A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “non-fiction”

Blog Tour – ‘Act 3: The Art of Growing Older’ by Judy Reith and Adrian Reith ~ #RandomThingsTours @annecater @unbounders @Act3Life

‘Act 3: The Art of Growing Older’ by Judy Reith and Adrian Reith was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 2nd April 2020 by Unbound.  I am pleased to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate.  I think this is a very important book and I hope it is of help to lots of people.

I have an excerpt from ‘Act 3: The Art of Growing Older’ for all of you to read.  First though here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

At last, the life you want . . . post 50.

We’re living longer, in better health, with higher expectations than any generation in human history. With an extra adult chapter to look forward to, what will you do? Who else could you be? How will you evolve the best plan for your life between 50 and 80?

Judy and Adrian Reith have decades of experience in helping people see hidden possibilities, clarify their goals and achieve life-changing results. In Act 3 they suggest practical steps to make your life more fulfilling as you age. From the ground up this book will help you identify and strengthen the four roots you ll need for a happy and successful third act. It illustrates how your attitude, purpose, relationships and values are keystones to a life without regret.

Act 3 gives tools and tips to help you focus on what matters, with chapters on Work, Home, Money, Health, Play, the World and Friends. You ll be inspired by original stories of those who have changed their lives after 50 and be able to re-imagine your future, and so get the life you want . . . at last.

 

Excerpt

How This Book Works

Mental Pipes Unblocked

As authors, we take a ‘coaching’ approach to Act3. As coaches we know the best answers to our client’s questions are found inside them. We believe the same will be true for you. Coaching principles and mind sets are well known in the world of sport, but they bring excellence and satisfaction in other areas of life too. We’ll show you how.

‘Starting in 1971 on the tennis court I found myself asking a question I’d never been asked or told to ask, “I wonder what’s going on inside the head of a person while the ball is approaching them?” And that opened the door to The Inner Game. The answer was obvious. Much too much. Championship athletes said when they were at their best their mind was quiet, focussed, not full of shoulds and shouldn’ts.’ — Tim Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis

We All Have An Outer Game And An Inner Game.

Tim Gallwey – one of the fathers of modern coaching – was one of the first to address the internal narrative of shoulds and shouldn’ts, to help sports people, or business people perform not only to reach their potential, but to far exceed it. His work has been emulated worldwide and way beyond sport and business.

Dealing With Shoulds and Shouldn’ts

As coaches in business and life we listen, reflect back, ask questions, support and challenge the client to dig below the surface, to get clear on what they really want their life to be about. Then we work with them to create practical steps to achieve those goals.

We’ll do the same in the book: Act3 – How To Live A Better Life After 50: You’ll ‘say hello’ to the unhelpful voices in your head, acknowledging their power. You’ll recognise your limiting beliefs about yourself, you’ll find ways to break out from these restrictions.

You Cannot Be What You Cannot See

If the voice in your head drowns out your ability to hear or imagine anything better, or stops you creating change – you have a problem.

“My dad always said I wasn’t musical. I wasted fifty years believing him, until a friend took me along to sing in a community choir and finally I gave myself permission to believe that my dad was wrong.”

To be something different, you first have to see something different in your mind’s eye. You need to see a destination, a goal, a better outcome. You need to think differently. As a clever guy once said:

‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ — Albert Einstein

 

‘Act3: The Art of Growing Older’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Act-3-Art-Growing-Older/dp/1783526998/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1586195072&sr=8-1

 

About Judy and Adrian Reith

Judy and Adrian Reith are professional coaches and writers, covering life, parenting and executive coaching.

They facilitate Act3 events and coach individuals to prepare for a life well lived.

Together they have 3 adult children who have left home. Returned. Left home. Returned…

Australian born Judy has been a parenting expert for nearly 20 years. Her publications include 7 Secrets of Raising Girls Every Parent Must Know, Be a Great Mum and Transform Living with Teenagers.

