Saturday, 30 November 2013

Thank you for sharing

Today sees the last day of Inspiration Month 2013!

It's been a wonderful month and I want to thank everyone who shared their story and got involved.
Everyone who has read the posts and shared the links and most of all I want to thank those who inspired me to start inspiration month!
THANK YOU everyone.



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Book info: The Storm Within by Darlene Deluca

They say 'lightning doesn’t strike twice.' But they’re wrong.
Claire Stapleton is living proof. First, she loses her beloved son to war. Then, her husband to another woman. As the life she’s known implodes, she struggles to pick up the pieces – to fit in. And in a small community like Whitfield, that’s harder than she ever dreamed.
Overnight, Claire falls from toast of the town to talk of the town. Long-time friends rally around, but confused and off-balance, Claire finds herself traveling a lonely, unfamiliar road without a map. And there are no detour signs to help her get back on the right track. Spiraling on a self-destructive path, Claire fights to find her way – and a reason to start over.
They say, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.’ Could they be right?




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Friday, 29 November 2013

A Little Help From a Friend by Darlene Deluca

To inspire you for the weekend is author Darlene Deluca.
You can purchase Darlene's book The Storm Within on Amazon and follow Darlene on Twitter @darlene_deluca1



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How do you keep living when life beats you down again and again? When you ache with such a deep sadness you can hardly get up in the mornings? When an unexpected blow throws your entire world into chaos and confusion?

Claire, the main character in my novel “The Storm Within,” faces all of these things. Some people would turn to faith; others would become depressed. Some may actually commit suicide. Claire turns to alcohol to numb her mind and feelings.

She doesn’t intend to become an alcoholic, of course. But a little wine takes the edge off, helps her sleep, gets her through the long, lonely days when she has too much time and too many memories.

What does it take to bring someone back from the brink of self-destruction? Inner strength? Another traumatic event? A near-death experience? Family and friends? Or maybe some combination of all of those things?

Claire is lucky. She’s got a daughter and a BFF who love her and are pulling for her. Is that the key? Having other people to root for you, encourage you, hold your hand, maybe even kick your butt if you need it?

Readers have told me they love Mary, Claire’s best friend. What do they see in her? Someone who goes out of her way to help. Without question, she gives her time, her energy, her love. She cares for Claire with humor, compassion and intensity. I hope Mary is inspiring. I hope as readers get to know her and journey with her through Claire’s heartaches and troubles, they are inspired to be that kind of friend. The kind you can depend on – no matter what.

Thank you Darlene

Inspirational Giveaway

On Monday I shared with you my review for the inspirational read Another Alice by Alice Peterson.

Today I'm launching a giveaway to win a copy of this wonderfully inspirational read.
The giveaway is open to everyone, I will be sending the book via Book Depository (thanks to their worldwide delivery)



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All you have to do, is leave a comment below about what inspiration means to you.

Giveaway ends at midday on the 6th of December 2013 and winners will be chosen at random.

GOOD LUCK

Inspiration within by Michelle Flatley

Today sharing their inspiration, is author Michelle Flatley.
You can find Michelle on Twitter and buy her debut novel 'My Beautiful England' from Amazon



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From a young age I have been compelled to write. Many things inspire my writing. I am interested in the smallest details. A fleeting comment that someone makes may be enough to spark a short story, or even a novel. A Malaysian student of mine used the phrase ‘My Beautiful England’ to describe life in the UK. Up until that point my novel about the immigrant’s experience of life in England was called ‘The Language Seekers,’ but on hearing her and other students use those words, it made sense to hinge my novel on a line that conveyed real perceptions of England.

For many years I have been both a painter and a writer. To me novels need a strong sense of imagery. An unusual button, shaped like an elephant tusk, inspired a short story of mine. Seeing an Indian man in a queue who was struggling to communicate prompted another story. I remember him, his back bent over a walnut stick, shuffling his feet and no one seeing him. It seemed he was invisible to everyone but me. I suppose I am a people watcher. I steal details and either draw them, or write them down.
Sometimes people tell me interesting tales and stories. An Asian man told me about his auntie, a thin woman who ate a box of sweets every day and never gained weight. Her family was convinced she was possessed by an Asian djinn, an Asian spirit. This had occurred because she had visited a forbidden place in India. The story stayed with me and is now shaping up into a novel.

Reading books is also a source of inspiration. I read fiction and non-fiction. I am interested in art history. Recently I discovered a woman painter who has been omitted from history. Creating a story around her has been fun and I am now writing and researching that novel.
Inspiration is a wonderful thing. But like many writers I don’t have the time to sit and wait for a spark of an idea to fire my imagination. I take writing seriously. I write every day and fit it in around my three children and a teaching job.

Sometimes I just write and write. Writing can be hard work. And when inspiration strikes I grab at it and translate images and scenes into words.


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A big thank you to Michelle

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Inspiration within the pages! Alice Peterson speaks to Love of a Good Book

Biography – Alice Peterson

I became a writer in a fairly unconventional way. To my friends and family, I was always, ‘Alice, the tennis player’ and, at the age of 18 had been awarded a tennis scholarship to America. I was about to sign a contract when I experienced pain in my right hand. Three months later I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune condition for which there is no cure. I have never picked up a tennis racket since, a sadness that shall always be with me.

I have discovered a new path in life, my writing. My first book, A Will to Win, was published by Macmillan, and subsequently five novels have been published in this country and abroad, including the ebook sensation, Monday to Friday Man, which knocked Fifty Shades of Grey off the number one spot. My latest novel, By My Side, features a golden Labrador, called Ticket - a dog to die for!

