#Review – Beyond The Green Line by Marc Goldberg (@Marcswords)

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I went to Israel looking for glory and instead found the Al Aqsa Intifada. I made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) at a time when suicide bombers were immolating themselves and others on Israel’s streets. Almost exactly a year after my arrival I was in the Israel Defence Force. 

They sent me over the Green Line into Nablus and Jenin and other Palestinian cities. I came face to face with suicide bombers, kids throwing stones, civilians wanting only to get through the day and a couple of the big terrorists who dispatched bombers to Israel. 

What I saw, what I did and what I saw others do will stay with me forever. Not enough has been written about the Al Aqsa Intifada. A period of time that left a wound on Israeli society that may never heal.

If you ever wondered what a suicide bomber looks like, or how terror chiefs act when they’re arrested or how it feels to live in a world where the bus you’re travelling on might blow up then come with me Beyond the Green Line and see it through my eyes.

What does TWG think?

I’m probably not the first person to say this, and I’m probably not going to be the last either – I have often wondered what happens in the army apart from the obvious assumptions us civilians reach based on information on the ‘News at 10’. I realise that probably sounds a bit weird, I mean, who wonders about things like that? Well, thanks to countless newspapers, we only see how many people got killed in a war, or we get alerted to when certain armed forces get called into certain areas. However, what we don’t get told is what REALLY happens. What REALLY goes through the recruits heads when they get called into action.

Now, I have never been in the army and to be honest, the chances of that ever happening are incredibly slim. Don’t get me wrong I wholeheartedly admire all armed forces for putting other people’s lives before their own. Going into the army just isn’t something I have ever aspired to. However, Marc Goldberg – a British born Jew, was adamant that the army life was for him and that he would do whatever it took to serve in the army in Israel. Whilst some people may have looked at him thinking ‘why on Earth would you want to do that?’, I take my hat off to Marc for such high levels of determination.

I thought this book would be a little more hard reading than what it actually was, especially with the descriptions of certain events Marc and his team were up against. That said, I still found ‘Beyond The Green Line’ to be a very in-depth read which, for its short amount of pages, didn’t seem so short. It was handy that I was interested in the overall theme of the book to be honest, as it meant that I became awfully engrossed in what Marc was telling me, incredibly quickly.

‘Beyond The Green Line’ isn’t a book that tells you what you WANT to hear. No. It’s one mans experience of his own life in the army from beginning to end. His emotions during training. His emotions and thoughts during arrests and callouts. His emotions after leaving the army. Marc Goldberg doesn’t paint his time in the army as a watercolour picture with no flaws, instead he is honest and isn’t afraid to admit how difficult he found it at times. This book really is an eye-opening and thought-provoking read. I can’t sit here and judge or critique a situation I have never been in, nor can I put a negative spin on the way in which Marc Goldberg has told his story. After all, it’s HIS story at the end of the day.

Without sounding macabre, I enjoyed reading about the ‘other side’ as it were as it certainly made me think whilst I was reading it. I haven’t been able to get ‘Beyond The Green Line’ out of my head since I finishing it. An eye-opener indeed.

I applaud Marc Goldberg for telling his story in such a refreshingly honest way.

Thanks TBCReview.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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#BlogTour! #Review – All The Colours In Between by @EvaJordanWriter @UrbaneBooks

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Delighted to be taking part in Eva Jordan’s blog tour for her latest release – ‘All The Colours In Between’. After hearing about this book from social media time and time again, it was lovely to finally be able to sit down and read it. Huge thanks to Urbane for the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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It’s not a life, it’s an adventure!

Lizzie is fast approaching 50. Her once angst ridden teenage daughters, now grown and in their twenties, have flown the nest, Cassie to London and Maisy to Australia. And,
although Connor, Lizzie’s sulky, surly teenage son, is now on his own tormented passage
to adulthood, his quest to get there, for the most part, is a far quieter journey than that of
his sisters. The hard years, Lizzie believes, are behind her. Only, things are never quite as
black and white as they seem…

A visit to her daughter in London leaves Lizzie troubled.
And that is just the start. Add to that an unexpected visitor, a disturbing phone call, a son
acting suspiciously, a run in with her ex husband plus a new man in her life who quite
simply takes her breath away; Lizzie quickly realises life is something that happens while plans are being made. Gritty but tender, thought provoking but light-hearted, dark but brilliantly funny, this is a story of contemporary family life in all its 21st century glory. A story of mothers and sons, of fathers and daughters, of brothers and sisters, and friends. A tale of love and loss, of friendships and betrayals, and coming of age.

Nobody said it would be easy and as Lizzie knows only too well, life is never straightforward when you see all the colours in between.

What does TWG think?

After seeing post after post regarding ‘All The Colours In Between’ on social media, I finally began reading the book with two things in my mind. 1) it was going to be emotional and 2) it was going to be emotional. Do you have slight inkling that it was going to be an emotional read? A lot of those posts on social media said exactly that, so I couldn’t help but wait for the emotional moments to appear.

Lizzie’s life doesn’t seem to be going exactly to plan. Not only is she approaching the big FIVE-OH, her motherly intuition is beeping like goodness knows what and doesn’t seem want to settle despite constant reassuring from her partner, Simon. Lizzie’s isn’t the only life not going exactly to plan, her children’s aren’t either.

There is A LOT of storyline to this book. Each of the characters seem to play a vital role in the story, thus making the background information treble before you’ve gotten to the heart of the novel. I did feel a little overwhelmed by the extremely busy storyline, especially as I felt that it was a little bit patchy – like situations were missing. I couldn’t quite work out what had happened when the storyline seemed to do an almighty jump to a different part or a different character, whilst still having unfinished business with another character at that moment in time.

Several situations were incredibly difficult to read I have to say. The author approached those topics with the utmost sensitivity and professionalism, whilst also keeping everything as realistic as possible. Uncomfortable to read, but brilliantly written.

Despite there being a lot of characters, I found myself relating to one of them in particular; Cassie. Now I don’t know whether that’s because my nickname is ‘Cassie’, or whether her entire persona called out to me. Thinking about it, I would actually say both. There was just something so raw, yet gentle about Cassie which made me sit up and take notice. Well, that and her hilarious responses to certain things.

