Hey Guys, guess what? I am a grandma again!

2 Nov 5

Those of you who visit my blogs regularly, will know I haven’t posted anything in a while. That’s because I have been trying to catch up with my backlog of reviews but also because I now have other things on my mind.

I am proud to announce that on 1st November my eldest son Robert and his amazing wife Alison gave me a priceless gift. A  Grandson whom they named Alexander. He is our little miracle, as three years ago his brave mum underwent a double transplant Pancreas & Kidney.

Alison was diagnosed with Diabetes’s at 18 months old and has been through much more than a lot of people could bear. Despite this, she maintains a positive attitude and works tirelessly to raise awareness around transplant issues. Her gift of life was given to her by the parents of a young ten year old boy who had been in a road traffic accident. At that time, she was dangerously ill and in renal failure and we were afraid we would lose her. This little boy’s family put their own grief aside with their tremendous sacrifice to give life to another. Now we have all been given another gift of life, with the birth of our precious boy Alex.

We all pray for miracles when times are tough but they are all around us, every day, if we have the eyes to see them. Life itself is one of the greatest miracles. Robbie and Alison journey so far, has been a true love story of dedication and unending love for each other. The day they married was a proud day for us all and now they embark on the greatest journey of all as their love has been completed with our darling Alex. They are now beginning their own family.

Some people say we are born into the family that will make us grow the most spiritually. A family that will provide us with the tools we need to fulfil our life purpose. Sometimes, unfortunately it is a family that toughens us up or gives us more pain than we can bear. At other times, it is a family so filled with love that it crosses over to everything it touches and transforms it with its own amazing love. I see this in action every time I have contact with Alison’s family. They are loving and supportive of each other, compassionate, patient with a faith that can move mountains and has. What more could a Mother want for her children, to be surrounded by such love and faith.

So our little Alex is here, he arrived a little early at six months old, three months premature. Weighing in at four pounds and half an ounce. He gave us all quite a scare but now has mstolen all our hearts. He has his mother’s fighting spirit and his father’s big feet. We are not quite sure if the nose belongs to his Dad or his Grandad, he has his Nana Jones’s serenity and maybe, just maybe he could be a chip off the old block of his Grandma. Why? well you are never going to believe this but he is blogging already.

He is in the special care unit, getting stronger every day and has his own online baby dairy, how cool is that. Yesterday he got a cuddle from his Nana Jones and he loved it. Unfortunately, I had to come home after starting with a heavy cold virus type infection. So at the moment that blog is my precious contact with my little sweetheart. Hopefully, with the help of some antibiotic’s and steroids I will see him soon.

We have wrapped him up in a blanket of love, I talk and stroke his little pictures every day. I tell him I love him and how precious he is to all of us. Our dream has come true this year and life is good. If you are not already on the organ transplant list please join and help us creates miracles like this every day.

3 Nov 6

A Cuddle with Mummy Makes Everything Better

 

5 Nov 14

I dont know what all the fuss about these feet is, we love em! Dont we Daddy?10 Nov 29Hey, Nana Jones, I am sooo comfy here with you.

If you are not already on the Organ Donation Register please take five short minutes to sign up today.

https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor/registration/consent.asp

 

 

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What’s Life all About ?

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Over the last few days I found myself struggling with this age old question. Whats life all about? The impact of the new moon was cruel and unrelenting and refused to loosen its grip on me. Dragging me unwillingly, to places I did not want to go, into a place we all try to avoid. The darkness that resides inside our own soul, something inside me told me that I had to hang on, that these periods are transient and like most things in life will pass.

I possess highly attuned skills in human psychology, human grief and depression but am also smart enough to know; that when you are there alone and struggling none of these will help. In fact, like a lot of people say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I found it practically impossible to look at all the good in my life. Instead I was almost hypnotically drawn to the negative, the dark and the unexplainable. We are all our own worst critics not matter what face (Maybe masque is a better word) that we show to the world.

I slept a lot, I hardly ate and my only communication (real communication) was with my friend in America. We can talk about anything and I think the distance helps. Then we are able to carry on the charade to the outside world that everything is ok.

I have been to this place periodically, throughout my life. I call them “Dark Nights of the Soul” and remember others who have walked the same path and achieved great things. Such as Sir Winston Churchill who tagged them as “Bad Dog Days”

So maybe I am not such a failure after all, I know as I come out and back to real life that I am not. However, when I am there, it is a vastly different story as I go over all my past mistakes, telling myself I am useless and much worse. I think how the world would be a much better place if I were not in it. I beg the universe, God anyone for a positive sign and wait. Slowly, the fog lifts and the world becomes visible again. I laugh at something ridiculous, silly and it is just the medicine I need.

Hope returns and I dance with it joyfully holding it tight, firmly, afraid I may lose it. I realise the gift behind these “Dark Nights of the Soul” have a gift as we leave them. It comes gently, almost a whisper but we are quiet now, ready to listen, willing to learn. It is almost worth the pain, the gift, the insight, we could have gained no other way.

I realise that I was experiencing what I am, what I have become, the part of me that slipped away bit by bit, become lost, until it screamed that it wanted to go home because that was now the only way I would hear it. To the gentle peace of knowing, of simply being and doing.

Sometimes when we love we give away too much. The object of our love becomes everything to us and we see ourselves through the veil of that relationship. We forget who we are, we think we are the way that person relates to us, hurts us. The world around us becomes masked by a great fog that we are unable to see through.

If we are lucky, yes I did say lucky, we experience those “Dark Nights of the Soul” we gain access to our heart and who we are at a soul level. Who we would be but for a life interrupted, a wrong fork in the road that leads us slightly off course. To the place where we give too much to another, forget our dreams, hopes, what makes us who we are.

We lose our identity, to fit in, to make it work and it is like we are tearing out a piece of our own hearts. Life is over far too soon and most of us will spend a long time in old age, when the time to do these things have long passed us by, regretting those things we didn’t do. Remembering, how we sold ourselves cheaply, betrayed our soul and the very essence of who we are.

If there is something you want to do, take a step towards it today, no matter how small. Take your flashlight of hope and shine it through the fog and reconnect with who you are or who you can become. Be the light in your own lives, so others can watch you and find their own light.

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Broken Chapter Four

Hello everyone, today is the last free chapter for Broken, Chapter Four, for those of you who have had a taster and want to know more. I hope you will buy a copy of the book, a percentage of the money from the book will be going to a well-deserved charity. Seren, is an organisation that counsels people who have experienced child abuse, they are vastly underfunded and their waiting lists are long. Anyone here who has been through this will tell you, that the effects are far reaching. If just one person is helped by reading this book then my journey in writing it will have been worth it. Broken is due to be released soon on Amazon, please keep tuned to the blog for the exact date. So without further ado, here is Broken Chapter Four.

3D Cover for website

Susan’s mother, Mary was sitting at her dressing table getting ready for work. She had to be there for eight thirty but she had been held up by Wally her husband, ranting and raving as he often did. Wally was insanely jealous of anyone and everyone. They had been watching the TV when Roy Orbison came on and he had thought she was paying too much attention to him so he had got in front of the telly to block her view. God he was like a 5 year old sometimes, why had she ever married him? She had sent the children to bed early again, she knew when he was starting and didn’t want them to hear the vile names he called her. His temper had gotten the better of him as usual and he began his onslaught

“Who is it tonight then Mary, Brian I suppose? You better hope that his wife doesn’t find out”

Don’t be silly Wally, I married you didn’t I?”

“Because I was the only one that would you have a slut like you”

“We both know that isn’t true, why are you so horrible?”

Wally thought about it carefully, if he pushed things too far she wouldn’t go to work tonight and he didn’t want that. No, he had his own secrets and if the little slut thought she could get one over on him she had another thing coming. He was sick of her and the men who drooled over her; he would teach her not to mess him around anymore. Consciously and manipulatively adjusting his tone of voice he said,

“No you’re right love, take no notice of me, it’s just because I love you so much, that’s all”

“Well we’ll say no more about it then Wally and I’ll go and get ready for work then”

Mary walked into their bedroom with a heavy heart, how had she ever got herself into this mess in the first place? He had seemed so nice at first and she thought their struggles would be behind them when she married him. All she wanted was a good life for herself and her children but almost as soon as the ring was on her finger he had changed, into a jealous possessive monster. If she left him he would make her life a misery, he knew too much about her past and he would use this information to destroy her; No she had to keep him sweet until she could find another solution.

Mary’s thoughts began to wander. At least he was a good father to the children that was something at least. He was always buying Susan little presents, Kevin seemed ok in fact, he had seemed to have grown up overnight; Maybe it was having a man around the place that had such a good effect on him. Tonight she had to try hard to stifle a laugh as Kevin had said

“Mum you don’t have to go into work tonight; I earned your wages for you” as he presented her with a pocketful of coins.

“Thanks Kevin I really appreciate it but if I don’t go to work tonight, I will lose my job; you spend that money on yourself and our Susan luv”

The look on his little face of disappointment was heart breaking; but those few coppers wouldn’t have made any impact at all on the bills that had to be paid; but she was very touched by his thoughtfulness none the less.  She put on her Carmen rollers on to heat up and as she brushed her long auburn hair until it shined, she thought about times past.

When she had been with the man she loved, in fact the only man she had ever loved. How had her life turned into this pitiful existence? That’s so selfish she thought to herself, as long as the children were happy then she would cope. Brushing away the tears, she applied her makeup skilfully and then began to select her outfit for the evening. She choose a black and white striped pencil dress that hugged all the right places and remembered a time long ago; when the man she loved had given it to her, as a present.

 

 

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Broken, chapter three

Hi everyone, thanks for tuning in for Broken, chapter three. I have decided that I will publish one more chapter next week so that will be four in all. If you are visiting in for the first time you can the link for find chapter one below.  http://wp.me/p2zG6L-eA and chapter two underneath here. http://wp.me/p2zG6L-eG Please take the time to leave me a comment good or bad as I really value your input. A proportion of the sales of this book will be donated to Seren a child abuse counselling service.  3D Cover for website                                                                 Chapter Three

Liverpool September 1963

Kevin was outside with his friend Steve, they were ten years old and they already felt, they were grown up. They were street kids Kevin and Steven and they were used to amusing themselves. Quite often, they got into mischief but it was normally because they were bored rather than being outright naughty. They had enjoyed many a good chase after playing knock and run, but they weren’t daft enough to do it in their own street; as they didn’t want to risk the wrath of their fathers. They were loyal to each other and were best friends in fact, in their eyes they were blood brothers. Last summer they had cut themselves and put their thumbs together so their blood would mix, so it was official, in their eyes.

Kevin and Steve were like chalk and cheese to look at, Kevin being blonde with blue eyes, tall and skinny; whilst Steve, had black curly hair with green eyes, and a short, plump stature; although, both boys possessed an impish sense of fun, wide grins and a twinkle in their eyes. Their mothers used to say to them, that the twinkle came from the Irish in them. They had become firm friends through their mothers, who worked together and they had a lots in common; the major thing being, they both had fathers they did not like. Kevin had confided in Steve about the beatings he often received from his father and the night time visits to Susan, his sister. Likewise, Steve had told Kevin how his father beat both him and his mother whenever the fancy took him, usually, when he couldn’t get money for the pub.

They had both been called the man of the house by their mothers before their fathers returned from sea; so they felt it was their responsibility to look after the family.