She draws on her professional training in child development, counselling and parent education to help thousands of parents, some of whom are also entering Act3. At 57, she loves nothing more than having friends and family round with plenty of good food and drink. She runs it off with the dog while she still can.

Since 2006 Adrian has specialised in executive and leadership coaching and facilitation. He qualified as a coach after an award-winning first career as a writer / director in advertising – a world where youth is idolised.

He is a published author, has recently built an eco-house, survived cycling Land’s End to John o’Groats… holds a Senior Railcard and is 62.

 

Links

Website – https://act3life.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Act3Life

 

Book Launch for ‘Mind Games: Inside the Serial Killer Phenomenon’ ~ @urbanebooks @PHarrisonauthor

It has been a few months now since I last went to a book launch.  Myself and my husband were kindly invited by Urbane Publications to the launch of Paul Harrison’s new non-fiction book, ‘Mind Games: Inside the Serial Killer Phenomenon’ which was published on the 4th October 2018.  We joined in the celebrations yesterday evening at The Soho Collective in London.  The room the event was held in was lovely and cosy with nice views and we instantly felt at home, that is until we saw the imprint of a dead body.  Obviously a murder had not long taken place.

There was much chatter and laughter as more and more people arrived.  We were all offered drinks and there were nibbles too.  Matthew Smith, the Publishing Director of Urbane Publications introduced Paul Harrison who then talked about his book and told us all a true story.  People then queued up to buy copies of ‘Mind Games’ and to get them signed.

There were some very interesting people at the launch and I was absolutely thrilled to meet actor and director, Sven W. Pehla who travelled from Germany to help Paul celebrate his new book, dressed as Poirot.  Sven even let me have a picture taken with him.

It was also nice seeing the lovely Anne Coates who is a talented Urbane author again.

We thought this to be a brilliant night out.  It left me on a high and I am still really happy.  Urbane Publications are organising more and more book launches these days and it really is great to see their books out there.  Events like these are good for book bloggers so if you ever get the chance to go to one of these launches you really should consider going.

I am really looking forward to reading ‘Mind Games’ although I have been told it is a bit gruesome.  Perhaps I won’t read it in bed at night.

After the event my husband ate a burger.  I wonder what could have been in it……

 

Blog Tour – ‘Trafficked Girl’ by Zoe Patterson

Big congratulations to Zoe Patterson whose book, ‘Trafficked Girl’ is out today in paperback and as an eBook, published by Harper Element.  I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank Rosie Margesson for inviting me to participate.  Though I am not a big reader of non-fiction, this book really caught my eye and I was intrigued to know why Zoe decided to tell her story and what she hopes to achieve in doing so.

Zoe has written an exclusive guest post for my blog, but first here’s what ‘Trafficked Girl’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

When Zoe was taken into care at the age of 13, she thought she was finally going to escape from the cruel abuse she had suffered throughout her childhood. Then social services placed her in a residential unit known to be ‘a target for prostitution’, and suddenly Zoe’s life was worse than it had ever been before.

Abused and ostracized by her mother, humiliated by her father’s sexual innuendos, physically assaulted and bullied by her eldest brother, even as a young child Zoe thought she deserved the desperately unhappy life she was living.

‘I’ve sharpened a knife for you,’ her mother told her the first time she noticed angry red wounds on her daughter’s arms. And when Zoe didn’t kill herself, her mother gave her whisky, which she drank in the hope that it would dull the miserable, aching loneliness of her life.

One day at school Zoe showed her teacher the livid bruises that were the result of her mother’s latest physical assault and within days she was taken into care.

Zoe had been at Denver House for just three weeks when an older girl asked if she’d like to go to a party, then took her to a house where there were just three men. Zoe was a virgin until that night, when two of the men raped her. Having returned to the residential unit in the early hours of the morning, when she told a member of staff what had happened to her, her social worker made a joke about it, then took her to get the morning-after pill.