Things I love: my family, friends, coffee, writing – and finally last but not least, my handsome little man – my Lucas Terrier, Mr Darcy.

To find out more about Alice and her novels, please visit www.alicepeterson.co.uk



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On the 18th July 2013, your fifth book 'By My Side' was published, can I just say that I love this book and thank you for writing a truly wonderful story.
Back to the question. As a reader I got so much from this book, but I felt that the way you wrote about this subject and the organisations involved, you got something too, what did the story bring to you?

Firstly, thank you Kirsty. I am so glad you loved By My Side. And you are so right – I got a lot from writing this book. I love dogs and have always known how intuitive and loyal they are, but learning about Canine Partners (www.caninepartners.org.uk) the charity that trains these incredible assistant dogs to transform the lives of those with disability, demonstrated just how special they are. I was humbled by the partnerships I met. Ticket, the Canine Partner dog in By My Side, turns my heroine’s life around; he gives her hope, bundles of fun and the confidence to face the world again. Anyone who ever says, ‘It’s just a dog,’ could never be my friend…

Researching spinal cord injury also taught me about the amazing charity, the Back Up Trust (www.backuptrust.org.uk) and how life doesn’t have to stop when you’re in a wheelchair. Finally, this novel led me to making a really close friendship with Sarah Orr. The book is dedicated to her.



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Are any of the characters in 'By My Side' anything like you?
I think Cass is the one I relate most to, in that just like me, her life changed dramatically when she was young. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when I was 18 and the life I have gone on to lead is very different to the life I’d imagined as a teenager.

Similarly Cass is twenty-one and her passion is medicine – but her dreams and hopes seem unreachable when she is involved in a car accident, that leaves her unable to walk. Cass has to find the strength not to give up and she has to dig deep to believe she can be just as ambitious and happy as before, and fall in love again. I really enjoyed creating Cass as she I could really emphasise with her, and was rooting for her all the way.

I would love 'By My Side' to be turned into a film, who would you like cast in it?
Oh, so would I! I’d love to see it on the screen.

CHARLIE BELL - JIM STURGESS (plays Dexter in ‘One Day’)

http://www.imdb.com/

CASS could be played by LILY JAMES (star of Downton Abbey) http://www.aceshowbiz.com

TICKET – a gorgeous bouncy golden Labrador…



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You've recently republished your autobiography, 'Another Alice'. What inspired you to tell your story?
Another Alice is the story of my tennis-mad childhood and how, aged 18, I was on the verge of going to America on a tennis scholarship, when I was diagnosed with the most severe form of RA. Overnight my life was turned upside down. I wrote the book during a very dark time in my life, when I was in constant pain. I felt so strongly that I needed to tell my story because firstly many people believe ‘arthritis’ is something only old people get. In fact RA is an autoimmune disorder, entirely different to the wear and tear of joints that is common in older people. I was passionate to raise awareness of how life changing it can be at any age. Secondly, I wanted a creative project. It didn’t take away the pain but it certainly distracted me from it. Finally, I wanted to write my story to thank my friends and family for all their support, especially my parents. Another Alice is dedicated to my mum and dad who have been through so much with me.



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Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?

I’d probably go out for the day with Charlie Bell from By My Side. I’d love to go skiing with him (just as he does with Cass). In my fantasy world, I don’t have RA, so we’d race down the slopes together, laughing, the sun beating against our faces. We’d go out in the evening, drink cocktails, put the world to rights, and end up dancing. I can’t decide, however, if we’d end up together or I’d be telling him to wise up about Cass!

If you could give one piece of advice to someone facing the same diagnosis you had, what would it be?
Not to be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t make you weak. I think it’s courageous to say to people, ‘I’m finding this hard. Can you help?’

What or who in life inspires you?
My parents inspire me all the time. They are the best. My sister Helen, is also a big inspiration. I always turn to her for advice. She exudes confidence, is a very talented graphic designer (http://www.perfectworld) and her attitude to life is ‘don’t sit back and wait for it to happen, make it happen’.

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
‘You never know what is round the corner’ – there have been times when I’ve been close to giving up, but I always hold on to this saying.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
I have a book out in 2014. It tackles a gritty theme. There’s also plenty of humour and romance and I hope it’s moving. I like my reader to laugh and smile & shed a tear or two!

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
I wrote my first book about my tennis and RA and foolishly thought I’d have no trouble getting it published. I was really naïve back then (this was about 15 years ago). I was fortunate to find an agent fairly quickly but finding a publisher was much harder than I’d imagined, rejections pouring in. However, my agent didn’t lose faith, and nor did I, and finally we secured a deal with Macmillan. It really taught me how competitive and ruthless the publishing world is; it’s like any other business. It also taught me that I had to develop a thick skin. It’s been such a rollercoaster ride since book one – but I don’t regret a single minute. I love my job. I think getting rejections is a valuable thing, in that it has made me more determined to succeed - although it doesn’t feel anything like that at the time!



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Was there any book you read as a child that convinced you that you wanted to become a writer? If so, which one was it?
No, not really, as writing was never something I thought I wanted to do. But I do remember loving my books, and one story I adored as a little girl was, The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark, by Jill Tomlinson. He was called Plop and I always give this book to my godchildren.

