Thursday, 6 March 2014
In this fascinating and celebratory book, Sarah talks to 20 inspiring women who have not only made it past 50, but are happy to be there.
These open and honest conversations, punctuated by Sarah’s observations about her own journey, reflect on friendship, work, health, creativity, marriage, motherhood, money – and whether you should stop dyeing your hair.
Sarah Dale is a chartered psychologist and accredited coach. She devised the Creating Focus programme and is the author of Keeping Your Spirits Up. She was born in 1964...
On a beautiful day in August, we seek out a wild swimming spot on Dartmoor. It is an idyllic setting, an ancient grassy common on the bend of the river, overhung by lush oak and beech trees in full summer leaf. Dappled sunlight falls across wet children sleek and glossy as seals, and their shrieks bounce off the rock face as they dare each other to ever higher leaps from the bank.
I bring up the rear of our little family group, as we haul our picnic and towels from the car park. My varifocals and unsteady flip flops, as well as customary caution, result in me being slower than everyone else in making my way along the uneven riverside footpath.
I imagine, if I were living in some fictional primeval tribe, that I might soon be discarded. What do I bring to the party? Am I becoming a liability? As a woman approaching fifty, I no longer offer physical strength or child-bearing potential. If I ever was physically daring, I’m less so now. The brief appeal of dipping in the river chills as quickly as my feet when I test the temperature.
I’m no longer the quickest, strongest or the one with the loudest voice. I have fulfilled my reproductive purpose, if that is what we are here for. I won’t have more children and my daughters are growing in independence on a daily basis.
But I don’t feel ready to resign myself to the background yet. In many ways I feel that my work has barely started. Am I deluded in thinking I have some valuable contribution to make? What shape will it take? What exactly is my purpose? And does it matter?
The women I have had conversations with over the last months have a wide range of views and experiences. My initial response is relief that not one of them is invisible. Their contribution may sometimes be subtle but is often all the more powerful for that.
It is like a dew-laden spider’s web: visible if you look for it; awe-inspiring in its construction; efficient, beautiful and very strong in its natural habitat. It is also very easily swept aside by those clumsily making their way through life without stopping to notice what is right in front of their faces. The corporations, institutions, families and generations who ignore older
women are losing far more than they realise. Society needs older women like the world needs bees.
I have heard from women, all of whom are at least sixty years old, who hold things together. They quietly and relentlessly challenge injustice. They support and soothe and organise and nurture. They lead the way. They laugh. They struggle, and doubt themselves. They keep going, and encourage others to keep going. They see the bigger picture as well as the tiny details of life that matter. They are a curious mix of astonishing patience and exasperated energy. They care.
I have paused for a while in my middle-aged rush of busy domesticity where work and motherhood uneasily co-habit, backlit in recent years by my own uncertainties about ageing. I have stopped to listen to these ordinary, yet extra-ordinary, women. I expected interesting things.
However, I didn’t expect the project to be so immediately and intensely personal. It has confirmed or challenged my own views of what matters and what doesn’t. It has left me with clearer ideas about the kind of older woman I would like to be. It has reassured me. It has been time well spent.
What did I think ?
This was an incredibly interesting book and Sarah seems an incredibly interesting person. I'd love to sit and chat to her for hours about the book, the people she talked with and their journeys as well as her own. I've got a way to go yet, but I know that my sister is reaching the big 50 this year and it seems to have really influenced her life and her decisions.
It's a book that makes you ponder, raises lots of questions of your own, certainly made me think about how my mom must have felt when she reached the ages that some of these women had reached and how I would be motivated and inspired by them. I'm sure that after reading this book, some of my priorities will have changed.
About the Author
Sarah is a practising occupational psychologist and accredited coach. She designed the structured coaching programme, Creating Focus®, and is the author of Keeping Your Spirits Up, a guide to facing the challenges of modern life. She lives in Nottingham with her husband, two daughters and step-son. Her moments of leisure are spent Nordic walking, reading fiction and frequenting coffee shops, the more independent the better. She secretly loves a good jigsaw.