For Zoe, the indifference of the staff at the residential unit seemed like further confirmation of what her mother had always told her – she was worthless. Before long, she realised that the only way to survive in the unit was to go to the ‘parties’ the older girls were paid to take her to, drink the drinks, smoke the cannabis and try to blank out what was done to her when she was abused, controlled and trafficked around the country.

No action was taken by the unit’s staff or social workers when Zoe asked for their help, and without anyone to support or protect her, the horrific abuse continued for the next few years, even after she left the unit. But in her heart Zoe was always a fighter. This is the harrowing, yet uplifting story, of how she finally broke free of the abuse and neglect that destroyed her childhood and obtained justice for her years of suffering.

 

Guest Post

Why I decided to tell my story and what I hope to achieve in doing so

For many years now, I have wanted to share my story with a view to helping others. Receiving and reviewing my Social Services’ records and realising that the abuse I was forced to endure was actually so easily preventable made my resolve to tell my story that much greater.

On a professional level, I would like my story to reach those who have the power to prevent and put a stop to physical, sexual and emotional abuse in all of its forms. I want to shine a light on the failures of those in charge of other people’s care and safety in the hope that lessons will be learned.

I understand that many social workers are perhaps underpaid and overworked. Whilst this may be true, it should not take away from their moral duty to protect others from the risk of serious damage or harm. It must not be forgotten that children in care are human beings, no more or less important than any other child in the world who is fortunate enough to live within a loving family home.

The police also have a moral obligation to protect the vulnerable from the risk of serious damage or harm. When I was a child, the police often visited my primary school. From these visits I concluded that police officers were ‘good’ and could be relied upon in any emergency. You can imagine my surprise when those very same police officers who smiled at me in primary school looked upon me with scorn and contempt not more than two years later because I was a child living in the care system.

I wondered what it was that had changed for them, because I can say with absolute certainty that I was the same girl I had always been, only now a little more damaged, hurt and betrayed. And it really did hurt to know that the police officers I had admired just a couple of years earlier thought so little of me and had absolutely no intention of rescuing me from the men who so shamelessly trafficked me.

On a personal level, I want to use my story to reach out to others who have experienced abuse. I want you to know that whatever happened to you was not your fault. You are not to blame.

I want you to know that, as survivors of abuse, we are beacons of hope. We are the proof that good exists within the human race. We survived something horrific and chose to carry on living, hoping and loving despite being exposed to the darker side of humanity. That takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength, which is something abusers just don’t have.

As survivors of abuse, we are the proof that whilst abusers may change our lives, they cannot change our spirit, and in that sense we are untouchable. How incredible is that!

