I welcome Erin Brady onto my blog today. Totally honored to have Erin here 🙂
I’ve already purchased this book … I love the sound it. Hope you do too 🙂
One Last Blind Date!
I am very excited to announce the release of my next book, “One Last Blind Date.” The story centers around Sarah Jenkins who, on her thirtieth birthday, gets a six-month subscription to an online dating service as a gift from her best friend. She’s not exactly thrilled with her present. After all, she had hoped for a new handbag or a trip to a tropical destination instead. But “happily married” Amy thinks she’s doing Sarah a big favor by throwing her into the dating pool, feet ﬁrst and without a life vest, regardless of whether she’s ready to swim or not. Sarah is perfectly happy with her life and her career, but decides to give the service a try, if only for her friend’s sake. Besides, it’s the one gift that can’t be returned!
I can certainly sympathize with Sarah’s dating problems. I’d like to think we all can. Although it’s ancient history now, I certainly remember (like it was only yesterday) the anxiety I felt about dating and trying to ﬁnd my soul mate. It was nerve wracking having friends and family set me up with guys they thought were perfect for me, but whom I knew nothing about. It was, at times, painful, but always comical. I can laugh about it now, but it took several years of therapy to get over it 🙂 It was interesting to see that the person they thought was Mr. Perfect for me was, in I was having lunch with a friend of mine a few months ago when the idea for this book dropped on my lap. She was sharing all of her online dating misadventures and I thought to myself, there’s deﬁnitely a storyline there. We’ve all been through this. We can all certainly identify with Sarah and her journey of one blind date after another after another. We can relate. Why not write about these dates and the journey of ﬁnding love while being true to yourself at the same time?
So I went home and started documenting my friend’s dates, as well as mine and a dozen other friends’ and, before I knew it (I couldn’t type the words fast enough), I had a book. A wonderful potpourri of pieced-together dates.
The ﬁnished product: It’s a light, romantic comedy and, hopefully to my readers, a good beach read!
So last week I talked about Kids Parties. And yes, I’m still talking about them. As a parent it’s what life is about, isn’t it? 🙂
Actually I couldn’t resist writing this blog post … I wanted to share some party news that has pleased me.
Last week, my week got more interesting with kids parties when we attended a pony party! My 7 year old, Lexi, loved it! But before we left, my hubby said to her, ‘I know what you’re going to ask when you’re finished, and the answer is NO!’ She had no clue what he was talking about until the party was over.
‘I want to start horse riding …’ she said as soon as we got in the car to leave!
So we had a chat and I soon talked her out of that one! Not that I’m being a cruel parent, but if this was something she was passionate about I’d encourage it. But it simply isn’t. She hadn’t mentioned it before and she hasn’t mentioned it since. Thankfully!
Anyway, this got me thinking about kids parties and how it might drum up some interest for them to start new activities. As this also happened with Gabriella recently too, but luckily her new little adventure was a lot cheaper than horse riding!
In my blog, Ideas for Kids Parties, I mentioned a company called PAGE2STAGE, who do fantastic princess and superhero parties. Well, I found out that they also have a stage school too! So Gabriella joined just last week and absolutely loved it. The class lasted for an hour and a half, split into singing, dancing and acting. If you live in the Tees Valley area, this company is definitely worth checking out. Kelly who runs the company is so lovely, having little ones herself, she totally gets them. The more I looked into Page2Stage, I was surprised by what they have going on! They have a Frozen Ball coming up, they are involved with Stockton International Riverside Festival and they have their own showcase every year.
So I can honestly say this is one party that I’m pleased we went too. If you don’t live in the Tees Valley area (or the UK!) and you’re invited to a party similar to Page2Stage make sure you check out if they do any other activities.
However, if you do live in the Tees Valley area, Page2Stage is definitely worth checking out. I mean, come on, a Frozen Ball – how cool is that? Oh to be little again 🙂
I just had to share this, as I’m very pleased we found them 🙂
Now, even if you’re not an author, but believe in following your dreams, hopefully you’ll enjoy this blog post.
When I released How My Life Became Chaos, it was quite a daunting experience. Reading is so subjective, just because one person loves a book it doesn’t mean the next person will. I’m all for this, as how boring would the world be if we all loved the same things. We’d all wear the same clothes, drive the same cars, have our houses decorated in the same design and colours … can you imagine? Stepford wives eat your heart out!