If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
I’ve just been given a parking ticket so I wouldn’t mind taking ALL the money from traffic wardens across the country and giving it to Canine Partners and Back-Up. Or if that sounds far too worthy, I would spend it on a bonkers shopping spree…

What is your all time favourite book?
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I named my beautiful Lucas Terrier, Mr Darcy.

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Steve Coogan – I watched him on Philomena and have such a crush on him – who thought Alan Partridge could be so attractive?!

Jojo Moyes – would love to talk to her about, Me Before You

Gary Barlow – he has the x-factor hah!

Tanni Grey-Thompson – what she has achieved is so inspiring.

Jim Sturgess – I could try and convince him to play Charlie Bell in By My Side.

At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of your books, what are the ingredients?
Passionfruit, citrus & lots of vodka. It’s light and fun but with a powerful punch!



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Another Alice - Amazon
By My Side - Amazon

I would like to say a great big thank you to Alice for talking to Love of a Good Book

She inspires me by Laura Delve

Today the lovely Laura is talking about who inspires her.
http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter: @Midnightstar3



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The person that inspires me the most in my life is my Nanny! (Yes I do call her that and no she isn’t my au pere lol!) My Nanny who is now in her mid seventies has had an incredibly hard life and had a lot of sadness along the way, but this has never stopped her from picking herself up again and carrying on, which is just one of things that she inspires me greatly for.

The main thing was, that my Nanny used to suffer from chronic shyness. She hated having to go to social events and speaking to people, especially when my Grandad started to work his way up in the world and these social events became more frequent. She would actually be physically ill before and sometimes during these events she was so shy. She would worry about what they would think of her, what she should say and how she should act. Now she could have completely shied away from these events and not turned up, but the point is that she didn’t. Each time she would gear herself up and push her fears aside and go for it, partly for her and partly for my Grandad. Now she is the most confident person I know! She is definitely not afraid to say what she thinks and she does not let anyone push her around! She talks to anyone and everyone now and is a very popular lady! I am so proud of her for doing these things as I myself am also very shy and I constantly worry about what people think of me and I hate speaking in front of people. I much prefer to hide away and fade into the background than be the centre of attention. I always think twice before I say something, as I worry that it will be the wrong thing to say. But with my job, I have to go to corporate events and meet and speak to new people and sometimes give presentations, so I have to push these fears aside. Now everytime I have to do something out of my comfort zone, like speaking in front of people, I just think of my Nanny and how far she has come. I still have a long way to go, but I just think if she can do it, so can I!

Thank you Laura

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

In Bloom by Matthew Crow

Francis Wootton's first memory is of Kurt Cobain's death, and there have been other hardships closer to home since then. At fifteen years old he already knows all about loss and rejection - and to top it all off he has a permanently broke big brother, a grandma with selective memory (and very selective social graces) and a mum who's at best an acquired taste. Would-be poet, possible intellectual and definitely wasted in Tyne and Wear, Francis has grown used to figuring life out on his own.

Lower Fifth is supposed to be his time, the start of an endless horizon towards whatever-comes-next. But when he is diagnosed with leukaemia that wide-open future suddenly narrows, and a whole new world of worry presents itself.

There's the horror of being held back a year at school, the threat of imminent baldness, having to locate his best shirt in case a visiting princess or pop-star fancies him for a photo-op . . . But he hadn't reckoned on meeting Amber - fierce, tough, one-of-a-kind Amber - and finding a reason to tackle it all - the good, the bad and everything in between - head on.

In Bloom is a bright, funny, painful and refreshing novel about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad it can be. It is a novel about how to live.

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I was concerned at first surely it's impossible to laugh at a book that deals with the issue of cancer but then the realisation is that it's a person you're reading about.
All be it a person dealing with a severe illness but a person who needs to keep living, laughing and fighting.

And for me I can honestly say that Matthew Crow has delivered an extremely well written book that is witty, inspirational and sensitive all in one.

Straight away I found myself liking Francis, the way he describes himself at the beginning had me laughing.
Especially the bathroom line!
Within a few pages this 15 year old had won me over and I soon found myself emotionally involved in his story.

When Francis meets Amber It adds a new dynamic to the story, this is where you remember you've an excitable teenager with raving hormones.
Amber is a great character and I can see why Francis is enchanted by her.

It's one of those books I can see people re-reading. A book that puts your life into perspective.
There are lessons to be learnt in living life but also in first love, as well as the happiness we chase and the dreams we all want.

I laughed, I cried and at points I even sighed.
Within the pages my heart went on a rollercoaster ride and when I got off, I was ready to discover more from this inspiring author Matthew Crow!

5/5

A big thank you to Broo from Wade and Doherty Literary Agency Ltd for sending me a copy to review!

Incremental Inspiration

Today talking about inspiration is author Neal Doran! (Dan Taylor is Giving Up On Women - Amazon )
You can follow Neal on Twitter @nealdoran




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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Regret nothing with Bernard O'Keefe

Bernard O’Keeffe teaches at St Pauls’ School, where he was Head of Sixth Form for many years. He graduated from Balliol College Oxford and worked in advertising before becoming a teacher; he was Head of English at Radley College before he moved to St Paul’s. He has reviewed for The Oxford Times and Literary Review and is an editor of The English Review. He has few claims to fame, but counts playing football with Nick Hornby, having lunch with George Best, teaching members of Mumford and Sons and Noah and The Whale, embarrassing himself on TV with a very stupid quiz show answer, giving Clare Balding interview practice, and nearly being recruited as a spy as amongst his most significant. He lives in Barnes with his wife and two children.