“Kevin I swear I nearly stabbed him last night, he battered me mum and she’s black and blue today”

“I know how you feel Steve, I don’t know what my dad does to our Susan but I know it’s not right, I hear her crying after he’s left. I want to tell me mam but I don’t know what to say, you know, how to put it like” our Susan has changed since he came, she is all jumpy and nervous and I don’t know what to do to make things better for her”

“Maybe if we could make some money and give it to our mums they wouldn’t have to go out to work every night. My dad would go the pub and we would have peace and your dad wouldn’t go into Susan’s room cos your mam would be home”

“How are we gonna make some money then Kev”

The two boys then talked about various money making schemes before deciding they would wash cars.

“Yeah that’s a brill idea come on then kidda, let’s do it”

They set planning what they would need and Kevin snuck into the flat, took a plastic bucket and some washing up liquid, from under the sink when his father wasn’t looking. Steve’s house was empty so he took four cloths, two for washing and two for polishing; that way they could do a car each and make more money. So the two friends set about their mission full of optimism and motivation and they worked hard all day washing and polishing and earned what was a small fortune to two ten year old boys. They did such a good job that they earned tips on top, for all their hard work. When it started to get dark they packed up their stuff and ran home excitedly with their earnings. Kevin ran up the stairs three at a time he was so excited until, he heard the shouting as he reached the second landing. Instinctively, he froze as he listened to the shouting voice, he knew so well.

“You little slut, how many times do I have to tell you go the toilet”

He knew his mum wasn’t in because his father never spoke to Susan like that when she was around. As he entered the flat he saw Susan cowering in the corner in a pool of her own urine.

“Sorry daddy sorry”

she stammered, protecting her face with her hands. Kevin felt the anger rise in him as he ran towards his father and launched himself at his legs, punching him with as much might as he could, he spat,

“Leave her alone you bastard”

As the words left his mouth in a blind fury, he knew he would pay dearly for them. He was scared now but he didn’t show it, he wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. Kevin felt the searing pain as he was lifted in the air by his hair and the choking effects of his father’s hand around his throat as he was losing consciousness. As the dizziness took effect, the front door opened and he was dropped quickly to the floor with a thud. Their father hurried towards the door to the hallway, shutting the lounge door behind him to prevent their mother from seeing in.

“Hi Mary, you’re early give us a kiss then”

“You’re in a good mood”

“All the better for seeing my beautiful wife”

Kevin heard his father talking to her and knew he was trying to delay her entry into the lounge. When Mary their mother had finished talking to their dad Wally in the hall and finally entered the lounge; Kevin had wiped up the urine and put clean knickers on Susan and was watching the TV like nothing had happened. At the tender age of ten years Kevin was protecting his sister and hiding the horrors of his and Susan’s life from their mother.

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Athena Brady’s June 2013 Book Reviews

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Welcome everybody, to Athena Brady’s June’s 2013 book reviews. As you can see I am still a little behind, two months to be exact but  I hope to catch up soon. I have some fabulous books for you this month, by some great authors. The first book is an amazing journey by one man into his past. The second is a murder mystery which you will find entrancing. The third is an epic story of one man’s life and the many trials he must face. I can honestly say I enjoyed every one of them, which each offer something different to the reader.

                                The Song of the Mockingbird by Bill Cronin               

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I found myself unable to put this book down, the twists and turns where woven seamlessly into the plot. The author has a good understanding of the greyer areas of life and the darkness that resides within the human character. He understands pain, compassion and love and portrays them beautifully.

Jack is a writer who can’t write and is in a deep depression. He is a best-selling writer who received a huge advance for a three book deal. Now, if he does not produce a book, he must return the advance. After returning from a torturous meeting with his agent, he finds his wife leaving him.

His agent suggests counselling and as he wants to win his wife back, he agrees. Jack’s counselling suggests that issues from his past are affecting him in the present day. He starts to examine the past and embarks on a journey, that’s takes him to places he does not want to go. Jack has to examine his relationship with his parents and find out why his sister Billie, left home suddenly when he was a child.

To get to the truth Jack needs to face the things that scare him most. He must dig and dig, until he has uncovered every last detail. Will Jack be able to get past the things he discovers and return to normal life? Or will the past destroy him?

 

                                                   Everybody Burns   by John Dolan

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This murder mystery, starts slowly but rapidly picks up as the plot unfolds. It takes you on a journey to many places. David Braddock is a self-taught private investigator with no qualifications. Yet, despite this, demonstrates a good working knowledge of human psychology. A maverick character, which at times may annoy you but will never cease to entertain. As the momentum of the book picks up you will find many sub plots along the way.

The book is set in Thailand on the island of Koh Samui. David is many things to many people and does not suffer fools gladly. He has to tread carefully to protect himself and others, whilst still expressing loyalty to his clients and those he loves. He is ordered by the local police chief to solve the mystery of three gruesome tourist deaths. Then, just as you feel the mystery is solved, there is a bizarre twist to the tale. This book is definitely worth a read, for all you mystery lovers out there.

                                                     High on a Mountain by Tommie Lyn

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This epic novel is full of adventure with numerous unexpected twists and turns along the way. The thorough historical research of the author shines through. We follow Ailean, the main character, from a boy to manhood. He is adventurous, loyal and brave. When he meets the woman he wants to marry, the path of true love does not run smoothly.

He and she must face many trails together. Ailean, appears to be blocked at every turn, yet he refuses to give up. Will he, ever have the peace of mind he yearns for or will he be beaten down by the forces that attack him? I could see this book as a film. I am in awe at how the author has taken a historical perspective and woven into this exciting and adventurous novel about one man’s life. Even with its epic length, the quality of the writing is uncompromised and it still remains, interesting and absorbing.

 

I hope you all enjoyed June’s book reviews. If you wish to buy any of these books, you can find the link directly underneath the book covers. Please take the time to leave a comment, as your opinions good or bad are always welcome. If you are an author and would like a book review, please contact me at athenabrady1@gmail.com If you are a reader and want a book reviewed you can contact me in the same way.

 

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Broken, Chapter two

Hello and welcome, last week I revealed “Broken” the first chapter, today, is chapter two. Please take the time, to leave me a comment. I value your opinions good or bad. As writers we put our heart and souls into our writing, in an attempt to get our message across. Although this book is a harrowing subject, that is both graphic and very sad in places. It is predominantly, a book about healing and hope that reaches out to those people who have suffered as Susan does in the book. It is a book I hope will raise awareness of this issue to others and if I am lucky will raise vital funds for Seren, a charity that deals with the aftermath by counselling survivors. As a proportion of book sales will be directed to this worthy cause.

Child abuse affects people in different ways, no two stories will be the same. Some will be worse than others but without doubt it has a far reaching effects on survivors. Some make it through that journey and sadly some do not. Child abuse is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about; but discuss we must, if we want to make a difference and protect our children. For those of you who did not catch Chapter One you can read it here

http://wp.me/p2zG6L-eA

 

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Wales October 25th 2007 pm evening

For as long as she could remember, Susan had stood on the edge of things. She realised now at the age of forty eight years, she had been observing from a distance, a safe distance. Always watching and observing, being part of the group yet apart from it, on the side-lines. The events of the past few hours had taken there toil on her psyche, dragging up memories best forgotten from the dark part of her soul were she had kept them hidden for so many years. Scars that still burnt into the very core of her being, their power over her, as relentless as the day they were born. Reducing Susan, in the confines of her own home, in the place she felt safest of all, to a quivering wreck.

She could make no sense of what was happening to her. The phone rang it was Kevin her brother.

“Hi Susan, how are you”

“Not to good actually”

She began to tell him what had been happening to her.

“I think it’s all connected to Wally myself”

“Why?”

“Why the things he put you through when you were a kid and when we were in care”

“Care we were never in care Kevin?”

“Oh yes we were, when you and I were spilt up”

“I remember vaguely staying with friends of mum’s in Kirby but that wasn’t care”

“Yes it was”

“Susan, have you ever asked yourself the question, were was your mother then?”

“My mother, she was yours as well”

“But … she was far from perfect and she didn’t get rid of Wally did she?”

 

“I always thought once she knew she would kick him out, why didn’t she?”

“Kevin, I can’t deal with this now I will ring you tomorrow”

Susan flew into the bathroom and was violently sick. After cleaning herself up she went into the lounge and sat down. She had dealt with the Wally things years ago, hadn’t she?

She reached for the cigarette packet on the table and pulled one out and lit it. Dragging the nauseous essence of the nicotine, deep into her lungs. As she coughed she thought, these things will kill me. Susan made a mental note to self to cut down, but not today, I need these today. Something had transported her to a place she did not want to go. A long forgotten place, she had left many years ago; and a place she thought, she would never return to.

Thoughts raced around her mind like a tornado, one mingling with another as it set off yet another chain of thoughts. Igniting old feelings of worthlessness and depression, her head began to spin and small beads of sweat trickled down her forehead. Susan started to feel light-headed and held onto the chair in front of her to steady herself; she sat down just as the vivid images began to flood through her mind sending her senses into overdrive.

Liverpool 1963

No! No! I’m not going back there she cried out as her mind betrayed her. As she struggled to form a tangible thought she felt a familiar touch on her shoulder. A touch she knew was not real as she was alone in her flat; and it transported her back forty five years to when she was 3 yr. old child helpless in a world of adults. Susan was in the room now, THAT ROOM waiting in dread for him to come into her bedroom.

She looked around the room with the eyes of the child she once was, drinking in the environment as though the mere act of concentration would delay the outcome she knew so well. The large room was separated into two by a hardboard wall. On the left side slept Kevin her older brother with Susan on the right. Susan was 3 years old and Kevin was 10 years. The room was sparsely furnished but clean and tidy with essential items only. Blue patterned linoleum covered the floor with a similar colour, blue curtains on the windows. There were 2 beds, 2 bedside cabinets and 2 chests of drawers. In the corner of her room stood a portable 2 bar electric heater which kept the winter chill off the room.

 

Susan could hear her mother saying goodbye to her father, as she left for her night job. She began to cry silently into her pillow as she realised her torture would soon begin. Very soon her father would appear in her room with that glazed look in his eyes, as he did every night her mother worked. Her father had just appeared 6 months earlier out of nowhere. Before he arrived there was just Susan, Kevin her brother who was 7 years her senior and their mother.  Her mother had told them that their father had been working away but Susan remembered thinking why didn’t she remember her talking about him before?

 

Susan’s thoughts wandered and flowed towards her mother, who she adored. Mum is so beautiful she thought, she could see her in her mind’s eye, her flowing red hair with the curls that framed her face and her big green eyes like pools you could sink into. Her heart shaped face and pale pink lips enhanced her beauty even more. Although they had little money now it had not always been the case.

Her mother’s expensive clothes from all over the world completed her perfectly manicured look. She was a woman who, when she entered a room demanded its attention silently, without uttering a single word. All eyes were upon her and her mother loved it! Susan’s heart melted with pride when people said she had inherited her mother’s looks, but deep down she didn’t believe them and thought they were only saying it to impress her mother.

Susan knew she was ugly she had always felt like this for as long as she could remember. Wally had told her she was an ugly, stupid little bitch and she knew he was right. When she grew up no one would want her, not like they wanted her mother. Susan’s world always stood still when her mother talked about her travels around the world, her clear blue eyes were mesmerised, drinking in everything her mother said. She savoured every word and drank in every experience as though it were her own, imaging the scene her mother painted as though she had been there. She especially loved it, as all children do, when her mother talked about the day she was born. The first time she had done was just before her father had returned home. A time when she felt safe, when there was just Susan, her brother and their mother.

 

“Your father” she said, eyes beaming with pride was over the moon when you were born. He sent me 3 orchids with a little note attached which read, “One for the day I missed and one each for my beautiful wife and darling daughter”.