I did get emotional reading ‘All The Colours In Between’, but I didn’t get as emotional as I thought I would because of the preempting posts on social media. Nevertheless, I read the last few chapters of the book feeling as though I had a golf ball stuck in my throat. You’d have to be made of stone to not react to Eva Jordan’s novel one way or another.

I love how relatable the entire storyline was with the family dynamics, multiple problems and the real life situations. I thought it was clever how the author changed her writing style with each character chapter swap – I managed to learn some new words from a teenager! How peng! I don’t think I have ever seen an author change their style so dramatically for another character before, but it really was brilliantly done that’s for sure.

Overall? ‘All The Colours In Between’ really did make me giggle and nod in agreement when certain situations arose. Lizzie’s family is such a loveable bunch with a huge heart, which Eva Jordan has captured absolutely beautifully.

Full of relatable anecdotes and emotional situations; ‘All The Colours In Between’ is a thought-provoking read about every day life and making the most of every single minute you have on this planet. A heart-warming, poignant and unforgettable read from the delightful, Eva Jordan.

Thanks Urbane Books.

Buy: UrbanePublication // Amazon UK // Amazon US

About the author.

Eva Jordan, born in Kent but living most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town,
describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate. She is also partial to
the odd glass or two of wine. Providing her with some of the inspiration for her novels, Eva is both a mum and step mum to four grown-up children. Her career has been varied
including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She writes a monthly column for a local magazine and currently works as a volunteer for a charity based organisation that teaches adults to read. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion. All The Colours In Between is Eva’s second novel.

If you want to know more you can find Eva at all the usual places. She loves to hear
from readers and reviewers so please feel free to contact her.
Website: evajordanwriter.com
Twitter: @evajordanwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EvaJordanWriter/

Giveaway!

Prizes: 2 x signed paperbacks and 2 kindle ebooks of All The Colours In Between (UK only)

Enter now! Good luck!

How ‘why are you only saying it NOW?’ is #notokay to respond to #sexualabuse posts with #MeToo

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Dear men and women of the world,

You may have seen the news overflowing with reports of abuse and harassment involving Harvey Weinstein. I mean really, who hasn’t? It really is everywhere.

You may have also seen the hashtag ‘#MeToo’ crop up once or twice on your social media, where some victims of sexual abuse or harassment try to come together under one heading whilst showing the world that it IS okay to speak out. Of course there probably was thousands of people who chose not to take part in that hashtag due to it reminding the victims of their abuse – that is okay too!

What’s NOT okay is the victim shaming.

What’s NOT okay is people commenting on posts with; ‘it was only just a kiss, stop throwing your teddy out the pram’.

What’s NOT okay is comment after comment with words along the lines of; ‘why are they just coming out with it now? or ‘yet another one jumping on the bandwagon to accuse someone of abuse – attention seeker!’ or ‘why didn’t they report it at the time instead of waiting years to say something?’.

I am hoping that if you’re reading this post, you know fine well why the above are far from okay. But if you don’t know why, then just this once I will humour you by saying:

Firstly, victim shaming is not okay. When people respond to a post asking what the victim was wearing, or what they did to attract the abusers attention in the first place etc, that’s pretty much telling the victim that they DESERVED their abuse/harassment.

Let me ask you this – if I were to walk down the street with a short skirt, high heels and a strappy top on and a man/woman decided to make non consensual advances towards me (e.g. groping, sexual talk, requesting sexual favours, rape, kissing etc), would you tell me that I DESERVED that because of what I was wearing? Would you tell me that I was ‘asking for it’ because I chose to not wear jeans and flat shoes and cover up every inch of my body?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing religious clothes, party wear, your pyjama’s or even your birthday suit; if you have NOT consented to another person touching you or making advances towards you then it IS deemed harassment/abuse. No MEANS no. No-one is ever asking to be abused or harassed by another person, regardless of whether a 4×4 piece of skin is on show. No…just NO.

Secondly, my next point is what prompted me to write this post actually. A newspaper reported that a lady has made an allegation about Patrick Swayze. Now we all know that he is dead so no, she wasn’t meaning that he abused/harassed her from the grave. This lady said how Swayze forcefully kissed her without her consent, just moments after discussing his wife on the show. The lady then proceeded to explain how she DID mention it to her boss (who was a woman) at the time and she was fired. Yes, you heard me correctly. SHE was fired. Whilst that story didn’t exactly prompt my post, it was a comment on that news report which did. A comment which said ‘it was only a kiss! stop throwing your teddy out the pram and let the man RIP’. Really? Tell me folks, how is that okay? How is making someone’s situation out to be trivial and ‘just a kiss’ deemed a suitable response? Yes the man is dead, and no he cannot defend himself. But should his death and status in Hollywood at the time, make the alleged abuse any less serious? If it was only ‘just a kiss’, does that mean anyone can walk into the street and forcefully kiss someone on the lips as it’s ‘just a kiss’, whether they wanted it or not? NO! If one person dictates a situation where it makes you any way uncomfortable, the other person should respect that and stop. One person agreeing to do something does not make the action consensual. So no random stranger, it isn’t ‘just a kiss’.

Thirdly, this one is getting my back up something chronic. In regards to the Weinstein case, there has been a flurry of victims coming out saying that they have suffered some form of abuse or harassment by that man. Many of those victims have openly said how their careers were then affected once Weinstein was told ‘no’. Many of those victims have said that they felt as though they couldn’t tell anyone because they were frightened, lonely and afraid of losing everything they have worked for. Many of those victims have admitted to burying their heads in the sand in fear that they wouldn’t be believed due to how influential Weinstein was in Hollywood. So of course the keyboard warriors came out in force, trying to outshine DreamWorks ‘Trolls’ movie in 0.5 seconds. (Note – they failed. Trolls is WAYYYYY better movie than their 0.5 seconds of fame).

At first I saw comments of solidarity, empathy and anger towards the victims and the situation itself. Then in no time at all I came across comments which began to make me feel incredibly sick. Comments such as ‘attention seeker! why are you coming out with it now?’ and ‘jump on the bandwagon why don’t you!’ and ‘why didn’t you say anything at the time instead of waiting years to say something just to get into the news?’. Those comments were found on the Reese Witherspoon abuse news report so I dread to think what others I had missed!