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Your debut novel is called 'No Regrets', please could you tell me about it?
It’s about a man who takes on a bet to accept every invitation he receives for a year.

'No Regrets' is about Rick, please could you tell me a bit about him?
Rick’s a man who’s letting things drift by as he hits middle age. His wife has walked out on him to live with a PE teacher, his kids are at University, and one New Year’s Eve his best friend suggests that maybe he’s become boring. It’s this accusation that triggers the bet. To show that he’s not boring, Rick will accept, for one year, every invitation that comes his way. Any Invitation. No Excuses. No Regrets.

Are any of the characters in 'No Regrets' anything like you?
The idea for ‘No Regrets’ came when I realised that I had stopped going out as much as I used to. It had always been difficult when the kids were young, but I seemed to have somehow got stuck – whenever I received an invitation the first question I asked myself was not how to get there but how to get out of it. I started to wonder what it would be like if I had no choice in the matter and if I simply had to accept every invitation that came my way. From there it was easy to construct the character of Rick who is definitely like me in that respect. In other respects he’s not, and none of the events I describe have actually happened. I have never joined a runners’ club, all my games of Scrabble have been perfectly innocent, I am happily married and, although I have often embarrassed my children, I have never subjected them to anything like Rick’s absurdities. My son does stand-up comedy, but at the time of writing he hadn’t done any at all and was a long way off being at university.

If 'No Regrets' was to be made into a film, who would your ideal cast be?
I think Rick and Jerry could be played by Hugh Grant and David Mitchell. They would both be very good as pair of old friends who get themselves into ridiculous situations.



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They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Very much a long-haul flight with a good deal of turbulence. It’s not a journey to be undertaken lightly, but when you reach the destination and enjoy being there it’s easy to forget just how long it took.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite. It’s only one piece of advice, but it’s worth repeating.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
I’ve just completed my second novel and have started working on my third. I’m susperstitious about revealing what they’re about - sharing the idea too early can make you lose confidence in it. There’s nothing worse than telling someone the title or pitching a one-line summary only to be greeted with indifference, a puzzled face or a slowly shaking head.

Was there any book you read as a child that convinced you that you wanted to become a writer? If so, which one was it?
My decision to become a writer came quite late – so there’s no book I read as a child which had that effect. There’s one I read to my children when they were very young, though, that definitely made me think about it. It’s called ‘Not Now Bernard’ – a great tale about a child-eating monster. Every time I read that repeated line – ‘Not Now Bernard’ I realised I’d spent too much of my life saying it to myself, and it was about time I did something about my ambitions before I too was gobbled up by a monster.

If there was one saying that could sum up your life, what would it be?
I think the title of the book says it all – ‘No Regrets’

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
I’d choose ‘Great Expectations’ because it’s about growing up and looking back. After reading it you realise that the trick is to live your life in such a way that you can look back with no regrets.

What is your all time favourite book?
It’s a tie between ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’ – they’re both great.

https://www.facebook.com/b.okeeffe.noregrets
http://bernardokeeffe.com/
https://twitter.com/BernardOKeeffe1

Thank you Bernard for talking to Love of a Good a Book

My Inspiration by Aven Ellis

Today talking about inspiration is the fabulous Aven Ellis. You can get in touch with Aven using the following methods
Twitter: @avenellis
Website: http://www.avenellis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AvenEllis1



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Where do I find inspiration? Two words. BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. Read those. Again. Multiply it times 3,254 and square it to infinity. I mean, really, when you look at that wild, wavy hair, how can one be anything but inspired? Beauty is inspiration, right? Right! So there you go. Look at a picture of Ben and write away.
THE END.

Okay, I’m KIDDING people, just kidding! (Kind of. Sorta.) But I shall talk about another kind of inspiration for the sake of this article.
Now, in all fairness, Ben’s curls did inspire the hero in my debut novel, Connectivity. Inspiration on this night came while watching Sherlock on PBS. I saw Ben and was intrigued by his looks. In particular, that HAIR. And all of the sudden, after six years of writing nothing but status updates on Facebook, I was inspired to write. I wanted to write a story that was partially set in London, with a dashing British man as the lead character. The ideas just poured from me, and soon I was taking down notes, and six months later, I finished the book. So in this case, an actor’s wavy hair inspired a character.

But what inspired the story, the rest of the book?
Don’t care? Wanna talk more about Ben? COOL ME TOO!
Gotcha! I’m kidding. But you all knew that, didn’t you?
Seriously, the main inspiration for my work—for every book I write—is young women. I really get along well with women much younger than me. I feel their lives are so rich, so full of potential—but a lot of them don’t feel that way. So I thought, what if I wrote stories about young women their age? Women trying to navigate those years after college, discovering out how things don’t always work out as planned, finding their true career path, and discovering the good man who becomes their partner in life. My heroines make mistakes. So do the men they fall in love with. But that is part of the journey. The point of all my stories is young women are strong (even if they don’t start out or feel that way!) They don’t fall for the bad boys (at least not by the time I’m done writing them, LOL) but for the good boys who treat them with the love and respect they deserve.
When young women read my work and tell me “that is me” I’m inspired. For every day the cursor just blinks at me, or my Amazon rankings go up and down, I remember those friends who said my work taught them something, made them challenge themselves, or take a risk because my heroines dug deep and found that strength, too. If I can make someone see their life is just as full of possibilities as Mary-Kate’s, that inspires me to write more stories. I always take notes from the stories of “my girls” (the Beta group that reads all my work) and I am so inspired by what they have achieved, overcome and accomplished in such a short period of time. And those themes show up in my stories, too.
And I am always inspired when someone tells me I made them laugh while reading, or they cried at the happy ending, or they want to read more about the people I have created. That always inspires me every time I sit at the computer.
So inspiration, to me, is found in young women and their stories. I’m inspired by them every day.
And, of course, a picture of Benedict never hurts the inspiration cause either.

