New book available on Kindle!!!!!

I’m so excited to announce that my second novel is now available on kindle.

It’s called Inflamed.  I’ve kept with the theme of looking different and this time, the main character has psoriasis.  It’s a coming-of-age story with a supernatural twist, which can be enjoyed by older children, teenagers and adults alike.

Inflamed

When Megan’s family moves from the city to a small Welsh village, her life changes in ways she could never have imagined.

Ever since she was small, Megan has suffered a disfiguring skin condition that takes a turn for the worse as terrifying dreams of fire rob the young girl of sleep. Megan finds she is losing control in more ways than one, and it seems she’s not the first child to suffer these nightmares and their dire consequences.

But what has this got to do with the ruined cottage nearby, and the local folk tales of a witch’s spirit who haunts the mountain? Can Megan, with her quirky new friend Tom, lay to rest the centuries old mystery before it’s too late

Click here for a preview.

Hope you enjoy it!

Jo x

How horses can improve our well-being

In Girl Perfect, one of the most important relationships in Elin’s life is with her much-loved mare, Hebe. Like many young teenagers, Elin is beginning to explore a life independent of her parents. The hacks and idle wanderings Elin enjoys with her horse provide the perfect opportunity to taste genuine freedom outside the home.

The bond Elin shares with her horse is strong and unconditional, and Elin draws enormous comfort from knowing that Hebe doesn’t judge her on her appearance or the way she talks. Just as importantly, Elin knows she’s a good rider; in the saddle her cleft lip and palate is no encumbrance, and she exalts in the feelings of mastery and competence that riding provides.

These are just some of the benefits that riding and the companionship of horses can bring to people, especially those with low confidence or self-esteem.

Since writing Girl Perfect, which drew on my own recollections of happy times spent in the saddle as a girl, I’ve become aware of a growing body of evidence pointing to the benefits of horses and riding to human well-being.

In February this year, Tracy McVeigh, writing in The Guardian, drew together various bits of evidence of the efficacy of ‘equine therapies’, which are becoming increasingly popular.

In addition to the benefits of mastering new skills through riding (which has underpinned the work of charities like Riding for the Disabled for many years now), psychologists and other mental health professionals are starting to recognise the value of horses’ particular character to promoting well-being. McVeigh notes that not only do horses seem to pick up on the way people are feeling, mirroring their emotions and responding accordingly, but there is also some neurological evidence that being around horses can induce calm and affect human brain activity.

There are a growing number of examples of how these ideas are being put into therapeutic practice. Probably the largest equine-assisted therapy provider is Eagala, which operates in many countries around the world.

Then there’s The Horse Boy Foundation, which aims to help young people with autism to develop their communication skills through sensory work with horses and back riding.

Another remarkable example is found in South Africa, where the Montrose Foundation runs an ‘equine assisted youth at risk programme’, helping youngsters whose lives are threatened by alcohol and drug dependency to learn to handle difficult situations through close contact with horses.

Anyone who has ever looked after a horse, or ridden regularly, knows how special the emotional ties are between mount and rider. In Girl Perfect, Elin certainly does. And as evidence grows in support of equine therapies, it looks like the many benefits riding can bring will become ever more available in therapeutic contexts.

Welcome!

This is the web site for Jo Jenkins, author of GIRL PERFECT, a novel for older children and teens.

The story follows Elin Richards, 13, who has always felt different. Struggling day-to-day with her distinctive appearance, all Elin wants is to be like everyone else. School is a nightmarish and lonely place, and Elin only feels truly at ease when she’s riding her beloved horse, Hebe.

When Elin finally snaps and strikes a boy in her class, the consequences are far reaching. Then someone close makes a suggestion that will change Elin’s life forever.

You can find out more about Elin and some of the other characters in the book here.

GIRL PERFECT is available for the Kindle in the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Other formats will be available in future.

If you’re at all curious about the author, click here.