 

“Your daddy was travelling with his job when you were born and didn’t get home until the day after you were born; but oh Susan, she said excitedly, you should have seen the presents he bought back for you”. He brought beautiful little dresses, hats, shawls, in fact everything a new baby could ever need. Her mother shifted in her chair to get closer to Susan and whispered in her ear, “There was no prouder father in all of England” she cooed.  Susan never tired of hearing this story it and could recall it word for word. Her little mind worked overtime as she puzzled to herself

“What made daddy change then? It must be because I’m so naughty? Daddy says I am, so it must be true cos grownups don’t lie do they?

 

Susan was back in the room now with her tiny frame huddled under the blanket. Tears cascaded down her face relentlessly and she wiped them away, it would be worse if her father caught her crying. Kevin heard her and said,

“Are you crying again kidda?

“No I am not! Susan replied indignantly I’m a big girl now”

 

Susan was trying to sound as brave as she could whilst stifling back the tears which were now stuck in her throat. The tears rolled down her face silently and she wiped them away defiantly with the corner of the blanket.

Kevin’s voice softened now,

“Ok sis, you go to sleep now and I’ll look after you and keep watch for Dad and Jimmy Green teeth of course” he added laughingly.

 

Jimmy Green teeth, was a fictional character that Kevin had made up to frighten Susan into going to sleep when she was playing up at night. In the happier days before their father had arrived on the scene and it always did the trick! Susan was soon asleep dreaming her favourite dream of walking through the Tripoli Gardens in Italy, which her mother had told her about and they were looking at all the beautiful flowers.

 

As she wandered happily around the gardens with her mother, she thought it’s even more beautiful than mum told me. Her mother motioned her forward with a gentle touch on her back. Susan could just about make out the frame of a man by the bushes as her mother said, “Go on then, run to your daddy”! She ran excitedly as fast as her little legs could carry her, giggling to herself and stopped momentarily as she wondered to herself, why am I not frightened of him? As she reached him and looked up Susan was shocked to see he had no face!

 

Startled, she jumped back and the fright woke her from her dream as it had so many times before.  As she slowly came back to reality she realised she was on the floor. She had fallen out the bed and bumped her eye on the bedside cabinet and a red angry welt was forming. Dazed, Susan picked herself up and rubbed her eye, wincing with the pain she hauled her body back into what seemed to a slight three year old, an enormous bed. Susan could hear Kevin’s gentle snores which frightened her even more, knowing he was asleep and unable to help her. Somehow just knowing he was in the other room and awake comforted her. Normally after her father had left, Kevin would ask her if she was ok and rock her back to sleep as she cried her distress out.

Susan pulled the Covers up to her chin and surveyed the room, it was dark and Susan was afraid of the dark that was when HE came.  Her mind raced frantically back to the dream. Why didn’t my nice daddy have a face, she thought intently, with as much concentration that a three year old could muster? Her mind was searching anxiously for the answer as the door slowly creaked open.

 

Small specks of light from the lounge, streaked into the room as the dark figure entered. It hovered over Kevin’s side of the room checking he was asleep, before approaching her bed. Susan could hear Kevin’s deep breathing and knew he would be unable to save her from her plight. OnceIT the dark figure, was satisfied Kevin was asleep it approached her bed. It lent over her and pulled back the covers, in one swift well-practised, movement. Susan was trembling uncontrollably and had broken out in a cold sweat. She opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. She could hear and feel her heart beat pounding in her chest and she desperately tried to move but was unable to, as she was paralysed with sheer terror.

Susan could hear HIS laboured breath and smelt it was heavy with the scent of whisky; he looked to her a slight 3 year old, like a gaint.  Suddenly his voice broke into the darkness

“How’s my sexy little girl then? IT asked as the dark figure approached her and fumbled underneath Susan’s pink flowered nightgown.

“Daddy’s come to see if you’re alright” he croaked, his breathing heavier now. The voice sounded kind but Susan knew it was not kind, this was her nasty daddy, and her nice dream daddy had gone away.

 

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Today, I Reveal “Broken” the first chapter.

This book has been a long time coming, it has took me quite a few years to write. It has been picked up and put down, more times than I can remember. It is about a subject close to my heart, child abuse and it is told from a different angle, than most books in this genre. It is gritty, raw and hard hitting and there is some swearing with in the book, where the narrative calls for it. Here, is a brief synopsis of the book.

 

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This is Susan’s true story told anonymously, of her journey from despair to healing. Susan begins to experience a feeling that leads to childhood memories of sexual abuse in middle age. Memories she has no recollection of, that begin to haunt her in the present. She embarks on a journey of discovery, which challenges everything she thought about her life previously. There are times she thinks her dark night of the soul will destroy her and all her closest relationships. Once she has opened Pandora’s Box, it cannot be closed until she has come full circle. This book is a gripping, tense and sad narrative that you will not be able to put down, until you have finished it. A must read for those who dare to explore the grey and darker areas of life.

I wrote this book to highlight child abuse and the effects upon the people who endure it. A proportion of the royalties of the book will be going to “Seren” a child abuse charity that is vastly underfunded and provides much needed counselling to survivors. Please take the time let me know your thoughts, good or bad by leaving a comment.

                                     Chapter One

Wales October 15th 2007

It was a cold October morning, one of those days when people don’t feel like getting up. Susan’s bed was warm, comfy but she had to go to work.  Reluctantly, she climbed out of bed, went into the bathroom and put on the shower. She dressed, ate breakfast and went out to defrost her car.

Susan felt out of sorts, not quite herself, as she drove to work. She felt frail, shaky, vulnerable, and fragile, like she was at the start of a virus or cold. Normally she enjoyed her drive to work and it reminded her how lucky she was, to live in the countryside.

She lived in a very beautiful and picturesque part of Wales, near Aberaeron with its sweeping landscape that lead majestically to the sea; the sea that seemed to go on forever. She particularly loved the view just at the top of the hill, as she was coming out of the small village of Llanon. On a clear day she could see for miles and Susan often took her packed lunch to this spot, to relax and drink in the scenery. Today however, she was unable to appreciate its beauty. As a heavy sense of foreboding was hanging over her, like clouds, on a once perfect horizon. She felt vulnerable and fragile today, she had no idea why and it scared her. Susan arrived at work twenty minutes later, got out of the car and approached the entrance.

Struggling to remember the code to gain admission her colleague arrived behind her and punched the number in. Susan’s hands were shaking and she felt trembling inside, which caused her to drop the things she was carrying. She made a joke with her colleague.

The fifteenth of October two thousand and seven was a day that Susan would never forget; it would be etched in her mind forever. As it was the day, the feeling came. It arrived out of nowhere, without any rhyme reason or warning. Suddenly, making Susan feel self-conscious, not good enough, inferior,  thinking all eyes were upon her; watching her, waiting for her to fail, but fail at what? None of it made the slightest bit of sense but that was how she felt.

Suddenly, Susan looked round the familiar office she had worked in for the past three years and saw it through different eyes. She saw contempt in the eyes of her colleagues and wondered why, suddenly, no one liked her. She knew her thoughts were bizarre, to say the least; every look, every sentence, confirmed these thoughts in her mind.

Susan’s day dragged relentlessly on, as Susan frantically watched the clock willing it to be five pm. To Susan, that this one work day had felt like two.  She was finding it harder and harder to hold back the tears, threatening to fall. The trembling was worsening and she felt she couldn’t hold on much longer, before the floodgates of her emotions consumed her.

Often when we desperately want to go somewhere, everything seems to conspire against us? The phone rings, or someone asks you a question on your way out; and the short walk to the door a few yards away, can seem like a mile.

Likewise, sometimes a feeling or event that comes out of nowhere can be the trigger to a catalyst of events that become life changing. This was how it was with Susan, who woke today a much different person, than the one she has gone to sleep as yesterday. It felt she was coming down with a virus or a cold. Normally, when we feel like, there is a significant event like a sore throat or a fever, with Susan it was simply, a feeling.

It was similar too, the beginnings of a depression. Susan lost her usual confidence and happy go lucky nature. Yet, no significant event had taken place that had upset her. The feeling just came and it stayed there; as though it was waiting silently, for her to acknowledge its presence. When she did, it escalated intensely until she had no sense of self-worth left at all. Just an overwhelming all-consuming, sense of deep sadness within, that refused to leave her.

Imagine if you can, if you felt you had no one in the world that cared about you. No one you could take into your confidence, how alone, would you feel? How hopeless how lost? If you were unable to talk to anyone, about what was upsetting you, because, you did not trust the people around you, who you trusted the day before.

Susan had no clue, why suddenly she didn’t trust anyone. She no longer even trusted her own instincts and her previously safe world, suddenly, become a very scary place.  She beginning to experience the terror within herself. Where did it come from? And how could she make it go away? Thoughts unexpressed, or not rationalised with others, become more powerful and can quickly grow out of all proportion; but sometimes they are necessary evil in the journey to self-awareness and recovery.

The length of our journey through life depends upon our own commitment, to its completion. We either walk into the darkness and terror willingly, with bravery, hope and as much faith as we can muster; or we are dragged into it with no control. Susan felt like, she was being taken somewhere, against her will, by something inside of herself.

Present Day

Years later, Susan realised it was the hidden part of her, that guided her through the terror and darkness within her. That her higher-self had kicked in, because of her extreme distress. Not unlike, when a distraught mother lifts the car from her trapped child without even thinking about it. As it’s a reflex reaction to save her child. She just reaches within herself and finds the strength. Looking back years after the day that everything changed, Susan knew without doubt, that there are parts of ourselves we have little knowledge of unless we have urgent need of them; and that they hide even from us, until we have no other choice but to call upon them. Susan followed the feeling she experienced that day and it led her, to the events connected to it.

She supposed now, as she looked back years after the event of that day; that this was how the soul and brain worked together collectively; to store our memories until we are ready to look at them in the light of reality and see them through the eyes of truth. She was more aware then, after her journey, of the fragile tapestry of fantasy that we all weave. To protect ourselves from the things that may destroy us, if we dare to acknowledge them. Susan had realised this as she re-examined the very fabric of her life and picked out the stitches that did not fit.

She sifted through the evidence, taking nothing for granted, assessing all the key characters in the play that was, her life. She looked at the facts with fresh eyes; untainted by what she previously thought, or was told, had happened; and when this examination was spent, she realised that most of her life had been a carefully constructed story that had no resemblance, to what she had, believed it to be.

The experts will tell us, that a breakdown is when everything we believe in is challenged.  Which then leads onto us struggling to know who we are anymore? This was how Susan felt when the feeling appeared out of the blue and she decided then, that she had two choices.  Either to fall aimlessly into an abyss of depression and mourning for the person she felt she thought she was before the feeling arrived; or reinvent herself; as she would like to be and step into her future with fresh eyes and a bold spirit.

Susan’s journey, took her deep inside the darkest parts of her mind, where many people never travel to. There were times, she felt that she would never recover from the horrors she discovered there. Susan’s dark night of the soul nearly destroyed her. As Susan made the connection that the feeling, she first experienced, was the first clue, she began to move forward. That clue led her to another clue and another, until eventually she completed the jigsaw. At last, the process of healing could finally begin. What follows is Susan’s story, of despair, loneliness and depression, which eventually led her towards acceptance and a place where finally, the healing could begin.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting chapters two and three. Please take the time to leave a comment good or bad as without readers, a writer is nothing.

 

 

 

 

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Bloggers for Peace Challenge 2013

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This month’s Bloggers for Peace Challenge July 2013 is to write a letter of peace and send it out to the universe. I am a little late posting but here goes.