XO Aven



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A huge thank you to Aven!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Another Alice by Alice Peterson

Love, lust, boys and coursework - the main worries of a teenage girl? Not for eighteen-year-old Alice Peterson, who, at the height of her youth and an extremely promising tennis career, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. In the midst of shock and denial, and the enduring question, 'Isn't it old people who get arthritis?', Alice had to learn to live with what quickly turned from the odd ache and pain to a very aggressive form of the illness, and rediscover a new path in life. "Another Alice" is at times utterly heart-breaking, and at others laugh-out-loud. Here is her story of how, armed with humour and courage, she left behind a world she loved to overcome the pain of a degenerative illness. Told with wit, charm and frankness, "Another Alice" is also a story of friendship, family, growing up and the desire to be 'normal'. But, above all, it celebrates the power of the human spirit.



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When Alice Peterson was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, the future she had always imagined suddenly looked hazy.
With a love of tennis and hopes of competing, what would the future hold for Alice.....

There's something truly inspiring about someone who can take their experiences and share them.
To put into words their pain and emotions, takes a great deal of strength.

I did love this book, I didn't love the pain that Alice went through but I loved the fact that she shared her experience so others are aware that they aren't alone.
One of the scariest things is having a condition that no one around you has and through Another Alice, other RA sufferers can find some hope, some light at the end of the tunnel.

But it's not just for RA sufferers, people like me can find this book truly inspiring.
Not only does Alice battle RA but she also fights for normality.

This really is a wonderfully inspiring read!

5/5

I would like to thank Alice for sending me a copy to review for Inspiration Month

How I've changed



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On the 1st of November I shared with you what what inspired inspiration month. .

I mentioned that after what happened, I started saying yes to more things, I started realising that things can't be put off and chances should be taken.

You see I've always been inspired by my family and encouraged to follow my dreams but the person that held me back was myself, I'm my own worst enemy.

If I could worry about 100 things instead of 1, then I would.
I could find worries in all things and that's not healthy.
I know over the years I've turned down chances because I've let my imagination run away me.

I would tell people to follow their dreams but I wouldn't follow my own.

After my surgery, I started looking at things differently.
Yes I still worried (I still do) but turning down things left regrets and taking them up left memories and sometime truly amazing ones!

I'm going to share with you a few things I've done since then (in order of how I did them):

I've flown in a helicopter, it doesn't seem like a big deal but this is something I'd always loved the idea of doing and finally I did it!


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I set up my blog, yes I love reading, yes I love the sense of pride it's given me.
But it takes a lot to put yourself out there and share you words.
I can only glimmer a tiny bit of what an author must feel.


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I drove a water taxi, this was something I absolutely loved, something that left me with a sense of exhilaration and the fact I had passengers made it even better.


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I had a holiday romance, worrying meant I even closed my heart off to opportunities.
Now I knew my holiday man wasn't going to be the love of my life, but it certainly made for a fun summer.

I went abroad on my own. I actually did this twice this year. I flew to Cyprus, where I spent a week and then I flew onto Greece (this should've been for work, if you've read my book moment,, you know why I came home)
Then in August I went to Turkey on holiday, on my own and oh what an experience.
Yes I missed my family and friends. But I made new friends, I met some amazing people, danced on a bar, ran karaoke behind a bar, was given a dozen red roses and drank with some rather nice policemen.


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I've done many things I didn't think I could do and it's amazed even me.
They may not sound a lot by some people's standards but to me they are.
I've surprised myself and showed a strength I didn't think I had.

There's still so much I long to do and see, but I know now, that with every new experience I learn something new about myself, I'm enjoying discovering who I am and what I can achieve.

I suppose you could say I'm inspired to be me!



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Saturday, 23 November 2013

A-Z Book Survey

The fantastic Megan from http://readinginthesunshine.wordpress.com/ tagged me in the, A-Z Book Survey.

It's took me a while to respond (sorry) but here are my answers:


Author You’ve Read The Most Books Of: Belinda Jones, I've read all of Belinda's books and often re-read them (well when the TBR pile allows)

Best Sequel Ever: I love the I Heart Series by Lindsey Kelk. With every book I love the characters even more and after I Heart New York, I never thought that could be possible!

Currently Reading: I've literally just finished reading a Christmas novella, Spirits of Christmas by Nicky Wells.

Drink Of Choice While Reading: It has to be a lovely cup of tea and not just any tea, it's got to be Yorkshire tea!

eReader or Physical Book: I did love my kindle for taking on holiday and was often found with a physical book and my kindle on me, but after suffering with an excessive amount of headaches, I've gone back to reading just physical books.
You can't beat the smell and touch of a physical book.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: I've always gone for bad boys, guys that scream 'I'm a player' so I guess it would be Gideon Cross!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano. This is a wonderful story that is classed as the Dystopian genre and up until this book I'd never read anything like it.
I'm so glad I read this, it really was captivating!

Hidden Gem Book: Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, there's something so beautiful about this tale of friendship and growth that even after many years I still find myself learning from it.

