. It takes you to a well imagined fantasy world, and doesn't stop until you've experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, and a heartfelt ending.
A special mention must also go to the illustrations which have their own unique style, and help bring the story to life.
I'm looking forward to the follow-up book.
"This book has left me with a very warm feeling inside. The characters are described wonderfully. You cannot stop yourself from adoring them. Most importantly, it gave such a good insight into the thoughts and feelings of a young person with complex needs. It's kind to the reader in the way it explains everything in a way that can be understood by reader young or old. I love the story, i imagined myself falling and flying as they did. I won't say anymore, other than, read it. It's precious." Leah Knight
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Wow what a beautiful book with a heart warming story. It's got the right balance of emotion and humour throughout. I miss the characters already, that's when I know I've enjoyed a book. I was connected to Jake and Sarah instantly
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, was well written, great illustrations and gave me a better understanding of autism. Highly recommend a read!
A lovely story written by someone with great passion. Would be lovely to think that this story may educate some who have no experience of any child with hidden differences. Thoroughly enjoyable, thoughtful and loving
Harry is a caterpillar, happily spending his days munching through leaves and sleeping. He loves to day dream about the day he will become a butterfly like those he sees everyday, flying high in the sky, watching them in awe. He cannot wait to grow his own wings to be able to fly along with them and imagines what colours he might be, he wants to be red and black; those are his favourites, but blue is great too, it's so hard to choose between the two.
When Harry finally emerges from his long sleep, and he gets to see his wings for himself, Harry is very confused and sad, his wings are the wrong colour; they don't feel right to him, they're not at all what he'd imagined. Harry doesn't know how to feel about it and loses the will to fly and sing, other butterflies begin to make fun of him, so he walks through the garden alone, feeling like no-one understands him.
When Harry meets friends that not only understand him but feel the same way too, he doesn't feel so alone anymore, they stay together, helping each other, and soon, a little bee comes along who not only listens to them all, but offers them some hope to be able to have the wings they all dreamed of.
Take a journey with me
How We Got Our Start
I wrote this book as a gentle introduction to the conversation of transgender and non binary for children and their parents, caregivers and teachers.
Often when children are young, they may lack the communication tools to explain how they feel over the confusion of their own bodies, trying to conform to a stereo type and pushing down feelings they don't understand, dealing with body dysphoria and low self esteem which grows as they do, cementing mental health issues, unfortunately leading to more serious issues.
Sometimes from the simplest of conversations, the biggest of revelations are born.
I wanted to create a book that simply shows how we can feel different inside, that we may not be the only ones feeling this way and that we can talk about our feelings, that it is ok to show how we feel on the inside and that there are people that can help and accept us for who we really are; this acceptance should start young, so our children can grow feeling connected to who they are at a young age, growing in confidence and feeling proud of themselves.
Young minds create acceptance and the younger we teach them to love themselves and to be who they really are, the stronger not only they will be, but our future generation, the more they will accept themselves and their friends.
Be proud to be you. Always X