You can find out more about Sarah Dale on her website, www.creatingfocus.org or by following her on twitter (@creatingfocus) or on Facebook (Sarah Dale – author).
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Thank you so much for letting me showcase my forthcoming steamy action-romance novel
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.
This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.
Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!
Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.
Link to buy:
Now YOU can get involved too, here is our very own Guestbook online, take the time to visit and leave a comment, join in the fun and tell us what you thought of your experience. Meet new friends or be nosey and see what others have got up to before you!
Monday, 10 February 2014
Made in Nashville...feel the country!
An on-stage attack left Honor Blackwood with more scars than just the one on her face. It’s been ten years since she left her spot as Nashville’s brightest country music star. Is now the time to return? And is she brave enough to do it?
Country rebel and rock star, Jared ‘Jed’ Marshall is hot property on the Tennessee music scene in more ways than one. He’s wild, he’s sexy and everybody wants a piece of him. But when he sets his sights on Honor, is it pure attraction or just distraction on his mind?
Honor’s record label sign the ex-boyfriend that dumped her and suddenly going back to her old life is harder than she thought. Can she get a new contract? Will she get to perform at the Marlon Festival? Or will Dan Steele destroy everything?
When a secret from the past becomes public knowledge it’s no longer just about the music. Are all the people in her life lying to her to get what they want? And who is really behind the anonymous gifts she keeps getting sent?
Join the country scene to find out!
Made in Nashville – where the off-stage action’s as hot as the music!
Love ABC’s Nashville? Fall in love with a story that’ll drag you into the heart of the country music scene.
Battle scars, broken contracts and a returning star with a point to prove. Fists are flying faster than award nominations and emotions run even higher.
Country rebel and rock star, Jared ‘Jed’ Marshall is hot property on the Tennessee music scene in more ways than one. He’s wild, he’s sexy and everybody wants a piece of him. But when he sets his sights on singer Honor Blackwood, is it pure attraction or just distraction on his mind?
Visit the home of country music and get ready for the finger-picking read of the year!
What did I think?
I loved this book with all of my heart. A really unique story line for me: music being the main background with completely lovable characters, a great plot and a whole lot of lovin' going on!
Lots of internal conflict for both of the main characters made them both fiery, gutsy and determined. They were both adorable! As were the side characters. Loved Mia, Honor's friend!
I could hear music being sung in my head and absolutely lived through every minute of this story.
I do love a Mandy Baggot book! Always fast-paced, full of fun, with some hot love scenes, a lot of tension and a feeling that if you put the book down you're really missing out on something! Totally un-put-downable.
A brilliant book - highly recommended!
About the Author
Mandy Baggot is a romantic fiction author. In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her self-published title, Strings Attached was also short-listed for the Best Author Published Read award.
Also in 2012 she signed with American publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, who produced her novels, Taking Charge and romantic suspense, Security.
In June 2013 she signed a two book deal with Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse.
She is a regular contributor to writing blogs and on-line magazine, LoveahappyendingLifestyle http://www.loveahappyending.com/.
Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.
She is an advocate for women in business and belongs to the networking group Women on Wednesdays.
Thursday, 6 February 2014
The book sounds amazing and is right at the top of my pile to be read!
I'd like to share my most important first time! It was when I met the love of my life - my son Oliver. I had a C-section and it was only when I heard him cry and the doctor held him up to us that I breathed a sigh of relief that he was here, he was safe and I was now a mom! From that day on, he has been and is my life! Being his mom is the best job in the world!
Here's a few other firsts for you to learn about.
But then English aristocrat Alexander Hunt walks into her life and everything changes. Handsome, brooding, and with his own dark past to escape, Alexander is exactly what Lauren doesn't need - but she finds herself helplessly drawn towards him.
Both Alexander and Lauren know that they should stay away from each other... but sometimes desire is so powerful that it conquers all else.
The First Time We Met is the first novel in Pippa Croft's Oxford Blue Series. Fans of Sylvia Day, E L James and Beth Kery will love this compelling romance series.