Regarding My Absence.

Hello everyone,

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting very much lately and I’m here to tell you why. Offline, there were circumstances that did arise out of my control that I had to deal with. I will not be sharing what happened because that will stay private with me.

I’ve been missing you guys a lot and I know Camp Nanowrimo is coming up in April so let me know if you are doing that!

I have not been reading very much either, I just haven’t felt motivated to read at all since the events that happened in London on Wednesday which I found very upsetting. 

This is not the first time that I have stopped updating for a while which has got me thinking about the future of this blog and maybe if it would be to take this blog down and stick to Goodreads. Let me know your thoughts on this.

Have a good day, see you all soon.

Alice x

Blog Tour: The Mercury Travel Club.

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Welcome aboard everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today during the most depressing of British weathers. My internet has been playing up all day hence why this post is going up late but I was invited to be part of the tour for The Mercury Travel Club by the publishers Red Door so for taking part, I was sent a physical ARC to read and review. I hope that you enjoy this post and don’t forget to stop by all of the other blogs listed above and see their posts on the book too!

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Blurb:

‘Hi, I’m Angela. My husband ran off with the caterer we hired for our daughter’s graduation party – pleased to meet you.’

Meet Angie Shepherd who, after 24 years and 11 months of marriage, finds herself divorced and driven by friends and family to move on. From hangover to makeover, Angie steps firmly away from the sensible knitwear, and launches into every adventure on offer – from baking classes and book groups, to speed dating, and even ‘The Granny-Okes’, a 1980s tribute act and YouTube sensation.

But Angie needs more than a bar of galaxy and a night in with Murder She Wrote… what she dreams of is entrepreneurial success. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, the light bulb moment happens: it’s time to take the plunge and invest her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, an exciting new business venture. But as the Travel Club gets going, things never go according to plan, and in this digital age a little chaos brings the fame she’s been looking for.

Set in present-day Manchester, this classic mid-life journey features the 1980s soundtrack from Angie’s youth, and sees her travel the world whilst coping with life after the Ex. Angie’s journey is the catalyst her friends need to examine their own lives; as they start to find their true callings, will Angie find hers? Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good debut novel shows it’s never too late for a second.

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About the author:

Helen currently resides in Manchester, England where she lives with her husband and Angus the Labrador. The idea for the book came from a new year resolution to write a book and then give it to others as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club is her debut novel. You can read more about Helen on her official website here: https://helenbridgett.com or follow her Twitter @Helen_Bridgett.

My Review:

The Mercury Travel Club definitely gave me some Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging vibes. Both books are great for sitting back, relaxing and having a laugh. The number of mishaps that happen in The Mercury Travel Club was humorous to witness as Angie deals with a divorce after just under 25 years of marriage. 

Her best friend Patty decides to switch things up introducing a YouTube act The Granny-Okes singing classic versions of 80s songs and giving Angie a starring role. The story follows the Travel Club business offering cruises and holidays to customers as well as the people who work there. My favourite part was when Angie was giving a talk at the WI about the club and the scene that goes down with Amanda (Angie’s ex-husbands new girlfriend).

I have not read many books set in Manchester before so it was refreshing to see somewhere new for a change.

If you are looking for perfect book to showcase laughter, love and music, pick this one up.

Overall star rating: 4/5 stars.

A big thanks to Helen and the team at Red Door Publishing for the tour opportunity. 

See you all soon with a new post!

Alice x 

#MentalHealthMonday- Building Up Friendships with an Anxiety Disorder.

Hello everyone, I do apologize for my inactivity here. I felt like I needed to have a bit of a breather from blogging to finish off some other things happening offline but I’m back with another Mental Health Monday post which is to concern with making friends with others whilst having to deal with an Anxiety disorder.

Being social is definitely not my strong suit. Having speech therapy from a young age was meant to help me communicate better with others and lead an active life filled with friends and going out to lots of different places. It didn’t help much. When I discovered writing, I felt alive. Finally I could speak and express myself without opening my mouth. But to some teachers at school, that was a problem. I needed to talk to others.