Just imagine if no-one had achieved anything amazing! Something great! Something that changed the world. Can you imagine if those people blended into the background and allowed society to rule who they should be!
However, although I’m up for individualism, this made the release of my book very scary. I was very lucky though (and relieved) to have amazing feedback & recently after my book tour I received awesome feedback from book bloggers.
Although, I’ve had great reviews, it can still be quite a lonely place; you work endlessly on your book, you’re involved in a whole new world, creating characters, developing plots (this part I don’t, as many other writers, find lonely), but then when you’re back to your real world, you then have to be subjective about your own writing. Editing can be a lonely place; pulling your own work to pieces … it’s not the nicest side of writing. I love my editor Jenny Drewery but when I received my first manuscript back, I could have cried. There was so much red pen, I nearly threw the whole thing in the bin.
While interviewing other authors you get to see that they too have been through it. Joanna Penn mentions the ‘red-pen from editors’ in her book, ‘How to Market a Book‘. Interviewing authors like Joanna helps me realise that I’m not alone, that other authors have been, and are going, through exactly the same thing. I’m a huge believer in, ‘Never giving up’.
Following dreams and goals is a huge passion of mine, I believe everyone should follow their destiny. So even if you’re not a writer, if you’re struggling or have lost your way, I find the best way to keep focused is to associate with people who believe in you and believe in themselves! Maybe you can chat to people online who are having similar experiences to yourself. Maybe your goal is harder to reach than you initially realised, research people who have done something similar to you. If your goal is something that no-one has ever achieved, then research all the greats in the world: Alexandra Bell, who invented the telephone, Frederick McKinley Jones, who invented refrigeration systems, Patricia Bath, who invented a form of eye surgery using lasers … the list is endless. If you need encouragement do some research on the amazing people who have developed or invented something new. Read biographies … you will find things didn’t happen overnight for most people.
It’s hard work following a dream, but you’ve got to make sure you’re enjoying the journey. This is just one of the reasons I love interviewing other authors, not only do I feel like I’m connecting with people who have the same dream as me, but I’m finding out about them. I’m finding out about their books, what has inspired them to write, what advice would they give to other authors … it’s so lovely speaking to other people who are passionate about what I’m passionate about.
So if you have a dream you want to achieve, seek out others who have the same passion as you.
And remember: NEVER GIVE UP!
‘You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.’ Joel Ostee
Sometimes I think my kids have a better social life than me! They don’t think so, constantly asking, ‘Who are we seeing today?’ ‘What should we do today?’ ‘Where are we going today?’ Yes, even on a school day, God forbid if I answer, ‘No-one,’ ‘Nothing,’ ‘Nowhere!’ At the ages of 7 and 5 years old they can do a very good impression of Kevin and Perry!
Many weekends, like most parents, are taken up with kids parties and sometimes, let’s be honest, it can get a bit endless. So you can imagine my own excitement when we attended a child’s party that involved the help of parents. This might sound hideous to some parents, but I’ll be honest, I’m not one of those parents who enjoys soft plays or lots of children running around playing ‘tig’ and bashing into each other! Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to catch up with other parents, but half the time that’s impossible when your child is stuck up high in some kind of contraption of ropes and tubes, or you’ve got to keep an eye on them as you try to ensure they don’t get belly flopped to the ground!
I digress a little, but I once took along Gabriella, and my goddaughter Eva, to a soft play party. Can you imagine my horror when Eva came down a slide, (when I say slide, it was the smallest slide ever, infact it was more like a small slope!) and collided with a boy’s head. Her lip came up four times bigger than it should be. I had to take her home mid-party. What a disaster, and although I knew there was nothing I could have done about it, I felt so guilty that it was under my watch! My friends were lovely about it, but still, I felt so awful!
Hopefully you can understand my caution. Not that I’m neurotic or anything …
Anyway, when we were invited to a Woodland Party, I thought this sounds like my type of thing! A party in the fresh air, building dens and making fires! Yes, I probably should have had boys!!! I didn’t actually tell my hubby about the party because I wanted to take Gabriella 🙂 . So we attended this party last Sunday … and it was awesome! So different. Little Joe had definitely picked a winner – for boys and girls!
