Sunday 25 August 2019

Meditation For Children by Shelley Wilson @ShelleyWilson72 BLOG TOUR #MeditationForChildren @BHCPressBooks #MyLifeInBooks

Author and meditation tutor Shelley Wilson takes you on a magical journey to a calm and happy place that you and your child will love.
Children of all ages can learn and enjoy the benefits of meditation.
Designed to help access creative abilities through relaxation and imagination, these stories help develop the necessary tools needed at a young age for lifelong healthy habits of managing stress and anxiety while also improving learning skills.
Meditation for Children is a simple way to introduce children to mindfulness through guided visualization. Includes a handy reference guide and instructions.

Meditation For Children by Shelley Wilson, illustrated by Phaedra Elson was published on 22 August by BHC Press.
As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life in Books

My Life in Books - Shelley Wilson

I was fortunate enough to have a dad who loved inventing stories, and so my earliest memories of bedtime reading involved a little girl (me) visiting Blackpool or taking a trip to a farmyard to see the baby lambs. I’m reasonably sure there were a few Janet and John moments in there too when mum took over.

The first book I remember, and the book that sparked my love of reading, was Enid Blyton’s The Folk of the Faraway Tree. The possibility that if I climbed a tree, I would enter a weird and wonderful land filled with new friends and adventures left me spellbound. Consequently, my early years were spent three feet in the air hanging to a quivering bough and covered in bruises with plasters on my knees.

When I wasn’t daydreaming about joining Moonface on a quest, I was fantasising about being Mildred Hubble from The Worst Witch (Jill Murphy). Witches and wizards fascinated me long before Harry climbed out of his cupboard under the stairs. It appears that my love of all things fantasy and supernatural developed at a young age. I would have been ten years old at this stage and devoured anything I could get my hands on that allowed me to escape reality. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (C.S.Lewis) was another firm favourite, as was Danny The Champion of the World (Roald Dahl) and The Borrowers (Mary Norton) – who, might I add, were most definitely responsible for the mysterious disappearance of my Brownie hat!

Mildred Hubble was a character I could resonate with, but then Sue Townsend introduced me to The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, and I knew I’d found another character as nerdy as me. The idea of anyone reading my diary was unfathomable at that time, but reading this book gave me the confidence to share my angst about life and friendships – in secret, of course.

As I reached the tender and impressionable age of sixteen, I found life at secondary school to be a huge disappointment. I was an avid reader of the U.S Sweet Dreams Series and couldn’t understand why my school corridors weren’t full of cowboys, dreamy surfers, and sporty gods. I only recently gave away my collection to charity, although I did keep my favourite book P.S I Love You by Barbara Conklin, which is notoriously difficult to get hold of these days. I must have read this book over twenty times (and cried every time). My original copy is well-worn and still takes pride of place on my shelf. My love of travel, especially America, came about from reading these books and I even signed up for Camp America when I was twenty-two, so I could see the places in the novels for myself.

My college years were spent partying and pretending I knew what I was doing. This meant I left behind the ‘childish’ romance novels and raided my parent’s bookshelves. I enjoyed my dad’s Wilbur Smith books and mum’s Danielle Steel novels, notably Message from Nam. However, it was during these years I discovered James Herbert’s horror novels (or chiller fiction), and soon had an entire bookshelf dedicated to Herbert’s books. The Rats was my favourite, and I would scare myself silly every time I was on a train that stopped inside a tunnel.

Getting married and having my three children took precedence over my reading and I went through a period of ten years where all I read where Noddy books or Biff and Chip! When my children were 2, 3, and 5, I divorced my abusive husband and rediscovered my love of reading. At that time, I needed to rebuild my life, and that’s how I found myself in the Mind, Body, Spirit section of Waterstones one rainy afternoon. The book that jumped off the shelf and started my fascination with self-help and personal development was The Secret (Rhonda Byrne). I’d never been interested in non-fiction until that moment, and now I’ve amassed an impressive collection of self-help titles, and written quite a few of my own.

Fighting my way back to normality, whatever that may be, was tough yet necessary. The self-help books I read each gave me a piece of the puzzle that made me whole again. However, I was desperate to get back to fiction. I tried my old favourite genres, but nothing felt right, romance novels were an absolute no, no (and still are), and I didn’t enjoy horror as much as I had. It was then that I stumbled across young adult (YA) fantasy and in particular Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and would love to personally thank Joss Whedon and Buffy for getting me through the majority of crap in my marriage. For one hour a week, I was left alone to enjoy this show, and so it will always have a special place in my heart. The YA fantasy genre took me back to that safe space I’d carved out. Maggie’s books were followed by City of Bones (Cassandra Clare) and Throne of Glass (Sarah J.Maas).

Escaping reality is something I’ve done since I first followed Moonface up that Magic Faraway Tree, and it’s a place where I feel at home. Reading YA fantasy at 47 years old may seem odd to some, but young adult novels are incredibly fast-paced, full of bold issues and incredible story arcs that show the evolution of a character as they come-of-age.

If you’re tempted to give YA fantasy a go, then I can highly recommend Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo). This is a phenomenal novel (soon to be made into a TV series) and a book I wish I’d written. Her writing is pure gold.

Being a multi-genre author means I’ve also developed my multi-genre reading habit. I tend to switch between non-fiction self-help and young adult fantasy. However, more recently, I’ve tried other genres that I wouldn’t usually seek out. Historical fiction is something I’m enjoying more and more, especially if it’s about the Tudors or Vikings, and post-apocalyptic is becoming a firm favourite with October Rain (Dylan J Morgan), and Tipping Point (Terry Tyler) being my favourites.

I do keep trying to read romance, but I never get beyond chapter one. Fortunately, my family and friends love this genre, so I’m able to recommend books to them written by my talented author pals. On the flip side, I get tagged in on anything werewolf and vampire-related, so my reading list is always evolving!

Shelley Wilson - August 2019 

Shelley Wilson is an English author of motivational self-help titles and young adult fantasy fiction. 
Her sensible side writes non-fiction books to inspire you to be the best you can be, and her cheeky and playful side writes young adult fiction to remind you to nurture that inner teen.
Shelley is a single mum of three, has a crazy black cat called Luna and is obsessed with vampires, Tudor history, and exploring castles. 
She’s tall (5ft 10inches) which seems to surprise people when they meet her. She often hears, “you’re much taller than your profile picture!” (Courtesy of Goodreads)

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