My Top 10 parenting blog posts from 2014

As this year comes to a close, I wanted to take this time to highlight some of my parenting posts from this past year (in no particular order). If you missed out on these and want to read more, simply click the “more” link to see the complete post.

listening1.) Eight tips to end the “my kids never listen to me” dilemma – You’ve repeated your request a thousand times – or at least if feel like that. But there sits your child ignoring what you just told them to do. The funny thing is that even though we know our kids may tune us out and choose to focus on their TV program we keep doing the same thing. Sometimes it feels the only way to get the kids to listen is to raise my voice. Then I feel guilty about yelling at them. (more)

2.) If you have children, you need a will (and life insurance) – Most people don’t like to think about death or dying – especially when it is their own life they are considering. And this fear of thinking about it causes many to ignore the subject all together, falsely believing that it won’t happen to them. Or perhaps they have decided that they don’t care what happens after they die. I mean they are already gone, right? (more)

3.) The thing I hate most about party planning – the RSVP (part of 3 part series on parties) – Throwing a party for your child can be a lot of work. I don’t mind the actual party or even the planning of my kids’ parties. In fact, I love designing their invitations. What I hate is waiting for people to RSVP. (more)

4.) Adding a Lego-twist to an army-themed birthday party – After Jase’s birthday party in 2013, I decided that we were done with throwing a party and inviting the whole class to some sort of party place. As Jase gets older, I want to scale back his parties. So we started talking about doing one at home or maybe something with just a few friends at another location. (more)

5.) My kids’ lack of care with their possessions – Just an instant before it hit the water, I realized the doll my daughter tossed into the bathtub was a singing (electronic voice box) doll. Even though my son fished it out quickly, I feared the damage had been done. (more)

CIMG28986.) Planning a trip to Disney World – Part 3 – Our Disney World vacation is getting so close – just a few weeks away in fact. There are so many things I could cover, but I think today I will talk about an ever-changing development as well as one of their annual events. (more)

7.) One down, three ups – “You’re stupid.” “You’re so ugly.” “Poopyhead.”  “You big baby.” Yep, these are all things out of the mouths of children – specifically those would be my children earlier this summer. Some people may brush this off as kids just being kids. Often times kids simply repeat things they hear on TV or from other kids without thinking that these things can hurt others. But they can and they do. (more)

8.) Scheduling Time for Family Dinners – My kids are lucky enough to live within close proximity to both set of grandparents. My parents moved to a city 20 minutes away before my son was born, and my in-laws moved to a small town about 20 minutes north of here about 2 ½ years ago. (more)

9.) Avoiding the Summer Slide – school work in the summer – “Ahh, mom, do we have to?” This is the typical response I receive from my kids when I announce we are going to do school work today – during school vacation. Yes, this summer I am making them review school work and read books so all the knowledge they learned last school year stays “fresh” in their minds. (more)

10.) Why the Otterbox Commuter is so worth it  – When I got my iPhone 4 back in December of 2011, one of the first things I did was look for a cover that would protect the phone if I (or more likely, one of my kids) dropped it. I had heard Otterbox phone cases were very popular and after reading reviews decided I needed one. (more)

So here is to hoping everyone has a wonderful 2015 and I hope you will join me in the new year for more parenting posts.

Today’s Featured Author: Patricia Leslie

Please welcome author Patricia Leslie to Into Another World. Her book, The Ouroboros Key, came out earlier this year.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

This is where I stand up straight and tall, and declare that “I am and always will be a book-aholic!” I do not go anywhere without a book. I usually have a notebook and pen stashed away somewhere as well. I have managed to raise three intelligent children who also carry books around with them (and quite often have notebooks and pens too). I am very proud.