Important Moment In Your Reading Life: Divas Las Vegas by Belinda Jones, the book that fuelled my dream to visit Las Vegas but also introduced me to a genre that I love. This will always be one of my special books!
My poor copy has a cracked spine and its pages are turning that yellow tinge. It's very well read!
Please don't take that to mean battered, it's well loved and takes pride of place on one of the bookcases in my room.

Just Finished: I mentioned earlier the novella that I finished but before that i had read In Bloom by Matthew Crow.

Kinds Of Books You Won’t Read: I'm quite open in respect of what I read but I do have to be really pulled in by a blurb to read a historical book.

Longest Book: it's probably The Order of The Phoenix, I think that's the longest in the Harry Potter series. It's also my favourite out of the seven books, although all of them are absolutely amazing.

Major Book Hangover: Take A Look At Me Now by Miranda Dickinson. I absolutely love this book, it left me lost for days, nothing could pull me out of the lull I was in.

Number of Bookcases You Own: I've two mini bookcases (3 shelves on each) in my bedroom and I've taken over the 4 in the living room.
One day I will have a library like in Beauty and the Beast.



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One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Mondays Child by Louise Bagshawe. I love Anna and Mark Swan, I love their personalities and real ness. I'm still to this day, extremely jealous of Anna's Job!

Preferred Place To Read: I love lounging on my bed reading, when I go upstairs of a night I sink into my pillows, pull up my duvet and settle down with my current read.
I also love reading on a Sunlounger in Turkey!

Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All The Feels From A Book You’ve Read: There are so many quotes that I love but I'm going to go with 'Books are a uniquely portable magic' by Stephen King.

Reading Regret: I've not read any Jane Austen and I will rectify this, I recently read A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill and the main character Darcy loves Austen novels!

Series You Started And Need To Finish: My minds gone blank now, I can't actually think of a series I'm currently reading. All the books I read that are part of a series, I'm up to date with.

Three Of Your All-Time Favourite Books: Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, Take A Look At Me Now by Miranda Dickinson and Divas Las Vegas by Belinda Jones.

Unapologetic Fangirl For: Belinda Jones, Miranda Dickinson, Scarlett Bailey/Rowan Coleman, Lindsey Kelk, Alexandra Brown, Lucy Lord, Lauren Weisberger and Cecelia Ahern.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: The second book in The Sentinel Series by Holly Martin, what's going to happen to Eve, Seth, Eli, Quinn and co???

Worst Bookish Habit: I don't like ugly covers, terrible isn't it?
I really do judge a book by its cover.
Now, if I'm sent information for a book, I try to read the blurb before seeing the cover.

X Marks The Spot: Start At The Top Left Of Your Shelf And Pick The 27th Book:
Ferney by James Long, I've not read this yet it's actually on my TBR bookcase along with The Lives She a Left Behind which I think is the follow on.

Your Latest Book Purchase: I got some as presents but for myself I got some Christmas reads.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): The Proposal by Tasmina Perry, such a beautiful story!




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Friday, 22 November 2013

Angela & Jenny: A gift guide to remember!

Ever wondered what Angela and Jenny would buy for Christmas, well wonder no more!

To celebrate the publication of I Heart Christmas the wonderful Lindsey Kelk has done a gift guide for the readers of Love of a Good Book.



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Jenny loves a bit of over the top excess and Christmas is the perfect time of year to indulge. These Christian Louboutin leopard print booties are right up her alley – perfect to add pop to a pair of leather leggings or skintight jeans.
Leopard print booties

Angela loves her Loubies too but she’s so immersed in her career right now, she’d be much more interested in these classic black pumps. Perfect for running into a meeting and out to the bar…
Classic black pumps

As a super publicist, Jenny has so many Christmas parties to attend and this Alce + Olivia ball gown is the perfect mix of fairytale glam and edgy New York punk. Just add eyeliner and big hair.
Ball gown

Angela’s handbag has been through a lot and definitely deserves a rest. This Proenza Schouler satchel is perfect for carrying her laptop and assorted snacks.
Satchel



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Christmas = red lipstick season. Jenny would definitely want to get her mitts on MAC’s RiRi Woo collection.
Mac lipstick

Angela’s love of Marc by Marc Jacobs knows no bounds. This plaid and leopard print scarf is top of her wish list – leopard print to represent her BFF and plaid for her hipster hubby. It’s perfect!
Scarf

Jenny Lopez is not Jenny Lopez without a kickass manicure. This Ciate Nail Lab would be a perfect pressie from her BFF.
Nail lab

As a Brit abroad, Angela would love this colourful Kate Spade tea set. Not that she’d ever end up using it, but it would look really nice in the kitchen.
Tea set


I asked Lindsey the following:


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Who Would You Find Under the Mistletoe?
I’ve been a bit generally anti-mistletoe action recently so I’m going to have to go for an old standard and pick the lovely Alan Rickman. I know what you’re all thinking, why not the Gosling? Well, I can’t help but feel that Alan would be a proper gent and probably even do the washing up after lunch. What’s not to love about that? Swoon


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Thank you so much to Lindsey for this wonderful post!
So many things I want to buy!