Let me tell you why comments like that make me feel sick. After getting sexually abused/harassed a victim is more than likely feeling ashamed, frightened, nauseous, emotional…you name it, they’re probably feeling it. Funnily enough, one of the top things on a victims list to do after being abused is going and telling someone. Your mouth becomes dry. You lose all feeling in your legs. You’re unable to form coherent sentences. All you want to do is hide away and sleep, hoping that when you wake up it all turns out to be a dream. Some victims may find themselves (depending on the level of abuse/harassment) having to get coached/therapy to build up the courage to tell someone about what happened. Multiple questions are likely to float around a victims head – ‘what if no-one believes me?’ or ‘what if they say I’m lying?’ or ‘what if they say I deserved it?’ or ‘what DID I do to deserve it?’, just to name a few. It is extremely scary to sit down with someone and say that you have been a victim of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. If in the unfortunate event the victim was raped, it’s not just a case of popping to your local police station for a brew and casually telling them what happened. They have a job to do and unfortunately, the victim’s body is their ‘proof’ as it were, so not only do they have to go through the chat, they also have to endure a physical examination after being non consensually ‘examined’ by an abuser.

When I read those comments asking why said person ‘didn’t come out with it sooner?’ it really did make my skin crawl because 1) for all we know the victim may have already done that and wasn’t believed at the time, therefore speaking out about it where a group of victims has already formed. Strength in numbers. And 2) we have absolutely no idea how the victim is feeling, what they went through and how emotionally (or physically) scarred they are from the event. Who are we to question someone’s abuse? Who are we to demand answers from a victim? Who are we to dictate when a victim should tell an authoritative figure about their abuse? Who are we to judge full stop?

Before anyone asks how I know all of the above, or decides to make an uneducated comment about what I have written; I am a #MeToo three times over. Not once. Not twice. But THRICE. Sexually abused at age 11 & 14, raped at age 21. The first two times I was a minor. Did I deserve it? No. Did I feel as though I deserved it? Of course I did. Do the scars still remain? Emotionally, yes.

Victims of abuse/harassment need empathy not judgement. If you have no idea what to say to a victim, admit that but give them a hug. Never, EVER pass judgement or victim shame a person who has found the courage to speak out their abuse, whether it was 1 year ago, 10 years ago, or 50 years ago. Abuse has no time limit. Abuse has no age limit. Judgement has a time limit and the time limit is up.

No means no. It really isn’t that difficult.

Love,

A victim of sexual abuse.

#BlogTour! #Review – Groomed by Casey Watson (@caseywatson1) @HarperNonFic

Twitter Blogger Tour Casey Watson Groomed
Happy publication day to Casey Watson and her new novel, Groomed. As always, Casey Watson doesn’t disappoint with yet another eye-opening read. Here is my review, and thank you to Jasmine Gordon for inviting me on the tour:

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It’s late on Friday night when Casey’s mobile starts to ring. She is expecting it to be her daughter Riley. But it isn’t Riley. It’s a woman from the Emergency Duty Team. So begins Casey and Mike’s latest fostering challenge – a fifteen-year-old girl called Keeley who’s run away from her long-term foster home 25 miles away.

The Jonathan Ross Show has just started when Casey gets the call. She thinks it will be Riley – telling her that her favourite actor is going to be on TV. But it’s something far more urgent: a fifteen-year-old girl who has run away from her foster family and accused her foster father of sexual abuse. The family deny in vehemently, but such an allegation can never be taken lightly, so a new home must be found for Keeley.

Keeley is polite, but she’s sharp, and she has all the hallmarks of a child who has been in the system a long time, and knows how to play it. Whether the allegation is true or not, Casey knows there will be no winners here. If it is true, then a young girl’s life has been torn asunder. If not, then the heartache for the family will only be surpassed by the bleak outlook for Keeley.

In the short term, it’s a case of providing a safe, supportive home for a vulnerable child. But with the dangerous world of the internet at her disposal, it seems this strong-minded youngster has her own ideas of where that safe place should be…

What does TWG think?

I’ll be keeping this review short and sweet, purely because of the personal interpretation element that this book will highlight more so. Plus, the overall theme of ‘Groomed’ is one which needs to be digested from the black and white words of the author themselves, as opposed to second-hand black and white words from my own personal viewpoint.

I know of people who have been fostered and, whilst their experiences aren’t at all positive, it’s clear to see from this book that time has moved on a lot since then in regards to the care system itself. Whilst I have a lot of respect for foster carers with the selfless choice they make to bring a stranger into their home, care for them and nine times out of ten, try to get them back on the straight and narrow; I am more in awe than anything at the sheer level of determination and balls, foster carers seem to have. I know OF the system, yet I don’t know the ins and outs of the system. I guess both are incredibly different kettles of fish.

Keeley has run away from home. Keeley has brought something to light which is guaranteed to break the lives of everyone directly involved. Her long-term foster care home doesn’t seem to be the safe haven everyone imagined it would be. But, with a personality like Keeley’s, is it just her word against everyone else’s, or is she actually telling the truth?

It was pretty clear from the onset that this novel would be quite a challenging read, due to the overall theme of the storyline. Challenging – yes. Uncomfortable to read – yes. Regardless of how uncomfortable I felt, topics like these need to be discussed and brought out into the open so people can fully understand how devastating such actions can be. Unfortunately, I can relate extremely well to this novel based on the theme itself, and not the foster care part. It was a situation I never in a million years thought that I would be in, but when does anyone wake up and think; ‘oh you know what, today I am going to be….’, and so on. As for Keeley’s reaction further in the book when she is in her new foster home and left alone with a mobile phone; all I’m going to say to the system there is ‘REALLY?????’.

Casey Watson has such a captivating way of writing, regardless of what topic she decides to write about. The author made me sit up and listen with her words, and empathise with her ‘characters’ actions. Not that I had any trouble doing so anyway, but the fact I noticed the slight change in the writing style as the story progressed, really made me think.

Books like these are what the world needs to help explain things which vulnerable children can’t. Books like these put heart-breaking, devastating, and horrendous situations in the spotlight, purely to help rid the stigma associated with the victims of said events. Books like these are vital to help judgemental people to stop judging something that they have no idea about, until someone puts it in black and white and feeds it to them with a spoon.

