New Year … New opportunities!

Of course a new year doesn’t only bring new opportunities and possibilities but also new challenges. Moving onward and upward almost always requires us to move out of our comfort zone. More often than not it requires sacrifice and taking risks.

What do I mean by risks?

I’m talking about the risk of failure and rejection. The risk of disappointment. I don’t know about you but these risks don’t excite me. In fact they make me really nervous.

No reward without risk!

This is something I am well aware of; and yet have to constantly remind myself of. Getting going is the hard part for me. Taking that first shaky step.

A leap of faith!

I don’t believe in half measures. I’m an all or nothing kind of person. Once I have set my mind on something, a leap of faith is needed to get me going. Hard work, dedication and follow through are also essential elements required to achieve any goal. The long and the short of it is that you can really only do your best in the hope of a positive outcome. Should you have the misfortune of falling flat on your face, you will just have to pick yourself up and try again. Frankly, the older I get, the harder I find this.

What are you hoping to achieve this year? 

Are you willing to take the risk to achieve your goals? Are you ready to put it all on the line? You know what they say, “Nothing ventured; nothing gained!” I’m a firm believer of this.

A rocky start!

2020 was a challenging year, to say the least. It definitely took us into unfamiliar territory and threw obstacles in our path that nobody could have foreseen. I think we all intended to shake off the negative remnants of 2020, freeing ourselves to move into 2021 with positivity and enthusiasm. In reality, 2021 has greeted us with a second wave of Covid-19. As the spread of the second wave skyrockets, we find ourselves, yet again in unfamiliar territory, facing uncertain times. It cannot be denied that the New Year has not started the way we envisioned, hoped or planned.


The only way forward

It is time to adapt. To see opportunities amidst the challenges that we are facing. I admit it is not easy. Never before have I felt quite as emotionally and physically drained as I do right now. I think a lot of us feel ill equipped for what we are currently facing. With that in mind I choose to, as my grandpa would say, to “Put my best foot forward” and make the most of every day. To live, to laugh, to love and to keep on, keeping on. I am willing to risk failure to achieve my goals.

What are my goals for 2021?

My goal is to publish a new picture book series for preschool children. I aim to use unique, loveable characters to deliver simple yet fun stories that will both entertain and educate. I want the stories and illustrations to work together to delight little ones, whilst feeding their minds and awakening their imaginations. My hope is that these stories will help children to fall in love with books and reading from an early age.

You might be thinking well where is the risk in that?

Firstly, every book I independently publish is an investment of my creativity, vision, skill, time and money. I risk the book not selling well or even at all. Never mind the risk of not making a profit, I risk not even making back the amount I spent on publishing costs. It is true that Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a free publishing platform but it still costs money to get each book professionally edited, illustrated and formatted. Over and above the financial risk there is the risk of people not liking the concept and/or story. The risk of negative reviews and of the book/book series being an outright failure. I know that you can’t please all of the people all the time but one certainly tries. Publishing a book is really putting yourself out there.

I have carefully selected people with the right skills and experience to give me valuable feedback in order to hopefully reduce my risk and help towards achieving my goal. I will keep you updated.

May 2021 be a year of breakthroughs, blessings, good health and achieved goals. A year filled with love, laughter, peace, joy and prosperity in every area of our lives. I encourage you to keep dreaming and to dare to make your dreams come true. Take that leap of faith.

Children’s books

If you are looking for children’s books? I have 42 books for you and your children to enjoy, with more on the way. I would be delighted if you would add these titles to your reading list. They are all available on Amazon. Please leave a review to help others find and enjoy the books too.

Make reading time a special time. Happy reading!

Books by Jacqui Shepherd:

Goo on my Shoe (e-book & paperback)

Superpower: IMAGINATION (e-book & paperback)

Animal Adventures series  Bug stories series 
Eddie gets a fright! Aggi the ant
The rabbit and the fox Bongi the beetle
Jojo’s journey Cobus the cockroach
Wally gets a tummy ache! Fatima the fly
The proud old owl Gonzo the grasshopper
The little grey horse who loved to run Lala the ladybug
The monkey who wanted to be different Mindi the moth
Pinky breaks the rules Sam the spider
Ruby Right Solomon the snail
The unkind buffalo Webster the worm


Sea stories series  Farm-tastic series 
Cale the crab Invisi-bull
Dabi the dolphin Enor-mouse
Elroy the eel Hap-pig-ness
Finny the fish G-lamb-orous
Ozzy the octopus Hope-frog-ly
Patti the prawn Un-hap-puppy
Safina the shark Imag-hen-ation
Suzy the seal Fear-foal
Tagu the turtle For-goat-ten
Wadi the whale Dis-cow-very


All of these books are stand-alone stories, can be bought separately and are available internationally. The titles in the Animal Adventures, Bug stories, Sea stories and Farm-tastic series are currently only available in paperback.

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