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Listening to inspiration with Wendy Lou Jones

Today author Wendy Lou Jones is sharing how inspiration strikes.
You can connect with Wendy at Facebook and on Twitter @WendyLouWriter
Harper Impulse author page
http://www.wendyloujones.weebly.com/



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As a writer relativley new to the world of imagination, I find my ideas originating from tiny sparks. My stories grow like layers of an onion, each new idea being woven around the original nub. A chance encounter, the memory of a moment, or the reading of a book that I think ‘yes, it’s okay, but it would have been better if…’


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​The ideas come from life’s little details, but the emotional inspiration, now, that comes from music. It’s like Patrick Swayze once said… you have to feeeel the music. Something about a piece just fits and then that’s it and I’m away.


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​The first story I ever wrote was (I now fully appreciate) completely unsalable, but the feeling I got when I listened to one particular James Bond theme was so right for that story that I listened to it over and over again in my car, whenever I was driving.
​The idea for the novel, The Songbird and the Soldier, published earlier this year, came from two books. One was historical and written with love letters, which I adored, and one was contemporary about a soldier’s wife, which I didn’t like, but it made me think, could I write a book about a soldier? I’d been watching tumble weed pass by with my 2 previous books set around village life and so I decided to do something completely different. Having written to a soldier in the Kuwait conflict in the early 90s, I had some idea about the trials of war-torn communication and I had a friend whose husband was a CO in the army to refer to. Then sprang up my musical hero, James Blunt, perfectly suited for this particular story, and I listened to him for a whole year, over and over and (as my husband will attest) over and over again. It just put me in the right mood for the turbulent emotional story and war ravaged setting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jWW0-Run_g


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​The latest story I’ve handed in to my editor is a medical romance with a twist. Having been a doctor, the technical part wasn’t difficult for me, and the inspiration for the trigger in the romance was taken from a conflict I actually had with a consultant surgeon (NOT romantic, I hasten to add. Oh, no!) At the end, I had written the story, but it just didn’t feel right, and then I heard Rihanna’s song, ‘Stay’ and I was so moved by the song that I found a whole new energy to write and rewrite the story until it was good enough to see. (Fingers crossed.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF8BRvqGCNs

​And now I have come back to the beginning again (bar one) and am currently rewriting the 2 stories I failed earlier in my writing carrer. They are slowly improving. The ideas were taken from chance meetings and events in my own village life, but still as yet I have found no musical inspiration. And so I am waiting… patiently and someday soon I hope it will come and these stories will be written.


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​Thank you for having me on here today. It’s been wonderful to listen to these songs again and think back to where it all began.



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Thank you for sharing Wendy.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood

The ebook BESTSELLER available for the first time in paperback! A funny, mischievous romantic comedy novel, perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Jenny Colgan, Paige Toon or Sophie Kinsella

'Your bum does not look big in that dress.' 'Mmmm, this meal is delicious!' 'Of course you're better looking than Jon Hamm.' Newly engaged Natalie Butterworth is an easy-going girl. She'll do anything for a quiet life and if telling a few teensy white lies keeps her friends and family happy, then so what? It's not like they'll ever discover what she's really thinking ...
Until one night, thanks to a pub hypnotist, Natalie's most private thoughts begin to bubble up and pop out of her mouth. Things get very messy indeed, especially when some sticky home truths offend her fiancé. Natalie must track down the hypnotist before her wedding is officially cancelled. So along with bad influence bestie Meg, Natalie finds herself in the Yorkshire Parish of Little Trooley – a small village bursting with big secrets, nosy old folk and intriguing Wellington-wearing men. When the girls get stuck in the village with no means of escape and no way to break the hypnotist's spell, Natalie is forced to face the truths she has been avoiding her whole life ...

This is a sparkling romantic comedy debut novel, written by the very talented founder of women's fiction review site novelicious.com, and noveliciousbooks.com, Kirsty Greenwood.



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This review was first posted in August of 2012 and I'm so excited that today Yours Truly is published in paperback by PanMacMillan.

We have all been in that situation where its easier to tell a white lie than what you're really thinking, but what if one day you can't lie and before you even realise it you are telling everyone the truth without editing your thoughts first.

This is exactly the situation that Natalie finds herself in when she inadvertently gets hypnotised following a night out with best friend Meg.

Soon realising that telling the truth isn't doing anything for the relationships in her life, Natalie with the help of Meg sets off on a mission to track down the hypnotist, hoping he can give her back the ability to lie again.

What ensues is chaos, panic and a lot of hilarity.

From the moment the cover and synopsis were released for Kirsty Greenwood's debut novel on Kirsty's website novelicious.com, I was looking forward to reading it.

And its definitely not a novel that disappoints, from the wonderful characters that are Natalie, Meg, Riley and Uncle Alan to the spiteful Honey and spoilt Jasper this book will have you laughing at the witty one liners which come more frequent than watching Peter Kay live at Blackpool Tower.
This really is a laugh out loud, feel good book and I TRULY believe that Kirsty Greenwood is an author to watch out for.

Yours Truly is extremely indulgent, so get your copy now!

5/5

I Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk

Angela’s planning her very own fairytale of New York…

Angela’s planning her very own fairytale of New York…

• Enormous Christmas tree
• Eggnog
• Eccentric British traditions
• Gorgeous man

But Santa’s throwing her a few curveballs – new job (as if it’s not mental enough already), new baby-craze from her best friend Jenny, and Alex determined they should grow up and settle down. Once friends start turning up uninvited on her doorstep (and leading her astray), can Angela really have a merry little Christmas? So much for happy holidays – something’s got to give…



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New York, Christmas and the wonderful words of Lindsey Kelk, I think Santa got my letter early this year!