I remember one time when I was 11 and seeing a group of students at my old school sitting on a picnic bench and noticing me standing alone in the corner by a building. One of them yelled, “Hey, come and sit with us.” But I didn’t know who they were and they looked way out of my league so I said politely, “No thank you.” And I walked off towards somewhere quiet to sit down. After that, I was told off by a teacher for not spending time with them. And this is where today comes in.

Personally, I feel that you shouldn’t be forced into sitting down and talking to people that make you feel uncomfortable or not be put on the spot like that. Being told off wasn’t really the best outcome either. This event happened long before my Anxiety disorder diagnosis but for me, I don’t regret sitting down with these group of people.

The same thing happened at College in my first year, I was being introduced to groups of other students who I simply didn’t want to talk to either because I found them too intimating or they simply didn’t want to talk to me because of a lack of interests.

What I will say is that I do have some very close friends now which is great but it took me a long time to find the people I truly did want to build friendships with. My tips for this post are:

  1. Find people with similar interests to you which can build a better connection.
  2. Don’t be forced on the spot to talk to someone, always speak up if you find this uncomfortable, be truthful.
  3. If your Anxiety is telling you that a person is sending off some bad vibes, listen to it and walk away.
  4. Do not beat yourself up if you don’t get friends quickly. Keep looking and stay yourself.
  5. If you haven’t been diagnosed with an Anxiety disorder and you do feel nervous/unwell about being around other people, go to your GP or speak to a councillor about it. The sooner, the better.

That’s it for today’s post, see you all on Monday for the next mental health update. If you have any tips/stories that you would like to share, post them in the comments section. Love to hear from you.

Next week’s post: Travelling Out With Anxiety.

Alice x

#MentalHealthMonday: How I Cope With Changing Timetables.

Hello everyone! This post will be going live on Tuesday 7th (even though it says Monday in the title) because I had the Celtic Fire Blog Tour so I wanted to push the post back. But starting this week on my blog, there are going to be three new series of posts going up and here they are:

Mental Health Monday- Where I talk about my Anxiety disorder and general health.

Writing Wednesday- Where I post snippets of Creative Writing and talk about my writing projects.

Fun Friday- Where I do a round-up of all the books read over the previous week with full spoiler-free reviews of each book.

Sounds fun? I hope you like this new approach since personally, changing my blogging habits hopefully will motivate me to update more.

So, for post 1 of Mental Health Monday, I’m going to be taking about time and when planned activities change including the results of my Anxiety in the ways I react to that. 

Since Primary School, I’ve always hated being allocated timetables and then when we were meant to be doing Maths for example, we would end up doing Art and that always used to unsettle me.

Since leaving education, the biggest change was having no timetable and so far, some days have been rough, others more productive. It really depends on general mindset and passion. On my return to classes this September, I will be back to a timetable again and it’s the adjusting part that scares me a little.

What I am planning to do to help me cope when I return to College are these five things:

  1. Make sure I get a copy of my timetable early in advance so that I see what it looks like and how I can plan transport and what to do during breaks.
  2. Get back into the habit of waking up and going to bed at a set time so that I’m not tired throughout the day.
  3. Be honest about my feelings to members of staff if I feel uncomfortable (the College already know about my Anxiety disorder).
  4. If things do change, ask a close friend to sit close to me in class so that I don’t have a panic attack.
  5. Stay focused on the work at hand and wear a big smile on my face. 

Being honest right now and saying here that my Anxiety in situations like this one isn’t as bad as it used to be however depending on my moods, there is a time where I do feel extra fragile and need to be careful when facing change.

Going back to College may look daunting but for me, I chose to go back because I’m passionate about the subjects on offer and am looking forward towards future years at University rather than dwelling on getting through the present day. This is what keeps me going.

I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know if these tips helped you and if you struggle with unexpected changes just like this. 

Next week’s topic: Building up friendships with an Anxiety disorder.

Alice x 

Blog Tour: Celtic Fire.