Thanks Harper Non Fiction.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Extract from ‘The Note’ by Zoe Folbigg (@zolington) @aria_fiction

THE NOTE blog tour
It’s TWG’s turn to host Zoe Folbigg and her debut novel, ‘The Note’. For my post today I am delighted to share an extract with you. Enjoy!

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As featured on ITV’s ‘This Morning’…

Based on Zoë Folbigg’s true story comes an unforgettable romance about how a little
note can change everything…

One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London,
and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably,
that he is The One.

But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to
notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though,
inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note
asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen?
And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness
where you least expect it.

The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change
everything…

Buy links:
Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Extract.

Chapter One

May 2014

Maya has done it. She has delivered three sentences and a friendly sign-off, and now
it is out of her hands. She struggles to walk the incline of the seemingly uphill train
carriage because her legs are shaking, her mouth is dry, and putting one foot in front
of the other takes effort and focus her racing heart isn’t capable of at the moment.
Her legs buckle as Maya slumps into a seat on the other side of a grubby internal
door. Which is just as well because she wanted to linger with the last straggles of
bedraggled Train People disembarking reluctantly; to make herself invisible to all the
commuters she just embarrassed herself in front of. So, Maya lies low with the sleepy
people. The people who can’t stand their jobs. The people who are lost in someone
else’s life, frantically turning or swiping pages to find out if the girl got the guy, the
adventurer made it back to London or the heretic was burned at the stake.

Train Man isn’t a straggler. Every day Maya sees him stand up confidently at the
same point on the track, somewhere between the football stadium and the tunnel, as
the train snakes towards a new day and a new terminus. Equine legs, strong arms. He
throws a grey backpack with two thin brown leather straps onto his back, stands in the
doorway and, as the train comes to a stop and orange lights ding, he steps off with
pace and purpose. Maya usually walks a healthy distance behind Train Man, tiny
sparks flying from her heels, down the platform and through the barriers under the
canopy of a reverse waterfall bubbling white and bright above them. The intimate
huddle of a metal umbrella for thousands of people who don’t even look up. Train
Man always walks straight through the station and Maya wonders what he’s listening
to, trying to guess from his gait, not realising he was at four of the six gigs she went to
in the past year. Every day she sees him turn right out of the station and walk swiftly,
resolutely, into a mist of people down the road. Until she can’t keep up with his long
stride, he in Converse, she in heels – or ballerina flats if she needs to be nimble and get to a meeting – and Maya tends to lose him around the big crossroads at the artery by the hospital. But not today. Today Train Man has long gone.

When Maya’s legs buckled and she fell into a dusty seat, she put distance between
where Train Man had been sitting, where she had awkwardly stood over him, and into
this sanctuary of a cringe-free carriage. Catching her breath, she waits for three
minutes until she, Maya Flowers, is the last of the stragglers. Hot face. Thumping
heart. I did it!
In the empty carriage, Maya’s legs stop shaking and she flattens her wavy hair in
an attempt to regain composure for no one’s benefit. She takes long deep breaths and
calms herself by putting her fingertips against her ribcage to feel her lungs fill slowly.
A tall man in a bright blue short-sleeved shirt that sits pleasingly against Somali
skin steps on and starts to throw newspapers into a sack before passengers board the
train that will take them north. Maya stands and tries to stride with Train Man’s purpose. She knows she won’t catch him up today, to see whether he is clutching her note to his heart, whether it’s crumpled in his pocket, or whether he tossed it into a bin. It doesn’t matter for now.
What matters is she did it.
Spring sunshine looks down gently and tempers rise noisily in the gridlock of an
underpass, but all Maya can hear among the birds and the horns are the words of an
American woman in her head.
‘What’s the worst that can happen?’
Maya smiles proudly as she passes a bin and gives a cursory glance into it.

About the author

Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001
and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK,
Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the- world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. This is her debut novel.

Follow Zoe

Website: http://www.zoefolbigg.com/
Twitter: @zolington
Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Losing Myself by Victoria Brown (@victoriajbrown) @bombshellpub

BLOG TOUR (9)-2
Delighted to be hosting Victoria Brown and her novel, ‘Losing Myself’, along with fabulous blogger, Sarah Hardy! Huge thanks to Bombshellpub for asking me to be involved in this blog tour! Here is my review:

Losing Myself final blue
Since Kat made her decision, everything around her seems to be falling apart. Not only is she dealing with family’s secrets, lies and deceit but the salon, which is opening around the corner, threatens her livelihood.

To make matters worse her relationship with Max is on the rocks. Although her relationships with Max’s mother, her step-mother and her sister have grown stronger, are they strong enough?

Working tirelessly to save her salon and save her relationship with Max, she is battling everyday to stay focused on her future. But what will the future bring?

What does TWG think?

Before reading ‘Losing Myself’, I was advised to read the first book ‘Holding Myself’ as this latest book by Victoria Brown is a sequel to that novel. I told myself I will make sure I have the time to read ‘Holding Myself’ beforehand, but unfortunately time wasn’t on my side and I had to read ‘Losing Myself’ on its own. Now, the reason I was advised to read the first book beforehand was so that I was able to follow the storyline, without feeling as though I was missing out on any pieces of information. In all honesty, I didn’t feel as though I was lacking in any information, despite reading the sequel first. Obviously everyone is different, but just because I was comfortable in the book order I chose, it doesn’t mean it will be the same for everyone else. Seeing as ‘Holding Myself’ has had such glowing reviews, I will definitely get round to reading it, so watch this space for a review on that book!

Anyway, back to ‘Losing Myself’.

Kat should be feeling on top of the world, excited for her upcoming journey in a few months time. Unfortunately, she isn’t. It doesn’t matter which way she turns, Kat’s life is determined to make her question every little thing, whilst bombarding her with people whose dictionaries don’t contain the word ‘genuine’ and ‘trustworthy’. Just like a lot of people, Kat has worked hard to get where she is in her professional life, and ironically, her personal life as well. The thing is, in one teeny tiny swoop, Kat’s dream is about to be pulled from under her in more ways than one.