My background is purely non-academic though always creative – from writing, drawing, and photography to desktop publishing and graphic design. And (in the privacy of my living room with the blinds drawn sharply closed and all doors locked) I love to dance! I also love art galleries, exploring old buildings, listening to music that makes me feel, and walking on thick grass with no shoes on.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was quite young, I filled a page with squirly scribbles and believed that I had written a story. And then I started school, which helped people understand the stories I was writing. In all seriousness, I knew I was a writer when (many years after I started school) I started writing fiction. Lots of it. I entered a few short story competitions, did okay, and realized that years of jotting down notes, writing articles and book reviews, overwhelming distant friends with long letters, and penning bad poetry had a purpose after all.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Like my reading list, my project list is juggled with daily living. I am reading two books at the moment (having just finished the third one) and working on two research projects that are slowly turning into novels. One is set in Ancient Gaul and the other (and newest project) is set in Sydney, Australia. I’m a history buff at heart and these two are more historical fiction than fantasy. The Ouroborous Key also has a lot of history in it, but much more magic (so far) than my new works. I do have a hidden desire to create magic though so I’m sure the supernatural arts will creep in to anything I write eventually.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

No I don’t. By day I am an event coordinator. This is my busiest time of year as we have big celebrations (which means a lot of events) on 26 January for Australia Day. My average work day includes spending time monitoring and uploading content for social media for our events as well as local community events, collecting images to use for general event marketing, planning/organizing/implementing a variety of events (this year, I’ve worked on a debutante ball, several Openings and a number of receptions – plus one Coffee Festival).

I write at night, in the morning or on the weekends. More often lately on the weekends as writing at night keeps me awake and I’m far too lazy now-a-days to get out of bed any earlier than I have to.

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

The best thing is that I see scenes for stories everywhere and describe things (in my head, not out loud) to test out the best words to use. The sunlight catches the glittering of the bitumen as if stars have been captured and laid on the road for me to walk on…. Okay, so it sounds much better in my head…

The worst thing is that I see scenes for stories everywhere and watch/experience things and people with a view to fitting them into a story. I have a very active imagination sometimes and it can be hard to turn off.

Please tell us about your current release.

The Ouroboros Key touches on alternative history especially in regard to Christianity and the varying stories dealing with Adam and Eve, and early humanity. Where did we come from? The Christian version of life or the version where humans were created by other Gods? Rather than discuss or argue between the two, this novel melds them together, and has life as we know, well, not quite as we know, it.

The story also deals heavily with the theme of friendship and commitment, one to one and as a group with the main characters supporting each other throughout the adventure. And adventure it is, there are bad guys, bullets, magical creatures, weird happenings, treks into the Rocky Mountains, a spot of caving and, finally, a discovery that has the potential to change everything.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had been doing lots of reading on Celtic and Native American culture, and moved into Women’s History and Christianity (they are so intertwined after all). I wanted to write a story that combined as many of interests as I could. Then one day I was reading this article on the hidden tunnels under many of our cities and, at the same time, was reading Sir Laurence Gardeners book, Realm of the Ring Lords, and thought, “What if…”

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I read copious numbers of books on early Christian history including the Cathars and their beliefs, Laurence Gardeners books on the Ring Lords, and some books on the Annunaki and Ancient Sumer. For the characters, I did some “family history” research to build a life and, therefore, a personality that could react realistically to the situations I was putting them through. I had originally wanted to set the story in Australia but I needed bigger mountains and wanted a link to a real geographic feature – Snake River. I discovered there was a Little Snake River in the Rockies and went from there.

Before I finished the next to next to last draft of the manuscript I decided I needed to experience some of the locations first hand and went on a road trip through New Mexico, Utah, the edge of Wyoming following Little Snake River, and Colorado. There was also a side-trip to Florida to visit friends (it’s a long flight from Australia to the USA, I wanted to squeeze as much in as possible).

Do you have an all time favorite book?

Several actually… John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and the Crystal Cave series by Mary Stewart. (I’m also mad keen on King Arthur stories.)

What book are you reading right now?

Almost Invincible: a biographic novel of Mary Shelley by Suzanne Burdon and Van Gogh The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. The one I’ve just finished is The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesley Walton, and next on my list is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

Book Blurb

ouroborosThe Ouroborus Key is set mostly along the Colorado/Wyoming border in that part of the Rockies that remains obscure; hidden by snow and rocks and mysterious woods.