 

Dear Universe,

Thank you for bringing so many wonderful friends my way. Thank for guiding and nudging me in directions I sometimes didn’t want to gobut needed to go. I look at the violence all around us and it makes me want to weep and sometimes I do. I look at children being abused and people treating each other like dirt. Sometimes I think the bullies are winning and I feel defeated, like nothing I do will make a difference.

Then you send me something wonderful and inspiring like our Bloggers for Peace community and I know we will win if we don’t give up. Help me to fight and conquer my fears every day and teach others how to do it.

Help me to inspire and uplift those people who are downtrodden and despairing. Let us take each other’s hands and lead one another out of the desert. Let us recognise that we are all connected, no matter what religion, gender or anything else we are. Let us be mindful of what we say and do and fight like peaceful warriors. Unveil the hidden, so the light may expose it and release people from the prisons of their minds and actions. So we may start again and make a new world, where everyone is equal and our only life purpose is to love and be loved.

 

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May 2013 Book Reviews.

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Hi everyone, I am sorry I have not been blogging lately, due to ongoing health issues. This has affected me in the form of good and bad days but hopefully, this will be sorted out in the near future. I apologise to the authors who have been eagerly awaiting their reviews. Anyway without further ado, let us look at my much belated book reviews.

The first book I have for you is …

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“Forever and Ever Amen” by Liv Rancourt

This author presents us with the story of Molly, who has recently spilt with her cheating husband Ford. Molly is trying to catch her breath, after the emotional turmoil Ford has put her through and deal with the fact, she is still in love with him. On a night out with her friend Sam, she meets a dark handsome stranger. The next morning, she finds he has left his mark, in the form of a lovebite. Trying to conceal it from her teenage children, Flora and Jamie she feels intensely embarrassed but strangely thrilled too.

As she readies herself for the day ahead she notices another handsome stranger in her mirror. He introduces himself as Cass and tells Molly he is an angel and has come to help her. Cass explains the man she met last night was Zepar a demon, that wishes her harm; and that Molly, must face the three things that scare her the most, to escape his clutches.

Has Molly got the strength to get through the trails? Is she falling in love with Cass, a man who does not live in the physical world? As the author weaves through the main plot the subplots are seamless woven in. Her daughter’s infatuation with a vampire, the secrets between Sam and Flora. Can Cass put his feelings aside and help Molly defeat Zepar? This is not a genre I generally read but I found I could not put this book down. Well done, Liv Rancourt you have gained a new fan.

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“Potato Mashi: The underground non dualist sensation                            

by David Virgin

This book is a quick read but full of helpful and useful quotes. The artwork compliments the style of the book. A pocketbook of wisdom that will lift your day. I see this book as reading material on the train to work or for your bedside table; or a day under a shady tree. This is a useful way to approach philosophy as you take a break from the stresses and strains of life. You will find yourself putting up post it notes around work or home for instant inspiration when you need it. Well done David.

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Pain, Passion & Purpose, A guide to escaping Torment and finding Bliss”

by Marci Wise

This book touched my heart too many times to mention. Marci takes us through her own journey as she shares her own experiences with the reader, both as a scholar and as a human being who understands pain and bliss. There are times in everyone’s lives were we feel stuck, afraid, unable to move forward. It is here, that Marci’s strength lies, as she takes us by the hand through the some of the hardest journeys we will face. You will find yourself inspired by her courage, adventurous spirit and wisdom she guides the way with tenderness and understanding. This is not a book you will toss aside after a couple of chapters, it is one that will stay with you, long after you have read it. It will sit on your bookcase and be dog – eared as you constantly reread certain chapters. A practical and fact based informative book with a generous sprinkling of love compassion and wisdom. A must for your reading list and if you only have funds for a couple of books this week/month this should be one of them. Marci, well done, we are kindred spirits, you and I.

Well folks that is it for now, for those authors awaiting June’s reviews, they are next on my to do list. I apologise again for your wait and am grateful for your patience. Anyone who would like a book review is welcome to go on my waiting list and the next available slot is October. To request a review please do so formally in the comments section after this review; and e mail me a PDF or Mobi copy to athenabrady1@gmail.com

I never write a bad review as a writer myself I know how hard you all work. However, if the book is not to my taste, I will contact the author direct and not include it in the reviews. Any readers are welcome to request reviews of book they wish to find out about before they buy; or just get a shout out for a book they love. The limit is one book per request so everyone gets a chance.

The books that will be reviewed in June’s book reviews are as follows;

“Everyone Burns” by John Dolan

“High on a Mountain” by Tommie Lyn

“Song of the Mockingbird” by Bill Cronin

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this month’s reviews.

Athena x

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Giving Something Back 18

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We are a little later than usual with this post “Giving Something Back 18” has lots to keep you occupied in your tea/coffee break. I was pleased to see that one of my readers has followed suit with his post of the week. Most of you will know Rohan Healey he is a fabulously talented young writer. Thank you Rohan for giving something back to the writing community, you are a star. This post is an inspiration from Kenetha she urges us all to write a letter to ourselves, as she has. Why, only one way to find out?

http://bit.ly/10BOitA

This is a post for all us writers out there. Sometimes we wonder why am I doing this? I am never going to make it? This post from the wanamama Kristen Lamb will inspire you.

http://bit.ly/18utfy4

I found this great blog on freshly pressed it’s a short story that you can read while you drink your coffee. How can you resist visiting? You will be glad you did.

http://bit.ly/13Ztblz

Take a trip to visit Deborah who talks about love and what it is. Some wonderful quotes from some wonderful writers are an added bonus.

Our “Bloggers for Peace 2013” shout out is one which I feel you will all enjoy.

http://bit.ly/18ut4D1

Related Articles

http://bit.ly/VoDzmP

http://bit.ly/12JeEez

http://bit.ly/11rNxrL

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Giving Something Back 17

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I have some great blogs for you all this week. First we take a journey to a farm. Then we visit a blog about young women and how they view themselves. Our third blog takes us to a lovely island were innocence and pure hearts still reside. Finally, we finish off with a hunt for a ghost, have fun.

http://bit.ly/YPsa0Y

Visit the farmlet  and read about a typical day you will be glad you visited this amazing blog.

http://bit.ly/112yBu2

Ever wondered what young women think of themselves today? This is a jaw dropper

http://bit.ly/13umDeq

Fancy a view of Island life? This blog will enchant you with its simpleness.

http://bit.ly/10Xg1t8

Have you ever fancied going on a ghost hunt? This is the blog for you then.

Now we come to our regular shout out for Bloggers for Peace 2013. This week I would like to share with you this interesting post.

http://bit.ly/16F0h0p

 

Related Articles

http://bit.ly/11Lm0TG

http://bit.ly/10Xj8RT

 

That concludes Giving Something Back 17. I hope you have enjoyed your journey this week, please come back and tell me what you liked. Until next week, take care.

 

Athena

 

 

 

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Giving Something Back 16

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Wow do I have a treat for you this week in Giving Something Back 16. I went to visit a writer friend of mine and I found a real pearl on her blog. A doctor who wanted to experience childbirth to put an end to the question “could men experience the pain of childbirth?” The resulting video is a must see.

http://bit.ly/15G4aTj

 

Our second visit is to Amy’s blog where she explains the “story of broke” have you ever wondered where all your tax money, go? This video is a real eye opener.

http://bit.ly/10EdM9p

Then we take a pit stop over at Renne’s blog who normally blog about travel but this post is very thought provoking and asks “Are you the sculptor of your own life?”

http://bit.ly/17XIRKk

Our last post will make you cry and is for all you animal lovers out there, these please are living angels.

http://bit.ly/14hJcWf

Now comes our weekly shout out for bloggers for peace. This is Kozo’s tribute to women and lovely and heartfelt post.

http://bit.ly/YRemFu

Related Posts

http://bit.ly/166s6iA

http://bit.ly/12pCptj

http://bit.ly/10EfBD6

 

 

 

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Giving Something Back 15

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This week we have a wide range of posts in “Giving Something Back 15″. The post itself is a week late as I was on holiday last week, even workaholic need time off now and again.  Our first post talks about God and how we can find him in our daily lives. The second is a heartfelt post I am sure you will all enjoy. Our third post is a walk into the past as the author reflects on her relationship with her grandmother. Our fourth post is about taking time out to let your art self out. Finally we come to the weekly shutout for one of our Bloggers for Peace 2013 and other related articles. I hope you enjoy your journey into the blogsphere this week and come back and tell me all about it. Maybe you too could start something similar on your own blog?

 

http://thelilyandthemarrow.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/of-dance-and-dreams-come-true/

In the post we find the beauty of finding our God connectedness through the things we enjoy and give ourselves up to.

http://michellestodden.wordpress.com/  At this blog you will find a brave lady who bears her soul to help others.

 

http://diigee.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/embracing-our-grandmothers/

This interesting and lovely post is one woman’s reflections about her grandmother.

http://hilarymakes.com/2013/03/26/awaiting-the-grand-reveal-ukrainian-egg-making-2013/

This post is for all you craft lovers out there, enjoy!

 

That brings us to our weekly shout out for bloggers for peace. This is such a thought provoking post, you will not want to miss it.

http://1earthunite.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/parallel-universes-and-how-to-change-reality-for-peace/

 

Related Articles

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/05/01/damn-kids/

http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/peace-vignettes/

http://pamtanzey.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/peace-picnic/

 

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How do we teach the concept of peace to children? April 2013 Challenge

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In order to get a message across to others we need to speak their language. Find common ground between us and the people we want to teach. How do our children learn best, maybe it could be through play and interaction with the world around them?

Peace is an on-going choice in our lives every day. We choose whether to fight with our neighbour over a particular issue. We choose conflict over reconciliation throughout our lives. We are human and sometimes we fail but also, sometimes we succeed. If most of the choices in our lives are based on peace and away from conflict, I would argue we are living examples of peace in action. That said, how do we teach the concept of peace to children?

Children look towards us for guidance of how they should interact with the world. They practise being grown-ups all the time. If you walk around your local nursery or kindergarten, you can see children emulating their parents and other adults close to them.

We have lots of games were children can pretend to be special ops forces and save the world but where are the peaceful games? These games teach them how to blow up houses, places, cars and people. The people who produce these games make billions of pounds and sell them even before they are launched. Parents all over the world, pre order these games so their children can be one of the first to get them.

I believe it is time for a change; we have to be that change in everything we do. We can be sure if we don’t walk our talk, our children will know and they will call us out on it. I had an idea some time ago and pitched it at someone who is in the industry. He told me that no one would ever back this idea and it wouldn’t sell.

However, who are the real powers behind the throne of this industry? Yes, you guessed it, us the parents, we are the people who fund this industry and we are far from powerless. Maybe it is time that we as parents began just doing that, being parents. Responsible parents who talk the talk and walk the walk.

What was my idea? It was to produce a game that gives the player a series of solutions to various problems. These problems get harder and harder as the game progresses. The choices have consequences and as the player sees these in action they change their choices. They want to win the game after all.

Imagine a game where a child is faced with a choice to take a peaceful action or a choice that produces more conflict. Choices they will face as they go through their live; choices such as, whether to join in with bullying their friend or not. Choices, that escalates as they get older into more important choices. Imagine consequences that affect people throughout their lives (as they often do). Imagine a game that teaches about life and peace rather than death and destruction? This is the world that I want to live in how about you?

 

 

Posted in Blogs for Peace 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Giving Something Back 14

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Hello this week in “Giving Something Back” we have posts that discuss various subjects. We take a look at appreciation, poverty, success and art. After you have finished these we have our usual shout out for Blogger for Peace 2013. I hope you enjoy the choices I have made this week and come back and tell me which you resonated with you the most.