If life required a spokesperson, Kat would fit the bill perfectly. As heart-breaking and unsettling as her life is, Kat is one of the most relatable characters I think I have ever come across because of the way she’s faced with realistic, every day situations and tackles them just like us – in a panic. Well, Kat doesn’t tackle ALL of them in a panic, but it’s clear as the storyline goes on that she has reached her limit, and understandably so!

You’ve probably guessed by now that ‘vagueness’ is the main theme of this review – just like the blurb. I don’t wish to give anything away but, because the storyline contains a lot of heartache and emotional moments (which I related and feel that other readers might do as well), I have to keep my cards close to my chest and give you the bare minimum. I would love to sit here and say which parts I related to, but I can’t as it will give a large portion of the storyline away. All I can say is that Kat’s own personal struggles are very similar to what you, me, and Jimbob down the road deal with on a daily basis. Not only that, Kat’s emotions will resonate with quite a lot of us as well. She doesn’t attempt to deal with the themes of the book in a perfect, straight forward and organised manner. I’m sorry to say, but that’s not always realistic. Instead, Kat deals with them in such a way that will make you feel better the next time you slide down the wall in tears upon receiving bad news that could potentially change your life.

Even though there were moments where I just wanted to scream ‘GIVE KAT A BREAK!!!!’ as I was frustrated with the constant stream of negative happenings in her life, it made me realise that life doesn’t care whether you’re going through one thing before it gives you another thing to get emotional about. It doesn’t care whether you have reached your boiling point. So yes, whilst I wanted everything to stop happening to Kat, I had to appreciate that because the storyline has a lot of realistic tendencies, the author has had to make the events covered within the story, realistic and as prominent as everyday life. After all, we can’t exactly shout at our lives to give us a break now can we?

I really did appreciate the authors black and white writing viewpoint as it made me feel as though the writer behind the book was in tune with their feelings, whilst also being aware of their future readers feelings as well.

I’m not going to lie, I was emotionally drained when I finished ‘Losing Myself’, yet I also felt as though I gained something incredibly special because of the underlying message which the author conveyed throughout the novel.

‘Losing Myself’ is an emotional, thought-provoking, and touching novel about real life situations, as well as real life emotions. Full of realistic scenarios with a kickass main character; ‘Losing Myself’ is guaranteed to make you treat yourself more like a human and less like a robot with no feelings. If you think you have to go through life completely oblivious to any type of emotion or turmoil, think again. If you think you have to go through life and deal with situations in a different way to what’s natural for you, think again. ‘Losing Myself’ made me realise that whilst everyone is different and deals with things in a completely different manner, we are all humans who need love and someone to be present whether that’s in person, by phone or by a message.

Incredibly touching.

Thanks Bombshellpub.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Guestpost from author of ‘How I Motivated Myself to Succeed’ @Shelleywilson72

Blog Tour Banner for Shelley Wilson HIMMTS

Blog Tour Schedule - HIMMTS
Delighted to have Shelley Wilson, author of ‘How I Motivated Myself to Succeed’, on TWG today as she celebrates the release of her brand new book! We all know that we lack in motivation sometimes, we are only human after all and, because of that, Shelley Wilson has written a guest post about why she is a sucker for a good inspirational meme. Hands up who feels raring to go after reading one of those? Me!
Hands up who is going to buy Shelley Wilson’s new book to keep the inspirational and motivational momentum going? ME!

Keep on reading after Shelley’s guest post as I will give you the all important ‘to buy’ links at the end. Over to you Shelley!

Why I’m a Sucker for an Inspirational Meme. Guest Post by Shelley Wilson
(@ShelleyWilson72)

Following inspirational bloggers, authors, and gurus is part of the ‘day job’ when you write self-help books. I have learned so much from my teachers that I love to pass on to my readers in a way that they can relate to. Even though I call myself a spiritual person, I don’t wear a floaty kaftan or bells on my fingers. You’ll only find me running through a meadow of tall grass with flowers in my hair if there’s an ice-cream van at the other side!
There are billions of us on this beautiful planet, all with our own unique hang-ups, issues, and battle scars from life. What I love most about the personal development industry is the abundance of quotes that can heal, calm, and inspire someone in the space of ten or twenty words. Some quotes are motivational, some humorous, and others are very thought provoking.

My books encourage a sense of positivity, and well-being and I’m normally quick to share an inspirational meme with my social media audience. I don’t do this because it fits my personal needs, although, some days these affirmations have been spot on. I share them in the hope that they’ll help someone else in the same way my books can motivate or inspire readers. When I ran my holistic health business, my clients were always at the forefront of my mind. If I read an inspiring article, I would save it as I knew it might resonate with one of my ladies. When I heard about a new meditation class or spiritual workshop, I would forward the details to the people I knew would enjoy these events. Today, social media is the perfect platform to share our good intentions far and wide as you just don’t know who you might help along the way.

So, the next time you spot an inspirational meme, don’t scroll by and dismiss it, think about who you know in your circle of friends and colleagues who might just need to hear that message today.

In my new release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed I’ve included a series of lists at the
end of the book; 52 Things to Do, 52 Uplifting Quotes, 52 Affirmations for Success, and 52
Power Words – one each for every week of the year. I’m a great believer in ‘thoughts
become things’ and have witnessed a client spiral out of control when concentrating on the negative aspects of her life. On the flip side, I’ve also seen how a friend turned her life around by absorbing the positivity around her and choosing to embrace this. If one
inspirational meme can trigger a moment of optimism, hope, or confidence then I’ll keep
sharing and I hope you will too.

I’d like to finish with a huge thank you to my delightful host, Kaisha. Having won the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the Bloggers Bash this year, I’m pretty sure she’ll be as obsessed with inspirational memes as me! Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the other host spots for more inspiration, motivation, and a sprinkle of fun.