Now imagine a world that we all know about, one we read about in books, see on film, hear about on dark nights around campfires. A world where magic is commonplace and the gods involve themselves in mortal lives. Our world, in fact. Out in the open yet disguised as myths, legends and fairytales.

Daniel is a budding photographer about to launch his art to the world when he mysteriously disappears.

His friend, Nick, is investigating another missing person. A professor specialising in myths and legends has vanished from her Denver home.

Sisters, Eliana and Serena, understand the meaning of service and sacrifice better than most. They live between two worlds, the known and hidden, and await only the arrival of The Ouroborus Key to unlock their shared destiny.

Deep in the Rocky Mountains, destiny is about to hit everybody ready or not.

About the Author

Patricia leslieA Sydney writer who grew up by the beach, Patricia Leslie spent six months as an exchange student in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and has been fascinated by mountains, and what they might be hiding, ever since. The idea for The Ouroboros Key came from her interest in myths and the connections they have with history and religion as we know it. Every country has their own worldview; every culture their own truths. If you go back far enough, you just might find that many of these views and truths are the same.

Patricia also writes short stories with an historical edge and usually with a dash of the supernatural. She lives with her family south of Sydney where she plots and plans her next novel and the inevitable research trip that will be required. Coincidentally, it will be set in France, a country she’s always wanted to wander through.

You can find out more about Patricia on her blog or you can follow her on Facebook.

You can buy The Ouroboros Key on Amazon, the Book Depository and from Odyssey Books.

Holiday Sale – #Free or reduced #fantasy books

Welcome all you new e-readers out there. I hope many of you received a Kindle, Nook, iPad or Sony e-reader this holiday season. As my present to all the new e-reader owners, you can get two of my books for FREE! Or get my trilogy for just $2.99! 

Please use the coupon codes on the Smashwords website where you can download these stories in whichever e-book format you need. All coupons are good thru December 31st. Enjoy!

The SearchTHE SEARCH – a fantasy short story

For over a thousand years, telepathic cats known as STACs have faithfully searched for those with power over the elements looking for the one foretold to save the Land. None have questioned their duty to fulfill this ancient task.

But when Tosh’s latest charge is murdered because of his Elemental powers, Tosh considers abandoning The Search. Will a glimpse of the future destruction be enough to change his mind?

FREE -No coupon needed  Smashwords   Barnes & Noble   Kobo Books

SummonedFINALSUMMONED: Book 1 of The Elemental

At the age of four, Lina discovered she could start fires with a mere thought – a trait which had died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she kept this Elemental power a secret to avoid being an outcast. That was easy to do growing up in the remote grasslands of Zena.

Now as an adult, she had no plans to leave her beloved homeland. So when a strange urge compels her to travel north to an unknown destination, Lina resists this unnatural feeling. But her plans to stay in Zena are taken out of her control when she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. She fears she will have no choice but to give into the compulsion. When a raging fire prevents her return home, she realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, Lina befriends an odd assortment of allies. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces despite the fact that such magic had died out over 800 years ago. Lina reluctantly begins to use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

FREE – Smashwords Coupon Code: KH73U 


box setGet all three books in the trilogy for one low price. The adventure begins in Summoned (see description above). Lina’s story continues in Quietus and concludes in Destiny.


In the shadow of Ben Dar fortress, Lina learned she was the center of a thousand-year-old prophecy claiming the rebirth of the Elementals – an ancient race dedicated to caring for the Land.

Now Lina and those with traces of Elemental power train in the mountains of South Point in the hopes that they can defeat this unknown danger to the Land. Will her powers be enough to stop the destruction of her homeland?


Destroying Quietus should have stopped the destruction to the Land. But it hadn’t. Slowly, the barren areas continue to grow destroying everything in their path. None of Lina’s Elemental powers can repair the damage while the Land remains contaminated by magic.
But there is an ancient scepter created by a Learner that may lift this magical barrier. Before Lina can claim it, the scepter is stolen. Now Lina and Val must race to find the scepter and end the destruction to the Land once and for all.

Reduced Price – NOW $2.99 – Smashwords Coupon Code: SL92A