© Zoe Patterson 2018

~~~~~

What a fabulous guest post.  I really admire Zoe for how she has dealt with things and I hope her story is of inspiration to all those who have been in a similar situation.  I am looking forward to reading Zoe’s book.

 

‘Trafficked Girl’ is available to buy from:-

Harper Collins – https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008148041/trafficked-girl/

Amazon UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trafficked-Girl-Abandoned-Exploited-Fighting-ebook/dp/B073Z6TPF1/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1521660513&sr=1-1

 

 

About Zoe Patterson

Zoe Patterson is 29 and a qualified personal trainer. Having discovered that she has a natural talent for boxing, Zoe is about to start training as a boxing coach in the hope of being able to help other women who have been disadvantaged in some way to improve their self-esteem and create positive futures for themselves.

To find out more about Zoe and her story follow her blog – http://www.zoepattersonfightingback.com/

 

 

Interview with Damien Comerford + Competition

frontcover

Damien Comerford is a journalist who has recently published a very interesting non-fiction book.  I had the pleasure of interviewing him.

 

I am intrigued by your book, ‘Cover Up’.  Can you tell me a little bit about it please?

Cover Up, is a non fiction book that re-investigates five of the world’s biggest crimes including the death of Princess Diana in the Alma Tunnel, and the death of Pope John Paul I after only 33 days in office. The starting point for my re-investigations, were the transcripts and reports of the official inquiries conducted into each case. I wanted to see, whether the conclusions reached in each of the five cases, were supported by the evidence. But in the course of my work, I discovered a great deal of previously unreported new evidence.

 

Were you shocked by some of the things you found out?

I think shocked would be an understatement. The one thing in common with all of the five cases featured in the book was a pathetically inadequate investigation that simply did not support the official findings. The book is called Cover Up and that is what they were. For example, in the case of Princess Diana, there was not one shred of credible evidence to support the claim that Chauffeur Henri Paul was drunk when he crashed the Mercedes carrying the Princess and Dodi Al Fayed in the Alma Tunnel. Two post mortem examinations were conducted on Paul’s body to try and establish his culpability. Both post mortem examinations were complete failures. Readers of my book will go on an investigative journey as I take them through all of the clues and all of the evidence.

 

How long did it take you to write ‘Cover Up’?

I have been working on the book for the best part of two years. Most of that time was devoted to researching the cases. The writing part took about four months.

 

Is this a book people will find hard to put down?

That is a really difficult question for my to answer. I think everyone who produces a book, hopes that will be the case. I guess that is a question best answered by the reader but one reviewer has described my book in the way your question suggests.

 

Are there any more books to come?

My word there is. I have a number of books in the pipeline. My next book is the investigation of disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 and the shooting down of MH17 over the Ukraine.

 

Describe a day in your life.

Unfortunately, at this point in time I am unable to make a living solely from my writing. I have a television production company that does web based video so that keeps me busy. I also have my blog http://damiencomerford.com

 

Did you always want to be a journalist?

To be honest the career I initially wanted to pursue was as a barrister at law. I planned to transfer from my Arts degree but soon after I started University, I discovered the campus radio station and I began doing interviews and news reports and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy scuba diving and attending concerts and live theatre.

 

Biographical Information

Photo_of_Damien

Damien Comerford’s career in journalism and television production spans more than twenty-five years. Beginning as a reporter in the 1980s, he has been involved in a wide range of media projects and received numerous industry awards for excellence journalism, media and television production, and current affairs programming.

He was the executive producer of a primetime long-format current affairs television show in New Zealand, during which the team tracked down and confronted the French Secret Service agent who put in place the bomb that killed Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.

In 2009, Comerford decided to turn his decades of experience with covering major news events into a book. The five stories profiled in Cover Up possessed a sense of injustice so strong, he couldn’t refrain from delving deeper, hoping to reopen the investigations and find out the truth.

 

Competition

Damien Comerford has very kindly sent me a copy of ‘Cover Up’ and one very lucky people has the chance to win it.  To enter just leave a comment telling me why you want to read this book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 18th January 2015.

The winner will be notified within 7 days.

 

Good luck! 🙂

Interview with Karen Magill

Author

Karen Magill lives in an eclectic area of Vancouver in Canada.  She gets her inspiration from the history and stories around her.  Karen kindly took the time to answer a few questions for my blog.

 