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How often do we say thank you to those we love for all their support. This writer reminds us of the importance of doing so.

http://nbcnews.to/Z3Su88

Spare a thought today, for the many poor people who seek a better life and get lost along the way. Isn’t it normal to seek a better life for your family? We don’t realise how lucky we are sometimes.

http://bit.ly/YWjGGA

This writer suggests that success is based on luck, what do you think?

http://bit.ly/11hqr1E

This post is for all you art lovers out there. Let me know what you think.

 

http://bit.ly/ZrUSoB

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This is our weekly shout out for Bloggers for Peace 2013. This lady tries to make a difference every day and has such a loving heart.

Related Articles.

http://bit.ly/VoDzmP

http://bit.ly/13kWrVx

http://bit.ly/15pjWkp

 

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Athena Brady’s April 2013 Book Reviews

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Hello everyone and welcome to Aprils book reviews. This month I have three very different books for you. I can’t believe it was November last year, that I started these reviews. This will be my seventh and I have made some wonderful friends along the way.

I hope you enjoy this month’s reviews and let me know which ones you feel resonate with you. If you are an author either just starting out or established, indies or traditional and you want a review, you are in the right place. If you are a reader and want a quick view of a book before you buy it, feel free to recommend a book. Please send your request to athenabrady1@gmail.com  if you would like to discover more about these books or buy them, please click on the link below the book.

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                                                           http://amzn.to/13hQAnM

                                                   “The Fragile Things” By Jane Davis

Elaine sends her thirteen year old daughter to the shop when she runs out of stamps. After a while when Judy doesn’t return, she goes to look for her. Judy has been in a horrendous accident and only just escapes with her life. Her father Graham goes to the hospital chapel to pray for his daughter and meets a nun. They share a special moment together that changes him forever.

Judy and her father become closer and Elaine feel pushed out. Judy feels that she was saved for a reason and she is determined to fulfil her mission in life.

Elaine her mother is falling deeper and deeper into a pit of emotional despair. The divide between her and Graham is widening as each day passes. Will they be able to resolve their individual problems before the divide splits them all apart?

This book will take you on a journey into parts of the psyche we never normally explore. It will make you look at life differently and ask yourself the big questions we all normally avoid.

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                                                                http://amzn.to/YSaSSh

                                                   “The book of Souls” by Mackenzie Brown

Imelda and her family move house. Not long after her father goes missing, the family are distraught. Instinctively Imelda feels her father is still alive. Shortly after, she speaks to her father from the well at the bottom of their garden.

Through snatched messages as he is trying to evade capture he enlists her help. Her father tells her to trust her intuition and believe in herself. Imelda discovers she has magical powers like her father.

Together they hatch a plan the world is in danger, they have no guarantee of survival; but bravely the carry on. Imelda is assisted by an unlikely collection of new friends. Knowing that her father needs her help desperately but unsure of her limitations; she delves into a world she never knew existed. Will they be in time to stop the evil plans afoot or will their plan fail?

This is a delightful book as it also portrays the close relationship between a father and his daughter. I dare you not to fall in love with the character Imelda.

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         “The Customer is Always Wrong: Funny Stories and Tales of Horror From My Life      in The food Service Industry”   by Adam Ballarino

This book carries a warning with it, which I know will appeal to some of my readers. If you are easily offended then go no further. If you cannot stand swearing, then stay right there and do not pass go. However, if you can get past that you may find this an amusing book. Personally, it made me laugh this man has a real wit about him.

You will be open mouthed at the things requested of and from him by customers. Be reeling in the aisles at his one liners (Rohan you will love this book) I suppose if this man was on the stage you would either love him or hate him.

Adam does not stand on the side lines he says it as it is and then some. I cringed at the audacity of some of his customers.  I thought at times it was only his ingrained sense of humour that got him through it all.

This book will be a rollercoaster some things you will like and probably some you won’t. However, you will definitely have an opinion one way or the other by the end of it.

Well folks that is the end of Aprils Book Reviews. If you too want a review you can find my contact details at the top of the post. Next Month I will be reviewing another three books and they are listed below.

“Forever and Ever, Amen”  by Liv Rancourt

“Potato Mashi” by David Virgin

“Pain, Passion & Purpose” by Marci Wise

 

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Author Interview with Mackenzie Brown

 

Mackenzie Brown

Hello everyone, today I have the great pleasure of introducing Mackenzie Brown the author. Mackenzie is originally from Liverpool UK (my home town) Some of you will be aware that I am reviewing one of Mackenzie’s books “The Book of Souls” in this month’s book reviews. You can find this month’s reading list on the sidebar on the right. I asked Mackenzie some questions to give you all an insight into who he is, as a person. If there are any further questions you would like to ask him, please do this through the comments section. So without further ado, here is the Author Interview, of Mackenzie Brown.

(1)   When did your love of writing begin?

It began when I started to read some decent literature (in my early teens). I’ve always been good at sketching and in all honesty writing won out in the end. I begun by writing (some pretty awful) short stories and progressed from there.

(2)   What inspires you?

I’m inspired by many things. Good writing, something somebody might say, stories about the past I’ve heard, plus certain genres excites me. I also try to write at least one passage in any of my stories that is as near perfect as I can make it.

(3)   What would you like readers to take from your writing?

I’d like them to be moved and entertained. I don’t expect anyone to read my work and think this bloke is a genius.

(4)   Who are you favorite writers?

I like lots of different writers across a wide variety of genres. I like Stephen King and Dickens. I love the hardly mentioned British author Howard Spring, but equally love the works of Raymond Chandler. For short stories I don’t think there is anyone better than F Scott Fitzgerald.

(5)  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

If you start a story, finish it, even if you think it is the biggest pile of rubbish you’ve ever written. Rewriting is a massive part of the process in my view. Use your first draft to mould your story.

(6)    Tell me about your books?

My new release, Lost Boys, charts the search for missing boys over a twenty year period and is set during the political upheaval of early 1970’s Liverpool. The story is told through the eyes of 13 year old Carol Blake. I was partly influenced by Peter Straub’s Mystery, but opted for a female narrative to try and soften the rather serious and distressing subject matter. Infamous retired detective Delbert Walsh is at first a rather mysterious character, but Carol and her friends soon learn he is conducting his own investigation into the disappearances that started when he was searching for his own missing son five years before.

My first release, The Shifting is soon to be re-released after proof reading and some reformatting. The story involves the discovery of a boy who has been missing for ten years but nobody can understand why he hasn’t aged one day. The boy is suffering from memory loss, but is certain his life is in danger. A band of paid killers seek to silence him before his memory returns.

My second release is a young and adult fantasy originally written for my own children. Imelda Stone has always known she was different from other children, but on the eve of her father’s disappearance she learns a little about her extraordinary gifts. Her father is presumed dead, but she knows different and when she hears a voice calling to her from the old dry well at the bottom of the garden, all her hopes and fears are realized at once.

I’ve also become involved with a group of indie writers on both sides of the Atlantic and we’ve put together three volumes of short stories, with all proceeds to charity, they are; Out of Darkness, A Festive Feast and Love Is In The Air

(7)    Are you writing anything at the moment?

I’m writing a sequel to The Shifting, I’m calling The Burning.

(8)    Where can people find you?

Twitter @mackbrownbooks, Tumblr (blog)  http://mackenzie-brown.tumblr.com/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MackBrownBooks?ref=tn_tnmn, Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6434456.Mackenzie_Brown, linkedin http://www.linkedin.  My Website http://mackbrown.moonfruit.com/)

(9)   If you had to leave your house in a hurry and could only take three things, what would they be?

My Kindle, my treasured copy of A Sunset Touch by Howard Spring and my laptop.

(10)  How will you be promoting your new book and when will it be launched?

My book was launched 20th March.The book is also available in paperback to buy in the UK and the USA via Createspace with Amazon. I am running an online launch on Facebook and Goodreads. I’ll also be promoting the book via Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads and my own website.

I hope you enjoyed our insight into Mackenzie Brown the author. If you would like to purchase, or find out more, about any of his books then please just click on the links below.

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http://amzn.to/15jiZKs

mail

http://amzn.to/YSaSSh

 

The Shifting

http://amzn.to/ZyGeYS

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Giving Something Back 13

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Hello, it nice to be back giving a shout out for all those wonderful artists out there. This week we have art, poetry, a real life journal and a post about the late Margaret Thatcher. We also have our regular shout out for Bloggers For Peace 2013 and the related articles are also great reading.

I try to encourage people every week to start their own blog post to give something back to the writing community; but so far no one has taken me up on the challenge. Will this week be different? (no pressure haha) time will tell. Hope you all enjoy this week’s posts and maybe, just maybe someone else will do the same. *she says as she crosses her fingers* Please come back and tell me what you favourite post was as I really appreciate all your comments. A comment for me is like “a precious raindrop on a parched land”. So  here is “Giving Something Back 13.”

http://bit.ly/ZlNXtS

This blog is for all you art lovers out there. This post is specifically about Chinese Art and well worth a look.

http://bit.ly/170drk6

This young man is a very special person. Despite suffering himself on a daily basis he still reaches out to help others. He impressed me so much I have begun to follow his blog.

http://bit.ly/10QDFDy

Just a little something, for all you poetry lovers, out there.

http://bit.ly/12UcMjL

I added this post because of all the recent media speculation regarding the Death of Margaret Thatcher. It never ceases to amaze me the level of hurtful things people throw at each other. It demonstrates in my opinion, how far we have to go to change our society into a more loving place. Normally I steer away from politics but this week I decided to speak out. I did not always agree with some of the policies that she put forward. That aside she was a human being like the rest of us and I just think how her family must feel hearing some of the horrible things that are being said about her. These people are grieving for a loved one they have lost and shouldn’t we be trying to lessen that burden and not add to it? So this post is a nice one about the former Lady Thatcher.

So now we come to our regular shout out for bloggers for peace.

http://bit.ly/10QDS9I

For me this week it has to be Kozo’s recent post he is the founder of Bloggers for Peace 2013. This man has been on a long journey which was quite a bumpy ride. However, he still came out of it with a loving heart.

Related Articles

http://bit.ly/VoDzmP

http://bit.ly/110rgx8

http://bit.ly/YvjH4e

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Thoughts of Ghana

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I am no great expert on Ghana, so I apologize to those of you that are but I did once spend a month traveling around there. I found the Ghanese people to be peace loving and happy with just a few precious possessions. Things that you or I, would definably argue are basic needs, such as food water and shelter.

We stayed with a local family at first and lived in what my friend Glenda and I termed “The Butlin’s Chalet” as it was basic but adequate. The room consisted of two beds and a concrete shower room, added in. I can see you wince but this was luxury to these people and they gave us their best room. We had a small wooden table to eat our meals off and a family of lovely people who took care of our every need.

I went to Ghana with my long-time friend Glenda, who married a Ghanese man and they had two beautiful children before he sadly died of cancer at a very young age. Let me tell you a little about my friend Glenda. She has the one of the biggest kindest hearts I have ever seen. She is always taking care of others and often puts her own needs on a back burner.

We met many years ago when I was on holiday on the Greek Island of Crete. Glenda knew I had always wanted to go to Africa and do a VSO placement, so she invited me to come with her. Glenda and I traveled around Ghana with our guide Mensa, who sadly passed away late last year. We visited so many interesting places and did so many things, that ordinarily I would never have experienced.