Awww thank you Shelley! Yes! I am all for the thought-provoking meme’s that make you stop and feel as though something has clicked. A bit like this one here;

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If you would like to read more about Shelley’s inspirational tips then take a look at her new release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed, out now in paperback and eBook, and packed full of information on self-care, freeing yourself from fear, organising your life, and much more.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Find out more about Shelley on her author blog http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.com or via her personal development blog http://www.motivatemenow.co.uk.
She is also on Twitter www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72, Facebook
www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog and Instagram www.instagram.com/authorslwilson

Author Bio:

Shelley is a multi-genre author of non-fiction self-help and young adult fantasy fiction. Her latest release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is being dubbed as the sequel-that’s- not-a-sequel to her bestselling book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. She writes a personal development blog (www.motivatemenow.co.uk) as well as an author blog
(www.shelleywilsonauthor.com) where she shares book reviews, author interviews, and
random musings about writing. Shelley was thrilled to win the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the Bloggers Bash in 2016, and to scoop second place in the same category in 2017. She is a single mum to three teenagers and a black cat, loves pizza, vampires, and The Walking Dead, and has a slight obsession with list writing.

#BlogTour! #Review – Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul (@gillpaulAUTHOR) @headlinepg

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I am absolutely delighted to be today’s stop on Gill Paul’s blog tour for, ‘Another Woman’s Husband’. Huge thank you to Phoebe Swinburn for accommodating me on the tour! If you can’t tell already, I am so very excited to be reviewing ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ on my blog today. Keep on reading and you’ll find out what got me so excited. Enjoy!

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From the #1 bestselling author of The Secret Wife comes a gripping novel that commences with the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and journeys back to the fascinating world of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. ‘A triumph’ Dinah Jefferies on The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

Two women who challenged the Crown.
Divided by time. Bound by a secret…

1911
At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal.

1997
Rachel’s romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world…

Richly imagined and beautifully written, ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND is a gripping, moving novel about two women thrust into the spotlight, followed by scandal, touched by loss.

What does TWG think?

As a huge history fan, I struggled to contain my excitement when the opportunity arose to read Gill Paul’s new novel. Even if you’re not a complete history buff, there is a high chance you’ll have heard of the name, ‘Wallis Simpson’. Also, if you remember a certain date in 1997 when ‘The People’s Princess’ lost her life, you may already find yourself knowing several of the key points of the storyline without even realising it.

Told from two different viewpoints – 86 years apart, ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ shines the spotlight on the two women whose names, and lives, will forever be imprinted in our historical timeline; Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana. Both women found themselves hugely popular with the media, with Princess Diana even being dubbed as ‘The People’s Princess’. Let’s be honest, we all know how Wallis Simpson managed to create a media frenzy, even in those days!

Whilst ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ is a work of fiction, the storyline IS supported by factual information surrounding Princess Diana and Wallis Simpson, as well as several other historical figures/socialites from 1911 onwards. Before I started Gill Paul’s novel, I was aware of Wallis Simpson and her not so glowing reputation in the world of history. I’m not going to lie, I did have Google handy on my phone so that I could double-check some of the storyline as I went along. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe the author’s research, it was because I became so invested in every word of the storyline, I ended up not knowing the difference between the facts, and the author’s fictional additions.  Everything just flowed seamlessly. Even though the story is told by Rachel in 1997, the time of Diana’s death, the years didn’t move forward which meant that particular part of the storyline was easier to dip in and out of, ideal for when the viewpoint changed to Mary Kirk’s from 1911 onwards.

What I found clever was how the book began in 1997, was set in Paris at first with Princess Diana being the main topic of conversation, in a book that is being published during the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death – when the topic of ‘The People’s Princess’ will be back in the media once again. Of course it’s going to be a subject at the forefront of royalists and Princess Diana fans all over the world, at this moment in time. So, to read the devastating event in black and white sent shivers up and down my spine. There’s one thing hearing the about it on the news or watching it on T.V, but then there’s another thing reading it in a book and letting your subconscious take heed of that piece of information, whilst mulling it over and digesting it in the only way your clever mind can; dramatically.

Don’t get me wrong, I was engrossed in the 1997 parts of the storyline but, for me, my most favourite parts were from 1911 onwards which were written with Wallis Simpson’s best friend in mind, Mary Kirk. I knew Ms.Simpson was scandalous, but eeeeesh! I loved being able to read the story as though I was back in 1911, watching the drama unfold with my very own eyes. Obviously, being predominately a work of fiction it can be quite difficult to differentiate between the fictional points of view and the facts, but luckily the author was one step ahead and included which parts were facts, right at the end of the book. I was incredibly intrigued by how one woman managed to make such a mark on history, yet she seemed to manage it as though it was the norm. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t blunt, so I will admit that Wallis did get my back up on a number of occasions. It just goes to show how different society and ethics were back in those days with the way people responded to Wallis’ misdemeanours. Although, back then it was the case of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know’, which is also true for today’s society unfortunately. Maybe it was Wallis Simpson who coined that particular viewpoint? Who knows.

There were times where I was quite glad to have google at hand, such as when a certain event shocked me to the core and I had to google it to see whether it was indeed fact, or whether the author had written it in herself. The author really is THAT good at combining all viewpoints and timelines flawlessly.

As weird as this sounds, I wasn’t emotionally ready to say goodbye to those moments in time which have put us on this path today. It’s crazy how one person’s choices can create such a damaging ripple for anyone or anything that ends up in its path. The thing about history is that people will remember it as it’s documented a million times over. Granted a lot of the people involved will no longer be alive, but their distant relatives might be. Can you imagine?

‘Another Woman’s Husband’ has given me the biggest book hangover I think I have ever had. I became annoyed when I had to stop reading due to having to embark on adult things, and I was absolutely devastated when the book came to end. Gill Paul’s storytelling was beautifully engaging, often leaving me in a state of trepidation as I became incredibly invested in several characters and their lives. Gill Paul invited me on a historical journey with ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ – a journey which made me feel as though I was constantly being fed such rich and succulent knowledge, changing my viewpoint of the world without me even knowing it at the time. I was hypnotised by the authors wonderful writing skills, her magnificent story-telling, and her second to none research skills.

I adored everything about this book. Utterly, utterly brilliant.
After reading 193 books already this year, I can say that ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ has managed to become my most favourite book of the year so far, whilst also being in my top three most favourite books of all time.

This my friends, is a work of art. Any reader (and non reader!) should be proud and fulfilled to have ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ on their bookshelf.

Phenomenal.