Tell me about the type of books you write.

For my fiction works, I write paranormal. My latest series are paranormal mysteries set in Vancouver that combine historical fact with the fiction. To date, I have four published paranormal books – The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story, Let Us Play, A Rock ‘n Roll Love Story (Mystique Rising in Kindle), Missing Flowers and A Little Poison.

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I have one non-fiction and that book is entitled On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success. This one is the story of my journey, so far, with multiple sclerosis.

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Where do you get your ideas from?

Sometimes I can be influenced by a news article or a historical event and then I try to bring in characters and add something paranormal. Just to make it a little more interesting. For On The Right Side, I lived what happened.  When writing it, I consulted two diaries I kept when I was first diagnosed and the book grew from that.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

Besides promoting my books, I am also starting to plan the sequel to Missing Flowers and A Little Poison. That one should be out next year and will be entitled Eden Damned. As well, I am starting a career as a motivational speaker so I am working on speeches, learning PowerPoint and trying to find places I can speak at.

 

Have you got a favourite place where you do your writing?

I recently got a laptop and connected my desktop to my television. I like writing on the desktop now because I have such a big screen! When I write entries for my blog, the Vancouver Vagabond, (http://karen-magill.blogspot.ca) I love it because the photos are so large and clear now.

 

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to pen their first novel?

Just sit down and write and find the system that works best for you. Some people love to plan everything out while others just write. Get it edited again and again. Remember too that your first book may not be worthy of publication but it will be something good for you to do, to learn the discipline of completing a book.

 

Did you always want to be a writer?

I come from a family of writers and ever since I learned to put words together, I have written. I tried many things in the past but something always brought me back to writing. So I guess yes would be the answer.

 

Describe a day in your life. 

Usually I get up and check my email then maybe watch the morning news. I am on disability so I don’t go to a regular job. I spend my days working on promotion or writing or learning. Nothing really exciting.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to walk and with my blog, I take photos of Vancouver and historical homes and places. I also enjoy curling up on the sofa and watching a good movie. Which is why I connected my desktop to my television. LOL

 

Karen Magill’s Amazon Page:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Magill/e/B003DI10YG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407444311&sr=1-2-ent

Interview with Rayne Hall

RayneHall Pic

Rayne Hall is the author of many books.  She was interested in taking part in an interview for my blog.

STORM_DANCER

I see you have published more than 40 books which is amazing.  How long does it take you on average to write each one?

This varies greatly.

Storm Dancer took me about ten years to write – longer than any other book – because I rewrote it several times.  When I started to write Storm Dancer, I created Dahoud as a standard swashbuckling hero. I had almost finished the novel when he confessed that he was possessed by a demon. Of course, this changed everything, and I had to rewrite the whole book. During the rewrite, his personality changed, so I had to start yet again. It took several rewrites before I realised just how dark his past was and what a terrible secret he carries inside him, what drove him and what he needed to do to atone.

On the other hand, I once wrote a book in under a month, when a publisher offered me a contract with a tight deadline. For that project, I set myself a structured schedule and worked morning to night. At the end, I was mentally exhausted.

Usually, I have several projects under way simultaneously, which makes it difficult to measure how much time I spend on each.

 

What types of books do you write?

I write mostly fantasy and horror fiction, as well as non-fiction books. My fantasy is sometimes quirky, sometimes dark. My horror is subtle with a lot of atmosphere – more creepy and unsettling than violent and gory.

I’ve written a lot of non-fiction books, mostly reference books of the ‘how to’ type. Many of those were written under a different pen name and are out of date and out of print.

My Writer’s Craft series is popular. These are ebooks, helping writers with specialised aspects of their craft: Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, Writing Dark Stories, Writing Short Stories to Promote Your Novels, The Word-Loss Diet, Writing About Magic, Writing About Villains. More are in the pipeline. Many general how-to-write-fiction books are available, but once writers have mastered the basics of the craft, they need more advanced skills and specific techniques. At this stage, my Writer’s Craft books help.

 

WritersCraftCovers_-RayneHall

Can you tell me a bit about your latest one?

The latest one published? Hmm, let me see.