I had an impression of poverty before I went on this trip but my friend Glenda’s gift to me was a working knowledge of it. To see something in a newspaper or on the TV, is not the same as to experience it in real life. During that trip I spent a mere £800 in a whole month and that covered everything. I gave away more money than I spent but in a place where poverty is the norm rather than the exception; you need a bottomless pit of money if you are going to help a significant amount of people. I went there as an idealistic young girl who thought, she knew about poverty but came back as a woman who did.

There were many things that touched my heart and soul on that trip and today I would like to share them with you. I remember being in a taxi and seeing a man who was painfully thin, pushing another man with one leg in a wheelchair. He was weaving in and out of the traffic begging at car windows. We stopped at the traffic lights as he approached us. I fumbled in my bag for some money for him and his friend. As I found it, the lights changed and the car began to move as I was trying to pass the money to him. He began running frantically to try and keep up with the car; as I tried just as frantically, to give him the money. Exhausted he eventually gave up and stopped running. That man risked his and his friend’s life in busy traffic because they had nothing left to lose apart from that, their lives. They were hungry and they needed a meal, it was as simple as that.

I remember one day watching a member of Glenda’s Ghanese family dragging a heavy bush into the compound. She arrived worn out and gasping for breath, I asked what she was doing and she replied

“My sister has malaria and if we boil these leaves it helps to alleviate the symptoms”.

I had been complaining the day before to Glenda how the daily malaria tablets we took every day, upset my stomach. I never complained again. because I realised how fortunate I was to be able to afford medicine.

 

I watched as Rebecca our cook prepared fabulous meals and sauces on a one ring camping stove under the baking Ghana sun. It would take her, two or three hours a day. I thought how hard her life was and knew I couldn’t have been as strong and as resilient as Rebecca was.

Another day we gave the balloons we had brought for the children to play to them. I spent one of the most delightful days of my life; watching them play with them. They played with those balloons for hours and were so grateful for such a small gift that cost us about £1.50 at home.

The day we visited the local church we nearly caused a riot. As we sat in our pews I looked around me at the parishioners who were either barefoot or had cheap plastic flip flops on. Yet, they had great big smiles on their faces as they sang joyfully and swayed to the music. They hung onto to every word of the preacher as if he were God himself. They gave willingly to the collection plate as they danced up to it, although I suspect they had very little to spare. I looked at the priest and when it was question time said

“May I say you look very smart?”

“Why thank you” he beamed

“Is that an Armani Suit?”

“Yes it is” beaming smile

“Are those Italian leather shoes”

“Yes they are” he replied proudly

“Can you tell me why you dress so grandly whilst your parishioners have no shoes on their feet or just simple plastic flip flops?”

The silence was palpable, as both priest and parishioners looked at each other. People were whispering among themselves. We moved onto the annual meeting and the priest was now is discussing how much he did for the local community. Glenda asked him why the contribution to the community was so small when they had collected so much money. The parishioners were now standing up and asking other questions, that I suspect would dare not ask before. It was as if our boldness had given them courage. The meeting went on for hours but lots of smiling faces left the building. The priest gave them a special treat that day a small bottle of coca cola each and a small packet biscuits each. They ate them gratefully. Glenda and I were pleased we felt we had made a difference.

Near the end of our holiday we went at the dead of night to a pagan ritual of music. We swayed to the music and watched the children looking longingly at the popcorn van. I shared some of mine with a few of them. Other hungry eyes look on pleadingly, I think of the parable of Jesus with the five loafs and fishes.

There are too many children to feed, hundreds of them. Do what you can, says a voice in my head it is better to feed a few than watch them all go hungry. Glenda and I communicate without words to the children. We bring five of them forward and show them by gestures that we want them to share. Despite their burning hunger they do. I think how these children are caring and trusting, untouched by greed yet in spite of their circumstances. Glenda takes a picture of me surrounded by a sea of children with their hands up. We feel good inside, we have connected many children tonight. Perhaps, restored their faith in human nature a just little bit. They may be pleased to know, there are people who care after all.

These are just a few of my memories of our trip to Ghana. It was the best holiday of my life and I love to remember it because it touched my soul so deeply. I wish I could change the world but I can’t but together we can chip away a little every day until the little things become big things.

There were three things I noticed in Ghana and they became our mantra. When one village chiefs we met in Accra asked us what we thought of Ghana and how it could be made a better place for the people who live there. We told him our mantra.

Sanitation, Medication & Education.

If effort was concentrated on eradicating the lack of three things, it would make a huge difference. In conclusion, no person should need to rely on the charity of others. It is easy to give someone money and food but if we give them the means to support themselves; we will not rob them of their self-respect, pride or dignity and they will be able to eat every day and support their families.

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Giving Something Back 12

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So here we are again, at the regular Saturday post that shouts out for all those great bloggers out there. I can’t believe that I have been doing this for three months now. If you feel like doing something similar on your own blog, please do so. Give something back to our writing community, I promise you will be glad you did. This week we have another great line up of fabulous bloggers to showcase, so here we go. Please come back and let me know what you enjoyed the most, or feel free to recommend someone yourself. If you have any recommendations just mark your e mail “Giving Something Back” and send it to

athenabrady1@gmail.com

http://bit.ly/14UTMFR

I found this amazing blogger who shares the gift of love every day. In this post she tells us of a little deaf girl who she looks after. This story will touch your heart and nestle in your soul.

http://bit.ly/Xv8CAy

I wanted to draw to your attention this great author, who also likes to give something back. The link was given to me by my close friend Aron Joice. His name is Ken Laselle and his has a podcast called “So Dream Something” were he highlights other artists. Well done Ken, you are a shining star in the writing universe.

http://bit.ly/12tqUQW This is a blog I visit regularly, it’s a small post but very poignant.

Now we have your weekly shout out for Bloggers for Peace 2013.

http://bit.ly/10nskMA This bloggers tells us how children are trying to bring peace to our everyday environment.

 

Related Articles

http://bit.ly/VoDzmP

http://bit.ly/10D63ZV

http://bit.ly/YZcqs9

 

 

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What does it mean to be broken?

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This post is for all those people out there, who have come across broken people. How do you deal with it, do you snigger behind their backs or make jokes at their expense? Do you try to understand to help and understand them, only to give up exasperated? Have you tried everything you could possibly think of tried to encourage them to get a job, go out more, get a grip. Is their brokenness embarrassing for you socially? Does it make you feel at a loss for how to help them support them? Or are you just sick of the whole scenario to your back teeth?

Well here’s a novel idea, it’s not your job to fix them. Or to tell them how your Aunt Sally overcome her “sad moments” and came back to the real world. It your job to decide whether you want to support them and if the answer is no, then at least be honest and walk away. You may want to fix the world to show how clever you are but to tell a broken person the obvious “they are broken” or offer ways to fix them without being invited is just plain insulting.

Broken people are in good company, did you know that William Churchill suffered with depression and called them “bad dog days”. He knew what all broken people know, that they are not their illness. In creating a distance between his bad and good days he created the necessary separation between who he was and his illness. People who are broken are so much more than their illness.

People who are broken do not trust easily and if they have taken you into their confidence, then they have honoured you. How will you repay that trust will you make jokes about them talk over everything they say? To make them feel even more worthless or will you give them the respect you give to others automatically.

Sometimes a broken person just wants to be listened to. Maybe no one else as ever listened to them with respect. Our actions carry far more weight than we realise and words can and often are; played over and over in a broken persons mind.

What does it feel like to be broken? It feels like you are nothing and no one and have nothing to contribute. Be sure that every look, snigger and remark will be noticed. Do you feel because the person says nothing they have not noticed what you have done? Let me tell you something broken people are hyper-vigilant they have honed this skill to survive and they miss nothing. No one gets broken without great trauma and pain over a long period of time. You can bet they have only told you half a story, why? Because when they have told their stories in the past they have had maybe the same reaction that you are giving them now.

Some people look at others who they view as broken as weak and needing to move on, get a grip. Another lesson, broken people are not weak they are probably a lot stronger than you are. I bet you could not as Ghandi put it “walk a day in their shoes”.

You may not view getting out of bed and having a shower as a productive day but to them it is a miracle. Do you have any idea what it is like to try to monitor every thought, it’s exhausting, its soul destroying and it takes a huge amount of strength.

So what do you think, will you stay or will you go? Take a look at what you shouldn’t do on the list below and decide what you would like to do.  If you are doing any of these things you are adding to their pain and need to walk away for both your sakes.

(1)       Talking about the person behind their back.

(2)       Sniggering behind them with others.

(3)       Talking laughing at their antics with your other friends.

(4)       Talking over them or completing ignoring what they say when you don’t like the subject.

(5)       Bragging about how perfect your life is because you need to get one over the other person.

There are many ways to be a good friend or source of support for a broken person here are a few.

(1)       Listen, the most powerful tool of all.

(2)       Don’t try to fix them ask questions like “Is there any way I can help?”

(3)       Don’t talk behind their backs or even worse when they are in the room as though they weren’t there. Broken people are sad not mad and are not deaf.

(4)       Be as good a friend to them as they are to you, don’t take advantage of their low self-esteem and think “well it’s only so and so” so and so whoever she/he is they have feelings just like you.

(5)       If you can’t say something positive don’t say anything at all.

These lists flow into each other and there are many others things. Just ask yourself how you would like to be treated and do that. So next time you come across a broken person don’t ask yourself if they are good enough to be associated with you and your circle of friends. Instead ask yourself am I good enough to be a true friend to them.

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Athena Brady’s March 2013 Book reviews

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Firstly, I apologize that this month’s reviews are late. Due to being ill, I got behind on my reading. This month I have a wide range of books for you. The first one will keep you on the edge of your seats until the last minute. The second is not for people who are offended by explicit sexual language. It is a love story that does not hold back but is interesting and sensual. I think this book could be read by both women and men. The third book explores grief and healing in the form of one man’s journey. It is the perfect gift for anyone who is going through this process. It is a seekers book for people who look outside the box of life. If you enjoy spiritual type books, this one will not disappoint. I hope you all enjoy this month’s reviews as much as I have enjoyed reading them. The links underneath the reviews, will take you straight to the books if you choose to buy them.

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“She Belongs to Me” Carmen De Sousa

Jaynee has given up on love until she meets Jordan. She is living in fear of the past and Jordan helps her to look forward to the life she should have had. When Jordan proposes she thinks all her troubles are over. Jordan is the man of her dreams and Jaynee feels that life has at last, has dealt her a good hand. In the shadows, someone is watching Jaynee and Jordan closely. They are plotting and planning their demise. Can love really change Jaynee’s life forever or will her past rear its ugly head and be her downfall?

This gripping narrative will have you on the edge of your seats. You will not know whether you are coming or going, as the suspense and intrigue intensifies. Until finally, the mind blowing conclusion is revealed.

http://amzn.to/YyLgbR

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“Friends with Partial Benefits” by Luke Young

Jillian Grayson is a successful novelist. She is trying to write a sex scene in her latest book. Thoughts of her husband’s recent infidelity, keep invading her thoughts. She is at the end of her teether. Her friend Victoria is a very sexually aware woman and see encourages Jillian to start dating again. After several awful dates Jillian gives up and decides she would rather be alone.

Meanwhile her son Rob is at college and his best friend Brian has a problem. He is hopelessly in love with a girl called Natalie. Rob invites Brian home to his house for the summer, to stop him obsessing over Natalie. The minute Brian meets Rob’s mum Jillian, he is bowled over. Rob’s mum is hot with a capital H. They find common ground as they both love tennis. One morning Jillian goes to wake Brian for breakfast and sees more than she bargained for of the sleeping Brian. She starts to fantasize about him. They play tennis and the game has them both hot and bothered in more ways than one.