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Hello everyone and welcome to my blog for the Celtic Fire by Liz Gavin. As part of this post, there will be a review of the book, details about how to contact the author and an international giveaway link. I hope you enjoy this post, apologises for the cut-off banner!

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Book & Author Details:
Celtic Fire
by Liz Gavin
(Highland Celts Series, #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal
Synopsis:

This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.

When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.

Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.

Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?

Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?

Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?

When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.

Failure was not an option.

(Free on Amazon from March 5th to 9th)

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AUTHOR BIO:
International best-selling author Liz Gavin, has accomplished much in her short career. Her books have made to #1 and Top Five best-selling ranks in her home country Brazil and others as diverse as Japan, the UK and the US; both in English and Portuguese, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.

This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.

Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.

Author Links:

REVIEW: My overall star rating is 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is a Historical Paranormal Romance set in the Scottish Highlands during the time in history with the conflicts between the Celts and the Romans.

This story follows three characters: Rowen, Eochaid and Caddaric. Rowen and Caddaric have always been made in heaven but when the Lady of the Lake asks Rowen to do one thing that could cause a betrayal. Both living in two separate worlds, Eochaid’s arrival causes conflicting thoughts for Rowen. One mistake could cause disaster for both worlds so all of the characters must tread carefully.

Each chapter in the story follows a different character POV which made the story easy to follow. The content of the book with mature scenes makes it a good 18+ story which was a fast-paced easy read. Personally for me, this isn’t really the type of book I would have picked up but wanting to expand my horizons, I enjoyed the experience.

GIVEAWAY (OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)- Closes March 23rd

Main Prize: 3x $25 Amazon gift cards

For a chance to win an Amazon giftcard to the value of $25, click on this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251231664/

Thanks again to Xpresso Blog Tours and Liz for the opportunity to be a part of the tour. And also to kick things off on the first day! Don’t forget to stop by all the other blogs taking part in the tour and have a really good day!

Alice x

 

 

Currently Reading on @radish_fiction!

Hello everyone! It’s the weekend, time to curl up and relax with a book or… With an app that comes with thousands of books on it to read anytime, anywhere. I first heard about Radish Fiction off Benjaminofthomes YouTube channel and I was interested in giving it a try. At the time, I had a really dodgy mobile phone that would never load anything or back up my data but getting a new phone enabled me to get Radish!

I would like to share with you guys what I’m currently reading on the app so here’s a little screenshot of my reading shelf. On my shelf, I have mature romances, teen fiction, adventure. You name it. I tend to go for the completed stories also known as free for two reasons. 1, I’m impatient so I need to read everything in one go and 2, Money. I don’t really want to go into details about that but for something free, I happily will read.

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Radish Fiction is available to purchase from the Apple Store. It’s free to create an account for reading. If you want to write for them, you need to email first.

If you know any good reads on Radish (I legitimately read anything apart from student/teacher) then let me know in the comments section below. If you’ve written on Radish, I’ll check out your stories!

I plan to do a Radish reading post every couple of months or so just so you guys get to see what I’ve been reading. Have a really good day, see you all soon with a new post!

Alice x

 

 

 

#WorldBookDay Post!

I know it’s currently 10pm here but I would like to wish all of my readers and blogging friends a very happy world book day! I took this as an opportunity to check out some books on NetGalley to request and I’ve seen some good adult fiction ones in particular.

I did read and complete one book today called The Fifth Letter which I received a digital ARC for but sadly, the formatting made the text difficult to read which was disappointing and sadly did affect my overall star rating. If would like to read the review, head over to my Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44

I have also entered in a ton of Twitter giveaways as part of the celebrations. There were a few moments today when I remembered dressing up for World Book Day. One year as Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Matilda from the book Matilda. Feels like a lifetime ago when I was little 😦

Coming soon will be a NetGalley review post of all the books I’ve read on NG so far this year. I was meant to do a round-up at the end of each month but that hasn’t happened (darn Alice!) but let’s try to fix that by doing some reading 😉

Have a great day/night! Let me know what you did to celebrate World Book Day and if you finished reading any good books. See you all soon with a new post.

Alice x