I Heart Christmas, sees the return of Angela, Alex, Jenny & co and oh how I've missed them.
It really was like being reunited with old friends, crazy friends who love designer labels, junk food and filling my mind with wondrous images of New York, beautiful bags, shoes and shorts!

It's not just the gang who return in I Heart Christmas as we also see the return of Cici and James, both of whom add some sparks to the story.
And then there's Louisa and Grace, I just love the young toddler Grace, through her we are able to see other sides to some of our favourite characters.

I didn't think it was possible, but hold on to your hats, ladies and gents because Alex has got HOTTER!
And by the end of the story I was torn between high-5ing Angela for how awesome she is or pushing her out of the way to steal her man!
But in the end my head ruled my heart and I remembered how over 6 books, I've enjoyed following their relationship and gushing over the love they share, so Alex will always be Angela's!

Fun loving, crazy imaginative Angela, with every book I relate to her in a different way and this was no exception.
Admittedly I lust after her worldly belongings, man and friends but Angela has a strength that she cannot see and that comes in this book!

When I turned the last page and said goodbye to them at Christmas, i felt a loss, a hangover left from words.
Thankfully the Christmas guide helped and after several candy cane martinis I was smiling again and preparing for a different type of hangover.

Thank you Lindsey for starting Christmas early and letting us share it, with friends!


A huge thank you to Blaise at James Grant who sent me a copy to review



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Laura loves to be inspired

Today talking about inspiration is the fabulous Laura, You can connect with Laura via her blog or on
twitter

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When Kirsty first mentioned the idea of inspiration month I was a little disappointed. I couldn’t think of anything to write because unlike some of the other fabulous people who have written a piece, I’ve never really had anything ‘major’ happen to me in my life that has become a great source of inspiration!

However, I thought long and hard and realised that actually, so many people inspire me and you don’t need to have gone through a major life event to find inspiration.

Since I was little I’ve always wanted to be a writer but I’ve never felt that it was an achievable dream because I’m just not good enough. I’d sit and write short stories in notebooks and be the first person in the library on a Saturday morning to find a new book to read. So much so, each week I’d take out the maximum number of books on my library card and read them all in one week. My favourite game when I was younger was to borrow the huge a2 sized books, bring them home and sit in my bedroom and read them to a pretend group of people listening to me. If that’s not a book geek I don’t know what is! Ever since then I’ve had a huge fascination with reading and writing and I finally decided instead of dreaming about being a reviewer or writer I should actually try and make those dreams come true!

I’ve been welcomed into the writing, reading and blogging community with wide arms and all of a sudden I am seeing lots of people writing novels and getting them snapped up by publishing companies. At the same time people are telling me they like what I’m writing telling me that I have a talent. I don’t quite believe them yet but seeing people around me make their dreams come true through sheer hard work and determination makes me feel like I could one day be as lucky as they are.

So to all those fabulous authors who have taken the time to talk to me, to all the readers who have told me they like what they read and to all my blogger friends who have been behind me from day one, you all inspire me to become the best writer I can and every single time I write, I do it with you all in mind.



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Thank you Laura and a big good luck cheer for you during NaNoWriMo!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tis The season of goodwill: Merry Chick Lit!

In the spirit of giving, six chick-lit authors present a charming collection of seasonal shorts sure to inspire holiday cheer, plus love and hope throughout the year, with all proceeds donated to Rocking the Road for a Cure!

On Friday 22nd November, Merry Chick Lit, a warm, funny Christmas anthology in aid of Breast Cancer Care, will be officially released.

Every penny of the royalties is going to Breast Cancer Charity, Rocking the Road to a Cure.

Rocking the Road to a Cure is dedicated to improving the quality of life of people undergoing the often energy-depleting and emotionally draining treatments for breast cancer.

The name comes from their founder and President, Dawn Frey, a musician, who learned through personal experience that “it takes a village” to get through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and not every individual has the support network they need.

Rocking The Road For A Cure provides free, in-home housekeeping, health and wellness services to restore strength and confidence, and to rebuild spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.

So, when you settle back and relax to enjoy reading Merry Chick Lit, please know that you have helped us help a breast cancer patient to also settle back and relax…and heal.



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Featured authors & stories include:

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
In “Santa’s Gift,” journalist Jessica thinks Santa’s just a silly myth for children, so when he asks what she most wants for Christmas she tells him the one thing she knows he can’t deliver–true love. Or can he…?

Sarah Hitchcock
In “The Christmas Lights,” one competition pits two families against each other…who will win this war?

Francine LaSala
Pretty Izzy knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: hunky sales manager Jake Harrington wrapped up with a shiny silver bow–and nothing else. Except Santa may have other plans in “Carol of the Belles.”

Nikki Mahood In “Spinster Christmas,” Cara’s looking forward to spending Christmas alone until she learns her old–and she believes very gay–crush needs a place to stay. Though it soon becomes clear that while still hot, Ronan isn’t gay after all…

Holly Martin
Ella’s dreams of making a better life for her and her daughter seem further away than ever in “Iced Dreams.” But as Christmas approaches, and she wishes for a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand to fix her life, things begin to change in ways she never imagined!

K.C. Wilder
In “The Mermaid,” Allie’s content to spend Christmas by herself at a vacant beach house to make good on a promise made to her true love lost, Jeff. Until Jeff’s gorgeous college roommate Tim crashes in on her with his own promise to keep…

So snuggle up near the fire, drink a glass of wine or a cup of cocoa and enjoy these festive holiday shorts, knowing your purchase of this book is helping women with breast cancer.
Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com