Rob goes off to visit his girlfriend. Jillian has taken painkillers and wine and as Brian helps her to bed, she tells him of her visit to see him whilst he was asleep. As Jillian and Brian realize and discuss their obvious attraction to each other they decide to be friends with partial benefits. Jillian writers block is freed as her fantasies run wild with Brian as her muse.

Will they ever be able to see past the age difference and the obvious problem that Brian is her son’s best friend? Or will they part with a pocketful of tantalizing memories of what could have been?

http://amzn.to/12mCddm

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 “12 Little Boats to God” by James Fielden

This book is one of those rare books that will touch your soul. It opens are the main character Benjamin is grieving for the loss of his younger brother Sam. He is consumed with grief and can see no way forward in his life without his beloved brother. He isolates himself from the outside world emotionally and asks the question “Does God exist?” and if he does, how can he see us in so much pain and do nothing?

Benjamin is unaware that silently watching over him is his beloved brother Sam, his spirit guide Andreas and the Angel Elyce. They are waiting for Benjamin to allow hope and love into his heart and until he does they cannot help him. They understand that he must go through the painful process of grieving before he can heal and move forward.

Benjamin starts to write letters to God. He fashions them into little boats and places them on the river. As he searches desperately for answers, he remembers an awareness that has always been there but he has forgotten. These freshly remembered memories open doorways to his heart to reawaken his tortured soul. Now his friends from the spirit world can assist him in his journey.

Miss Anna who he has known for some time, acts kindly towards him and gives him a gift. The gift touches his soul and opens another window in his heart. A little dog finds him and becomes his companion. He meets Uta Goesa, a wise man who shares his wisdom with Benjamin.

This story is exquisitely written and will touch your heart and soul in equal measures. Sadly grief touches all of us at some time or another. This story will bring you home on the wings of Angels.

http://amzn.to/17fBqP9

Thank you all for taking the time to read this month’s book reviews. I know the authors really appreciate that you took the time out of your busy day to do this. I thank you for your continued support of my blog. If it was not for you, I would not be here. Before you leave can I ask you one last favor, please leave a comment. If you are a reader or an author please feel free to suggest a book for review. If you are an author and have not received a review before, please leave a comment with the title of your book and then e mail me at athenabrady@gmail.com. Thank you so much for visiting.

Athena

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Giving Something Back 11

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Hi everyone, here is this week’s offering my chance to give something back to the writing community. Enjoy!

http://101books.net/2013/03/25/one-thing-you-need-to-be-a- professional-writer/  This blog post is a letter from Hemingway in response to a request for an opinion on a story. This demonstrates beautifully, that a writer must dig deep into themselves; to give the reader an experience to remember.

http://www.chevrolet.com/culture/article/kids-changing-the-world.html  This was an article highlighted by a blogger. It’s awesome it shows not only the adults in this world are making a difference.

http://lateralloveaustralia.com/social-determinants-of-indigenous-health-lateral-violence-paper-2012/ This post is for all those people who take an interest in other cultures. This site is trying to redress the balance in Australian Society for the aborigine people.

http://bit.ly/11MtC7p  This is a huge shout out for Christine Lewry Author and her daughter Amber. They were interviewed by the Daily Mail on 26th March and appeared on ITV This Morning at 10.20 on 28th March. Their bravery and raw honesty amazes me, putting yourself out there is not easy. These women are giving the gift of hope to so many people and are making a difference. Please check out this article and share it in any way you can. Well done Christine & Amber.

Now we come to my weekly shout out for all the great bloggers in Bloggers for Peace, I am sure you will find this post helpful.

http://rohan7things.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/how-to-make-or-break-any-habit/  I have directed people to this blog before as this young man is definitely an old soul. In this post he teaches us how to break negative habits and develop more positive ones.

Related Articles.

http://bloggers4peace.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/kozo-cheri-asks-that-you/

http://truespiritualawakening.com/be-kind

 

Posted in Blogs for Peace 2013, Giving Something Back Weekly Posts | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Giving Something Back 10

 

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Hello everyone, I apologise for this post being later than usual but I have had some health problems this week. So it has taken me longer, to catch up. Anyway, I am back now, so here are your great bloggers for week ten. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection and come back and let me know what you enjoyed most. If you like the idea of giving something back to your fellow bloggers, why not join me in giving something back.  Post on your own blog or feel free to reblog this post. If you come across a great blog you want me to include feel free to e mail me at athenabrady1@gmail.com

 

http://101books.net/2013/03/13/study-says-creativity-people-are-a-little-crazy/

This blog discusses the subject of mental health and creativity and asks are they linked? You will find it is an interesting read, especially if you are an artist of some kind.

http://arganesh3.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/how-to-overcome-jealousy/  Ganesh is a blogger I visit quite regularly I particularly wanted to share this post with you all.:

http://benjaminprewitt.com/  I would like to give a big shout out for this young artist, who despite major health problems still finds time to create this fabulous artwork.

http://diaryofahouseelf.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/photo-fetish-friday-aka-four-freezies/ This post is a lovely reminder of looking for the good in our lives; even when, especially when, we don’t feel so good.

Every week I do a special shout for Bloggers for Peace 2013. Here is this week’s choice.

http://fecthis.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/underdog-not-for-long/ For all of you out there and there are lots of us, who have been touched by cancer, this blog is for you. I lost my own mother aged 54years old with cancer, the age I will be next year. This disease touches so many lives and robs us of our loved ones, far too early. Yet, there are people who refuse to be beaten down by it. This is a tribute to all of them, please share.

Related articles

http://bloggers4peace.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/kozo-cheri-asks-that-you/  http://professionsforpeace.com/2013/03/07/teach-peace/

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Author Interview with Aron Joice

Today I have the great pleasure of introducing to you, the Author Aron Joice. Many of you may have already come across her before. Aron’s book                                                  “The Rising (The Lost Children Of Managrail)” is the first part of a trilogy and it has received excellent reviews, which you can view here  http://bit.ly/140cTh9  and here http://bit.ly/WlFgBP  Aron’s trailer for her book is here  http://bit.ly/ZQIkVz  If you would like to buy Aron Joice’s book after you have read the article, you can get it here. http://amzn.to/TVJUFx

Apart from being a talented writer Aron still finds time to support other writers and bloggers, work and be a volunteer in an animal sanctuary. This writer is a close friend of mine but she really is someone special who you will see a lot of in the future. Please take the time to check her out you can find her on these various sites

Facebook                    http://on.fb.me/ZNLOIn

Goodreads                  http://bit.ly/15R9TSs

Twitter                        http://twitter.com/aronjoice

Aron’s website           http://aronjoice.com/

 

To give you a flavor of what this author is about, I asked her the following questions.

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(1)        When did you first start writing?

I was very young when I took pencil to hand. I had a vivid imagination, and my mother encouraged me to write stories about the things that I made up. I loved acting and role-playing, being someone that I wasn’t in everyday life.

(2)        How many books have you written?

I have two completed works.

(3)        Are you writing anything now?

The Lost Children of Managrail a trilogy is my first attempt at a novel. However, I have written poetry and I am a published songwriter. Presently, The Rising, the first in the series is available and Vanished is forthcoming. I only have the final edit and it is ready to fly. I am also working on a YA Novella set in medieval times and a women’s’ fiction.

 The Lost Children of Managrail

The trailer for Aron’s blog is here http://youtu.be/yN1xzuUAZjg

(4)  What inspires you?

Compassion and truth inspire me.

 (5)  Do you ever suffer with writers block if yes, how do you deal with it?

I have been fortunate in that area. My mind never rests. Some days I am more productive than others but I’m never at a loss for words (anyone who knows me will agree).

 (6)  What is the message you would like to get across to your readers?

I think the thread of my message is about our strengths and weaknesses, learning to step up to the plate, taking responsibility and how complicated relationships can be. There is no easy answer. Love, hate, and greed sidetrack us. At the end of the day we are alone with ourselves and must deal with our truths.

(7)  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?

First, believe in yourself. So many people will want to give you advice; it can be overwhelming, especially since some of it isn’t good. Read your favorite authors, and authors that have achieved success. Study styles, formatting, learn about the industry. Subscribe to publications, and find a few good blogs to follow. Most importantly sit down and write every day. Don’t get discouraged and have people other than your family to provide feedback on your work. Your family loves you and won’t be impartial, or worse they won’t want to be bothered and will continuously put you off.

(8)  Do you have any writing regrets?

To date none, but I’m far from out of the woods. I am still honing my skills.

(9)  How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

 I have been active in animal rescue for many years and that takes a good deal of time and at odd hours. I am passionate about animal rights.

(10)  If money was no object and you could have one wish, what would it be?

 I’d wish for a million wishes. I think that could cover a lot of territory. There is so much that I’d like to do for certain causes.

 (11) What have your readers taught you?

They have allowed me to see myself in a way that I could have never imagined. They make me want to be the best storyteller that I can be.

(12) If you had to leave your house in a hurry and could only take three things, what would they be?

My pets, my wallet, and my thumb drives.

I hope you all enjoyed Aron Joice’s author interview. I am thinking of making it a regular feature, what do you think? All you authors out there if you would like an Author interview please e mail me at athenabrady1@gmail.com  Or if you are a reader and would like to find out more about your favorite author please feel free to contact me and I will approach them with your request.

 

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A Letter to My Mum

Love never dies, it just redefines itself in a different form.

Love never dies, it just redefines itself in a different form.

Today is St Patrick’s Day for those of you who do not know, St Patrick is the patron saint of the Irish people. My mother was Irish and proud of her heritage as proud as I am of my Irish genes. I was born in England but Ireland always holds a special place in my heart as does Wales where I live today.

I didn’t plan to write a post today but as it was St Patrick’s Day I thought I would write a letter to my mum. As I believe people who die never leave us and it is our love for them that keeps them alive. Every time we think of a loved one who has passed on we draw them near to us. My Letter is what I would say to my mum if she were here still alive today. I can feel her love surround me as I write this post, so mum here is my letter to you.

Hello Mum,

It is a long time since we have spoken, even though you left your human body in 1991; I feel you around me often and remember the lovely times we had together. I probably didn’t appreciate you enough when you were here but for years at least ten or eleven I felt the pain associated with your passing very much. I could not visit your grave for the first year. I remember you had this irrational fear of being buried alive, I don’t know where that came from; but I couldn’t stand to see you in that dark cold place all alone. I remember we joked that I would put a miniature Irish whiskey, cigarettes and a lighter in your coffin. I kept my promise to you. On the day of your funeral I had this huge panic that I had not kept my promise and I needed see your face one last time before you were gone from me. I didn’t drive then but a neighbor took me up and we shared our last laugh together, at the thought that only you and I knew what else was in your coffin.

Since you went on your journey lots of things have happened one I know you would be happy about is that I divorced Robbie. I finally got sick of all his womanising, gambling and abuse. I decided to divorce him the day of your funeral we he told me to shut up talking about you, because you were gone now. Then I went back to work and found working with Older people began to soothe my troubled soul.

Later I found I wanted to do more, understand why people had social problems and how I could help. So I went to university and became a Social Worker. Then something wonderful happened your great granddaughter was born Mia. Mum she is a joy to behold she is such a precious gift and I know I am biased but everyone loves her. She is wise beyond her years and has definitely been here before. She is an old soul I am sure and she lights up the world of everyone she meets. She will achieve great things I am sure, I can feel it in every fiber of my body.

Robbie your grandson, got married to a wonderful girl called Alison. He married into a fabulous family who surround them with so much love, I couldn’t have wished for any better for him. They have had so much to cope with as a young couple. Alison has diabetes and had a double transplant a couple of years ago but they are so positive and she is so brave. He is a fabulous husband and they are devoted to each other and will make wonderful parents one day.

