Autism Awareness Blog Hop 2019

banner autism 2019

I’m delighted to be taking part once again in RJ Scott’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop, and this year’s theme is Childhood Toys.

Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied. 

 For more facts about autism, and details of all blogs participating in the Autism Awareness Project, see RJ Scott’s master post here:

Picture of Barbie doll in blue dressChildhood toys

 It’s funny how what you play with as a child can be a clue to what you’ll be like as an adult. As a girl—and in spite of my massive tomboy phase—I loved playing with my Pippa dolls. For the non Brits, Pippa was like a smaller version of Barbie popular in the 1970s (yep, showing my age here!) Like Barbie, she had an endless succession of outfits you could buy, and swap with your friends. Not content with them, I used to hand-stitch extra clothes for her. I was anything but an accomplished seamstress and I can’t remember how most of them turned out, but for some reason the outfit I made after seeing Raquel Welch’s fur bikini in One Million Years BC sticks in the mind. I only had bright blue fur fabric available, so it was certainly eye-catching!

My daughter, by contrast, never clicked with dolls of any kind—or sewing, for that matter. Her cuddly toys had a far more exciting time than Pippa and her friends ever did, going on perilous adventures in space (laundry detergent bulbs made excellent helmets) or mountaineering with Action Man (he was the one with the climbing gear).

And nowadays? True to form, DD, now uni age, is a confirmed jogging-bottoms-and-t-shirt girl. (I’m still waiting to see on the space travel and mountaineering.) And me? I’m sitting here in a dress. And over to the left of me is a half-finished bustle I’m making to wear at a steampunk event in the summer. Well, it could be worse. At least it’s not a fur bikini! 😉

 * * *

Giveaway: I’m offering a free e-copy of my third Porthkennack novel, Love at First Hate, to a randomly chosen commenter on this post.

Just leave a comment on this post (wherever you see it) including your email address by 25th April to be in with a chance – and please do check out the other posts on RJ’s list for more giveaways! 😀

LoveatFirstHate_200x300First impressions can doom second chances

Bran Roscarrock has been living in the closet all his life. As heir to an expansive family legacy in the town of Porthkennack, old-fashioned ideals of respectability and duty were drummed into him since childhood, and he’s never dared to live—or love—openly.

Sam Ferreira, an old friend of Bran’s brother Jory, is a disgraced academic desperate to leave his dead-end job. When Jory asks him to take over as curator of a planned exhibition on Edward of Woodstock, the fourteenth-century Black Prince, Sam leaps at the chance to do what he loves and make a fresh start.

But Bran’s funding the exhibition, and though sparks fly between the two men, they’re not all happy ones. Bran idolises Prince Edward as a hero, while Sam’s determined to present a balanced picture. With neither of them prepared to give ground, a hundred years of war seems all too possible. And if Bran finds out about Sam’s past, his future may not be bright, and their budding romance may be lost to history.

Available in ebook & paperback:

Riptide | Amazon


About jlmerrow

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Find JL Merrow online at:
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16 Responses to Autism Awareness Blog Hop 2019

  1. nblibgirl says:

    It’s always a good day when you have a new book coming out! The Black Prince, hmm? Sounds fab 🙂 nblibgirl at Hotmail Thanks!

  2. Trix says:

    I’m impressed with your hand-sewing the Pippa clothes–the smaller scale alone must be very complicated!


  3. Ginger Connatser says:

    Loved hearing about your favorite toys. Thanks for the post.

  4. H.B. says:

    Thank you for sharing. I used to play with my sister’s Barbie and her accessories (which was a lot and varied). I’m in awe that you use to create your own clothes for your Pippa doll.

  5. Judy Stone says:

    Thanks for sharing. One year, I received an amazing birthday gift–a #1 Barbie in a striped strapless bathing suit. Thank goodness my mom was an accomplished seamstress. My brother helped her after school and was soon sewing on sequins and tiny snaps. Grandma crocheted pant suits, dresses and fashionable coats (and matching hats) with pearl buttons and white angora collars. In a few weeks, Barbie was the best dressed doll in town.
    j dot stonewright at gmail dot com

  6. I had a Barbie and Ken. My mother was a great seamstress and made lots of clothes for my dolls. Thanks for the giveaway. buttonsmom2003 (at) gmail (dot) com

    • jlmerrow says:

      Pippa had a boyfriend, too – he was called Pete. But he (and his clothes) were much less interesting to me than Pippa and all her girlfriends. 🙂

  7. Anna says:

    I’ve always loved wooden blocks as a kid 🙂

  8. susana says:

    Thank you for the post. Barbies or dolls in general (because barbies weren’t there yet when I was a kid) never did it for me… I loved teddy bears instead, all of them. I guess my love for animals showed from a very early age… LOL

  9. Johanna says:

    I loved reading about your dolls. I was a big Barbie fan too. I would spend hours playing. I was very crafty and made tiny food and dishes with clay and paints. I Even made a tv out of a tiny box and cut out magazine photos. They would have all sorts of exciting adventures. Once barbie fell down her steps and I pretended she broke her leg. I made a cast out of tape and tissue paper. My barbies also dated my younger brother’s He-Man and GI-Jo action figures! Thanks for sharing with us today.

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