It started with a little hunt, leading us to a camp in the middle of the forest. The company Acorn Antics were hosting the party & the leader Cathy was lovely. The parents got involved, helping the kids making dens, fire lighting, making little elves from sticks … it was all safe and controlled. The kids then had pizza and hot dogs which were heated on the fire. The kids were allowed to heat their own marshmallows on the fire (obviously supervised). It was such a refreshing idea. It was great to watch the kids and parents working together. Gabriella usually hates being cold, but she absolutely loved it. She couldn’t wait to tell Daddy, who was a little gutted he’d missed out. 🙁
Since this party, Gabriella has been obessed with her own birthday, constantly asking me what can she do for her birthday, although it’s not until November!
But it did get me thinking about parties. It’s nice to do something different for parties. I’m not saying be bigger, better and spending lots of money, as there are ways to have a unique party but not spend a fortune. So I had a bit of a research for us, to see what ideas are out there. Although, admittedly, there doesn’t seem to be much, maybe some of these ideas will help you to expand on your own:
Hire a princess / or pirate party – PAGE2STAGE is an awesome company that have lookalike princesses. But they do so much more. Just tell them what you want and they’ll do their best to give your child the best party ever! Both my girls have attended parties hosted by these guys, a ‘One Direction Party’ & a ‘Pirate and Princess Party’. My girls absolutely loved both. I definitely recommend these guys.
Gymmanstics Party – Hire your local gymnastics venue OR set-up your own obstacle course in the back garden.
Sports Day Party – Set out some fun races in the garden, even get the parents involved by holding a ‘child & parent race’, or ‘mum’s race’ etc.
Craft Party – Help the children to make something in particular: a photoframe, a necklace etc. Something they can take home and keep. There are plenty of ideas on the internet, have a look at what would be suitable for your child’s party.
Baking Party – Let the children make their own cakes to take home.
A Cinema Party – We’ve attended a cinema party before, it was lovely. If it’s something you think you can’t really afford, or don’t want to spend so much, why not choose one of your child’s favourite films and host a movie party at home. Lots of cushions, popcorn and sweets, they’ll be in their element.
Tresure Hunt – You could design your own in a local park or in your own home/garden.
Christmas Party in the Summer – Kids love Christmas, why let them wait a whole year, get Santa to visit in the middle of the year!
Picnic Party – Hold a picnic party in the park. Play some old games, such as, rounders, swing ball etc.
Pet, Animal, Zoo or Farm Party – A great way to keep the kids entertained. Check to see if you have any local farms or zoos that interact with the kids, this would be a great educational party too. Some pet shops hold parties for children, this allows them to hold rabbits, guinea pigs or, for the more daring, snakes.
Skating Party – This obviously depends on age. But even the smaller ones can have a penguin to hold onto.
Science / Chemistry Party – Make something that involves powders and chemicals, such as, candles, soap, bath bombs or perfume. Usually better for older children, and would definitely need an adult to take control and lead.
Beach Party – If you’re lucky enough to have the weather, this is a great idea. Kids love the beach. And they’d love it even more when they get chips and ice-cream!
Flying Kites Party – If you have the space, and the time, let the children make their own kites – then go flying them.
Pamper Party – This is becoming a very popular idea: nails painted, hair styled and girls made to feel like a princess.
Build a Bear Party: We’ve attended 2 of these in the last few years. Both my girls loved them. Plus, they got something to cuddle when they came home.
These are only a few ideas, it’s also nice to go back to basics, a few games at home: pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs and my all-time favourite – pass the parcel. 🙂
Anyone who follows my blog, facebook or twitter page will understand how I love inspirational messages. But it’s not just the messages themselves, it is the people behind the messages that I love to learn about.
I love reading about people’s life experiences and how things in their life have changed them. I find those who have been through difficulties in life and have managed to pull themselves through so inspiring, especially when they’ve come out the other side a better person.
I love quotes from Dr Wayne W.Dyer, you see can lots of quotes from him on Brainy Quote.
This book helps to understand Dyer’s life. Rather than a self-help book of exercises, goal-setting tasks etc. this is Dyer and his life: what has made him strong. We get to see him at his lowest points. We read how he has managed to pull himself through the hardest times in his life. It’s raw. As I said, I love learning how other people have overcome hardship, it’s inspiring to watch others grow from the problems they’ve had to face. This book shows how Dyer saw his problems as solutions to a better life.
This book also shows us how Dyer follows his path of life, how he understands the stepping stones that led him to where he needed to be in his life. I think this book is a must-read for anyone who feels at a loss in their own world, or resassurance that they should follow their own destiny.
So if you’re at a bit of a loss as to what to read, or if you’re wondering how the problems in your life could be the solution to a better place … it might be worth giving this a read 🙂