Thank you SO much Headline Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

 

#BlogTour! #Review – The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper @toodletinkbaby @NeverlandBT

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I am delighted to be kick off Roxie Cooper’s blog tour today! Roxie Cooper’s debut novel, The Law of Attraction, was published by HQDigital on the 23rd June 2017. Although to be perfectly honest, after reading Roxie Cooper’s novel, I can hardly believe that it is only her debut. Wow. To kick off the blog tour, I am thrilled to be sharing my review of ‘The Law of Attraction’, as well as details of a giveaway! Not guilty….honest.

Book Cover-4
Amanda Bentley has always dreamed of being a barrister…

But as a platinum blonde bombshell from the wrong side of town, with a perfect tan and sleek high heels, she doesn’t exactly look the part – or fit in with the brash public school boys and cold posh girls of Newcastle Crown Court’s robing room. Amanda’s never been one to back down from a challenge, and so when she wins a prestigious pupillage following law school, she’s determined to make the most of her chance – and make all her dreams come true.

Only three things stand in her way: Sid Ryder – the sexy, irresistible barrister who she absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, sleep with. At all. Marty Gregg – her smarmy law school nemesis, who she’s in direct competition with for the top job. And her big, dark secret that could jeopardise everything she’s worked so hard for.

Who said that following the laws of attraction was going to be easy…?

What does TWG think?

I spotted Roxie Cooper’s debut novel (well, the cover) circulating on social media a while before it was released into the wild, and boy was I excited to read it! I honestly felt like I was squealing at the author about wanting to read her book, week in week out via Instagram. Let’s face it, the chances of that actually being the case are extremely high!

Anyway, it took me less than a day to read ‘The Law of Attraction’ and my heart broke when the time came for the book to end. I mean, how dare the author put ‘the end’? Personally, I wasn’t emotionally ready for ‘The Law of Attraction’ to end.

Amanda Bentley has the rather prestigious nickname of ‘Barbie’ – platinum blonde hair, a figure to die for, and a wardrobe that could actually beat Barbie’s hands down. Don’t even get me started on the shoes! Everyone automatically assumes that if your hair is blonde and your boobs are large, then you’re either as thick as two short planks or you spend your Friday nights shaking your ass to ‘I’m Too Sexy’ by Right Said Fred. When Amanda Bentley wins a pupilage once out of law school, she believes that the only thing she would need to worry about was the task in hand – winning the tenancy and getting the long-awaited dream job of becoming a barrister. However, it didn’t take long for Amanda’s dream path to be littered with hurdles, as well as people she would much rather forget than spend every day with.

I need to get one thing out-of-the-way; my opinion of Marty Gregg. What an absolute cockerel!!!!! How Amanda managed to not stick her fist through his face, I have no idea! What a smarmy little twerp! As soon as his creepy, smirking, dirty little face appeared in the book, I disliked him straight away. Naively I thought to myself ‘can this boy GET any worse?!’, and what does he go and do? He gets even worse. I absolutely despised him.

Right, onto the good bits! I LOVED how Roxie Cooper’s debut incorporated experiences from her own personal life, although I did spend a lot of time wondering whether any situations in the book were based on real life events. The author has made no secret of the fact that she was a barrister before she was an author, and I found that quite endearing because the storyline came across as being written from her heart, as opposed to being written from Google’s heart.

Whilst all of Newcastle Crown Court seem to judge Amanda on how she looks, the storyline itself runs a lot deeper than the contents of her make-up bag. I felt so sorry for Amanda as it was made clear early on how her childhood wasn’t worth remembering due to horrific emotional and physical trauma. When I say made clear, the readers are told that about her childhood, yet the reasoning behind her trauma doesn’t become clear until much later in the book. If you’re anything like me, you’ll put two and two together and come up with five. It’s lucky that I never wanted to be a barrister, eh!

‘The Law of Attraction’ is filled with some rather lovely characters, as well as some rather horrible characters who seemed to have popped over from ‘The Mean Girls’ as extras in Roxie Cooper’s novels. I cannot STAND people like that! I’ll admit, I found myself getting angry about those particular characters far too often, but I realise that the storyline required those colourful characters in order to get the point across. Of course, just like other books, I did have my favourite characters but I’m not going to tell you who, just incase I end up influencing your choices indirectly!

As soon as I had finished reading ‘The Law of Attraction’, I messaged the author and let her know about a part of the book which made me cry. Now, because I don’t want to give anything away, I won’t state which part it was, but let’s just say that it caught me off guard big time. I wasn’t expecting my eyes to leak. If you’re reading this book and end up crying at a part, let me know which part that was! Who knows, it might be the same one!

I absolutely loved every single thing about this book. It was gutsy. It was addictive. It was hilarious. It was kickass. It was deep. It had ‘errrrr come again?’ moments. It was intriguing. It made me feel a lot more emotions than I care to admit, in such a short space of time. I could tell a mile off that the author wrote ‘The Law of Attraction’ with pride, integrity, realism and a truck load of love. Yes, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of ‘Legally Blonde’ whilst I was reading this. But, in all honesty, ‘The Law of Attraction’ beats ‘Legally Blonde’ hands down and, seeing as I am a huge fan of that particular movie, that is definitely saying something.

Heart-warming, addictively written with oodles of beautiful and shocking moments, ‘The Law of Attraction’ really is one of my Top Reads of 2017. I could not have asked for anything else in one book, it truly had it all. If not more. I laughed. I cried. I smiled. I became angry. I was empathetic. But most importantly, I found ‘The Law of Attraction’ GUILTY for being such a phenomenal read from start to finish; an all-round, pleasurable read which I will be remembering for such a long, long time.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book.

Thank you HQDigitalUK and NeverlandBT.

Buy now from Amazon UK

GIVEAWAYYYYYY!!!!!

UK ONLY!

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of ‘The Law of Attraction’, a copy of ‘Legally Blonde’ the movie, as well as a £10 MAC gift card, all you need to do is:

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

Good luck!!