The latest book in the Writer’s Craft series is Writing Short Stories to Promote Your Novels. Many authors look for ways to get exposure for their novels, and they miss the obvious – using their writing skills to attract fans. This book shows exactly what kind of short story will sell the novel.

At around the same time, I published Dragon: Ten Tales of Fiery Beasts. I’m the editor, and only one of the ten stories is by me (a quirky tale about an introvert dragon who just wants to be left in peace). The others are by different authors. I selected a mix of genres and styles, some funny, some dark, some scary.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

As always, I’m working on several projects.  I’m just putting the finishing touches to Twitter for Writers. At the same time I’m editing Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk, selecting the stories, helping the authors revise, writing the introduction.  I’m also writing and revising a dozen short stories – a steampunk horror story about a werewolf in a funicular railway, a flash fiction piece about a premonition of a disaster, a historical story about smugglers on the south coast of England, and more. Then there’s a sequel to my dark epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer, with the working title Flame Bearer, and of course more books in the Writer’s Craft series.

 

Do you have to do any research for them?

The research for these is done. Where possible, I go and experience the situation myself – or at least, something similar. For the steampunk horror story with the werewolf, I took a ride in the  funicular railway in Hastings, and for the story about smugglers I visited a historical gaol in Pevensey and spent some time in the cell, imagining how it would be for the heroine.

 

Have any authors influenced you in your writing?

In my early teens, I loved the historical novels by Rosemary Sutcliff and Hans Baumann. I also read a lot of Karl May. Although Karl May (1842 – 1912) is almost unknown in the English-speaking world, he is popular in Germany. I loved his atmospheric descriptions of exotic places where he had never been. His approach has definitely influenced my novels, especially Storm Dancer.

I was about fifteen when I discovered a book with stories of Edgar Allan Poe. They were so exciting! At once, I started writing horror stories. They didn’t have much plot and blatantly copied Poe’s style, but at the time I thought they were really good. Poe has remained an influence on my short fiction, especially my psychological horror stories.

Later, I was influenced by the gothic stories by the Victorian writer Amelia Edwards. Although her stories ooze suspense from the start, the horror builds slowly. One of Edwards’ suspense techniques is to place the protagonists into an unfamiliar environment and isolate them from their companions. For example, he narrator of The Phantom Coach has gone grouse hunting, alone, in a bleak wide moor in the North of England, got caught in a snowstorm, and must seek shelter where he can.  Above all, I love Edwards’ vivid descriptions of location, climate and weather (in this story, the approaching storm and the moor landscape covered in deep snow). Her skilful use of descriptions (e.g. the coach with its mould-crusted leather fittings)  to drive the plot and create a spooky atmosphere is the work of a horror genre master. Surprisingly, Edwards’ stories don’t feel dated to the modern reader, the way many other Victorian stories do. When I read Amelia Edward’s stories, I immediately recognised a kindred spirit. This was how I wanted to write, and here was a master I could learn from, someone I could strive to emulate.

The late David Gemmell influenced me in a more practical manner. He was a kind of mentor, although that word suggests a more formal relationship than we had. Sometimes we chatted about our writing – his fabulously successful epic fantasy novels, and my largely unpublished efforts – and he shared what he was working on, what creative decisions he had made for his work in progress and why. He also pointed out where he felt I was going wrong with my stories, and suggested techniques for me to try. At the time, I liked to create twists by letting the reader expect something, and then twisting the plot in other ways. David warned me against this. Whenever readers think they know what will happen, they lose interest in the story; and even if what happens is not what they expect, that moment of lost interest is fatal to the book’s tension. I’ve taken his advice, for my novels anyway. You may see David Gemmell’s influence in my epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer.

 

Do you take a break after you’ve published a new book or do you just carry on writing?

I always work on several projects simultaneously, so there’s never a break from writing. However, after I’ve completed a book, I treat myself to a break from that genre. So after finishing a fantasy novel, I may write a short horror story, and after completing a non-fiction book, I may write a quirky fantasy yarn.

 

Describe a day in your life.

When I don’t write, I enjoy gardening, reading, walking along the seafront, hanging out in coffee shops, teaching online classes and spending time with Sulu, a black rescue cat I’ve adopted recently. I avoid doing housework.

 

Rayne Hall’s Amazon page can be found here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/raynehall/e/B006BSJ5BK/?tag=viewbookat-21

You can follow Rayne Hall on  Twitter – @RayneHall

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