AUTHOR BIO

Roxie was born and bred in Middlesbrough. After studying Classics at University, she
became a dancer in a nightclub for a few years, before going travelling and living in
Australia. When she returned, she swapped dancing on a bar, to practising at the Bar,
and became a barrister for 7 years.
It was after being constantly told “Ooh! You don’t look like a barrister!” by absolutely
everyone she met, that the idea for her debut novel was born.
Roxie lives in Yarm, a pretty little market town in the North-East. She’s a bit (lot)
obsessed with Prince and spends far too much time watching him on YouTube. Her
hobbies include watching musicals, making her hair as big (and blonde) as possible, and
wishing she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Links:

Goodreads
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

#Review – #DareToDream by Izzy Judd (@Mrs_izzyjudd) @Transworldbooks #letstalkfertility

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Izzy Judd shares the story of her and her husband Harry’s fertility journey in this honest and heartfelt memoir.

‘All I ever wanted was to be a mum – I couldn’t wait and it felt as though my time was so close. But the months started to tick by, with each one ending in disappointment and frustration. And then the inevitable panic started to set in …’

Having been told by doctors that, due to Izzy’s polycystic ovarian syndrome, they would have difficulty conceiving – and after two years of trying – Izzy and Harry turned to IVF.

Izzy’s aim, drawing on her own experience, is to break through some of the taboos surrounding miscarriage, IVF and fertility issues. This brutally honest and deeply personal account will acknowledge the struggles that so many couples go through but will ultimately focus on the positive, life-changing and remarkable results that IVF can yield. One in seven couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving and although many babies are now born through IVF, there is still a sense of awkwardness around the subject.

Izzy hopes that this book will be a companion to those going through similar challenges to those she has experienced. As she herself says, ‘No couple should have to go through it alone and in silence.’

What does TWG think?

When it comes to books written about a real life person and their ACTUAL life, how on Earth do we begin to review the book? In other book reviews we may discuss the pace of the book, or how it was written…things like that. But let’s be honest, it would take someone with the character of a female dog to start reviewing this book in terms of ‘storyline’, ‘plot’, and how ‘believable’ the entire book was. So, whilst I am still calling this post a review, I sure as hell won’t be pulling apart anything except the thoughts from my mind. After all, who are we to judge someone else lifestyle and the harrowing situations which they had to face?

As most people are aware, Izzy Judd is in the public eye (just like her husband Mcfly drummer – Harry Judd). Because of that, certain parts of their lifestyle will make the media before they have had time to finish their morning cuppa, or, in Izzy’s case, write a book about it. We all know that the media can stretch things. We all know that the media can put two and two together to make five. However, the media is was brought Izzy’s journey to light in passing and luckily, all of us would have the chance of reading her story in her very own words thanks to this book.

Why did I choose to read ‘Dare to Dream’? Well, as a huge fan of Mcfly and Escala (Izzy’s old group), I wanted to know more about their real lives away from the spotlight. Plus, seeing as ‘Dare to Dream’ is about such a personal and sensitive topic, I knew that whilst Izzy’s journey was a different one, I knew that I would be able to relate with the overall topic of fertility itself. Back in 2011 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness which ended up making me think that I would never be able to have children or, if I did fall pregnant, I knew that the risks of miscarriage and such, were all extremely high. I may not have had IVF, but I have fertility struggles. For me, ‘Dare to Dream’ became the voice of unborn babies and ready wombs everywhere.

Naively, I always thought that IVF worked every time, literally being a case of doctors putting the fertilised egg back in the womb and away you go. Oh my goodness I couldn’t have been more wrong! Based on Izzy’s own personal experience, getting her body emotionally and physically ready for IVF seemed to be an extremely challenging experience, and that was before the IVF even started! Not only were the Judd’s dealing with a lot of negative emotions due to conceiving not happening naturally as it were, they found themselves (Izzy more so) having to completely change their mindset when it came to pregnancy. Having dealt with multiple blows, I am in awe at how Izzy turned her emotional wellbeing upside down, gave herself a little shake and climbed through the mud, despite not knowing what could be waiting for her on the other side. Whilst some people may say that if you truly want something you’ll walk to the end of the Earth to get it, I truly believe that it takes a certain amount of strength to keep going along a path when all you want to do is hide. Through the fear. Through the emotional turbulence. Through the hormonal and physical changes outwit your control. THAT takes, in my eyes, severe courage, strength, and power to be able to get you and your body through that. I am completely in awe at what I read –  I admire Izzy Judd so much after reading this.

Obviously, if you haven’t been through something yourself, or been indirectly involved with someone who has, understanding that situation can be quite difficult, if not impossible. How can you know how someone feels after having needles stuck into their stomachs? How can you understand someone’s pain that their body isn’t working how they thought it should? How can you begin to understand someone’s journey one hundred percent, if you’re not THEM? You…..can’t. Izzy made it perfectly clear on more than one occasion that, whilst multiple people go down the IVF route, her journey and everyone else’s journey are completely separate and personal to each person. That said, Izzy also included some rather lovely hints and tips should anyone feel that they wish to try something which they hadn’t thought of before, whilst embarking on their IVF journey.

What made me quite emotional (aside from Izzy and Harry’s journey), was how Izzy thought of other people whilst going through her own situations. It’s clear from the onset that Izzy wanted to write this book to bring awareness to fertility issues via her own story, however, I found my eyes leaking when I read how Izzy also wrote this book with other people in mind, whilst wanting to ensure that nobody ever felt alone whilst going through their fertility struggles.

I’ve said it before in this post, but I’ll say it again; Izzy Judd is such a remarkable woman with an extremely big heart. I loved how in ‘Dare to Dream’, we got to read Harry’s side of the story as well, especially as it’s clear that the women can only house the baby, their partners are involved in the emotional side from a soon-to-be father point of view, as well as a loving partner. Even though I am a single mum, it was refreshing to see the journey from both angles.

‘Dare to Dream’ hit home in many ways from the emotional struggles, to the fertility struggles, to the feelings of self-doubt and failure. ‘Dare to Dream’ made me feel as though there is hope. I was lucky enough to become a mum the one time, however my fertility issues still continue and my body (and future babies) are forever at risk. Reading Izzy Judd’s honest and emotional story made me feel as though there was now a little angel sitting on my shoulder, ready to be the voice of hope, love, positivity and friendship. Honestly? I wish I had a friend in my life like Izzy Judd, I’m not going to lie.

A beautifully written, heartbreakingly poignant story about love, life, loss, but most importantly – faith.

‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain’ – my all time favourite quote.

‘Dare to Dream’ is available now from Amazon.