Kelly has her own business and is a counselor. She is Mia’s mum and they are devoted to each other. She has had hard times but she will come through them and she talks about you often.

Tommy has a good job and is becoming a man now. He is up for promotion soon to supervisor and he passed his driving test a year ago.

I left England nine years ago and came to live the beautiful countryside of West Wales. Two years ago on May 28th I married a wonderful Welsh man called Laurence. We both had a lot of issues due to past relationships but we worked through them and are deliriously happy and contented with each other. A couple of years ago I encouraged him to give up his job and follow his dream.

Laurence’s dream was to buy and sell cars and repair them and it has been a huge success, because he works so hard at it. Last year he encouraged me to do the same. In my eyes this only goes to prove the point I am always banging on about,

“What you do for another you do for yourself; because we are all connected”

Today, I am what I always dreamed by being, a published writer. Laurence supports us both at the moment but I have no doubt that soon I will be earning a good living in my own right. I feel I am doing what I was meant to do and what we are all here to do; which is to follow our dreams and experience love in all its forms. I am happy mum it has been a long journey but I am here finally.

We all miss you so much, your quirky sense of humor, your loving arms and words of wisdom but you are here with us always nestled lovingly our hearts. It comforts me to know that you are finally with your own mum who died when you were fourteen days old; and that you are with Elizabeth (named after you) my own precious baby who did not stay here with us.

I know that when I finally leave this life on earth which I hope will be a long time from now; you will be waiting for me to take me home. “I Love you Mum, Happy St Patricks Day” from all of us.

 

 

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Giving Something Back 9

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Hello everyone, here we are again at my usual weekly shout out for all those great blogs in the blogasphere. Every week I try to find you something different to look at. Great blogs stick out, they catch our attention and teach us things. They can make us laugh or comfort us, when we realize that someone else also, has the same problem we do. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection and don’t forget to come back and tell me what you think. All you bloggers out there why don’t you “play it forward” and start your own weekly shout out for blogs you love to read regularly or come across in your week.

http://bit.ly/13RY3Jz

This young man discusses the concept that “We are all Ambassadors” an interesting and informative read.

http://bit.ly/XGUjHl  Teachers are so important we all remember the bad ones but the good ones inspire us onto bigger and better things. My English teacher Miss Whittle told me I should be a writer. I have never forgotten her. This post is about another great teacher.

http://bit.ly/WlFgBP  This blog is for those of you who love photography a picture can tell us a lot.

http://bit.ly/X4Gvmj In this blog you will find some poetry I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Here is this weeks “Bloggers for Peace 2013” choice. These guys are committed please show them your support.

Related Articles from Bloggers for Peace 2013

http://bit.ly/16qbBvt  Read this post to hear about one of the many ways people are making a difference in their communities.

http://bit.ly/XqdwPB

http://bit.ly/XqeDPm

http://bit.ly/Zkniic

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How do you deal with forgiveness?

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Do you forgive people easily when they upset and hurt you? Do you think that life is short, so we should forgive and forget?  Or are you more likely to hold grudges for months or even years?

I suppose this question would depend upon perspective and what the person or persons have done to us. If someone has killed a member of your family, it will be extremely hard to forgive that person. However, if someone forgets to call you or something else you consider quite trivial, it would be easy to forgive them.

The bible says “to err is human but to forgive is divine” but in real life it is not an easy thing to do, if someone has done things; that wound you deeply and cause you a lot of pain. Just think about what Hitler did to the Jewish people or someone who has abused a child. There is no doubt, sometimes, forgiveness is a bitter pill to swallow. So how can we move past those negative feelings of anger, hate and resentment, to a place of forgiveness?

There are people who suggest that negative emotions affect our physical bodies. For example, words unsaid could cause a throat infection. Unreleased trauma can cause cancers. Spiritually minded people would argue that “what we do to others we do to ourselves”. As our words, thoughts and actions are powerful and send a message to the universe and it responds.

The universe believes that what we put our attention on, we want more of and it sends it to us. This has been named “The power of attraction”. Therefore, if we continue hating we will experience more hateful things. If we are to believe this theory, then if we concentrate on peace; we will be drawn towards more peaceful and loving experiences.

What about forgiveness and the message it gives to others? How can we realistically forgive someone who has done us or those we care about, huge physical and/or emotional pain? I think the first thing we would need to do was to remove ourselves from the line of fire. Then from a place of safety, we can let go of those negative feelings. The damage of holding onto these toxic emotions should not be allowed to go with us, into our futures. It should stay where it belongs in our past.

We do not need to be with people to forgive them. We can forgive from afar; we just have to release these emotions from our hearts. You can do this by visualizing the situation and imagining a vast ray of white light coming from your heart. While you think to yourself that this light is pure love. To make it even more powerful you could say “I release us all from these negative emotions and start anew and send this situation only love and I now step into my future and leave the past behind”. This may take some time but it is an act of loving kindness towards yourself as well as the other person. It is an act of peace to your heart and soul. If you believe as I do, that we are all connected how can you do anything else? What experiences have you had with forgiveness and what did you do?

 

 

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Giving Something Back 8

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Hello everyone and welcome to week eight. I have found some great bloggers for you this week. So go make yourself a cup of tea/coffee etc and take a thirty minute break and amble through these blogs. Then come back and tell me all about it.

http://confessionsofahollywoodagent.com/2013/03/01/rodmccarey/  This is a really funny video I got sent a link to from my good friend William Gardener. You might remember him from my book reviews. It features his brother in an advert. A must see.

http://marcalanschelske.com/you-are-a-hand-made-piece-of-art/  I found Marc on my goggle+ he was sending out an appeal; and I thought how this is what life is all about. Making connections and sharing the love with each other. I have picked out a post called “you are a handmade piece of art” and hope you all enjoy it.

http://tworedtornados.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/no-more-lies-weekly-writing-challenge-truth-is-stranger-than-fiction/   This blogger writes about making a difference and following your dreams.

http://edibleswansea.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/chapatti-pan-and-spice-st-davids-day-welsh-cakes/  Fancy a recipe to make Welsh Cakes, I can promise you they are delicious. Want a quick history lesson on where they originated from? Then you must visit this blog

Now we come to our usual weekly shout out for Bloggers for Peace 2013 and some related articles from these guys.

http://rohan7things.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/bloggers-for-peace-forgiving-our-critics-and-1-star-reviewers/comment-page-1/#comment-2649

Rohan has a great take on the negative thing,s that normally annoy us or get us down. A must read for all you authors out there.

Related Articles

http://bloggers4peace.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/kozo-cheri-asks-that-you/ http://everydaygurus.com/2013/03/06/can-ritual-suicide-bring-peace/

http://paxnation.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/it-all-starts-with-ourselves/

So that’s it folks until next week I hope you enjoyed this week’s post.

Love & Light always

Athena

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Flowers in the wilderness

 

Nature speaks, if we care to listen.No matter what things life throws at us; what disadvantages we are dealt in the game of life; nature remembers us and hands us something back. If we are dealt a bad deck in the card game of life there will always be something we can count on from her. Nature takes care of us even when we don’t take care of ourselves very well. She always has a wild card to play the trouble is, sometimes it is difficult to find. Yet paradoxically, like most of life is it is right in front of our noses too.

Look around you, I mean really look! One of the greatest gifts Nature gives us is the ability to put one foot in front of the other. In the hope that if we do so we will find we and we will relearn how to run and jump. Sometimes that is incredibly hard to do as we may have many hurdles to jump, just to get to a starting point in our lives, again. What hurdles do you need to jump to get your life started again? Are you suffering with poor physical or mental health? Is your pain emotional? Is it a mixture of all three?

What halts our progress it is our own expectations or those of others? Sadly it is often the expectations of others that we burden ourselves with. Looks from friends, family, especially if the thing that slows us down is an invisible issue like a mental health issue, Sometimes people do not need to say anything they just look disapprovingly or roll their eyes. What do their looks say? Oh not that again, move on. We can feel the disapproval, disappointment, resentment, as it emanates silently from their pores. It knocks us back makes us feel even more helpless and sometimes causes us to react back. We expect the people close to us to get us but sadly, sometimes they don’t. This hurts a lot and it ebbs away at our already low confidence. What do we do then?

I think we need to become our own judge and jury and not let those around us take on that role. First if getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other is all you can manage, so be it. If you can put your hand on your heart and say you have done the best you can do today; then let that be enough. Set your own goals and your own timetables; take back the reins of your life.

Distance yourself from the people who make you feel worse. Yes, that can be hard I know. If you can’t do it physically do it mentally, switch off their wavelength.  Spend more time with people who raise you up. If there is no one, spend more time with yourself. Look in the mirror, be your own best friend. Tell yourself you have done well today you have done your best. Learn to love who you are warts and all.

Think about the ‘flowers in the wilderness’ that have gone before you. Think of all the men, women, children who have succeeded against all odds. Let me tell you about my flowers in the wilderness.

                                                      Nelson Mandela

Believes that all people are equal and he gave the best part of his life up in prison to prove it. During his long years in captivity he kept his faith alive. He knew that prison is not a physical place but a mental place; he knew his thoughts were free and his mind could not be imprisoned unless he let it be.

                                                       Mother Theresa

Left a wealthy and affluent life behind to dedicate her life to the people who needed her; she made the ‘untouchables’ touchable. She realized that we are all connected and that one person can make a difference.

                                                     Martin Luther King

Had a dream that he gave his life for; he worked tirelessly against all odds to free people from prejudice and disadvantage.

                                                        Helen Keller

Helen succeeded with the help and patience of her dedicated teacher to find her voice. Despite the fact she was deaf and dumb.

                                                       Steven Hawkins

In spite of multiple disabilities this man is a genius of our time. He selflessly works to improve our world.

This may surprise you but you too can do this and more. These were all ordinary people who had many obstacles to overcome but they did it. What was the common denominator that all these people shared? It was hope and faith; they all had hope for a better world and faith that their own actions could do it.

What is the big thing is that you always wanted to do? Take a small step towards it every day, lots of small steps soon become big steps and before you know it you will be running.

 

 

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Giving Something Back post 7

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I have had been really busy week prescheduling posts so I can get ahead. I have also ticked something off my bucket list; this is a phrase I have learnt from my American friends. It means a list of things you would like to do. What did I do? I wrote a song for my upcoming book “Broken” which is one women’s true journey through child abuse. I have always wanted to write a song and was so excited to write this ballad. My good friend and talented musician Rohan Healey, is putting the song to music and will be singing the track. I cannot afford a trailer so thinking out of the box, I thought a song would be good. I will post the song when it is finished. Thank you so much Rohan I really value your input.

I have so many good things to return to when I come home, lots of great thing are happening for me as a writer and I find my cup is overflowing with love. Aron Joice best-selling author is also doing an author interview on her blog for me. I will post the link to both things next Saturday. I will be away when you read this but I will be back later in the night. It is my birthday and hubby says he has a surprise for me and will tell me nothing but to pack an overnight bag. I will tell you more next week.

I have found some really good blogs and I hope you all enjoy them and come back and tell me what you found. Why not start a “Giving Something Back” post on your own blog? It is a great of playing it forward and honouring your fellow writers. Let’s start a gratitude revolution and see where it leads us. Remember, we get back what we send out and it is a loving act of kindness towards our fellow bloggers. If you are time limited why not tailor it to your own needs and do a monthly or 3 monthly post? Here are our fabulous week 7 bloggers.

 

http://1storyaweek.com/2013/01/26/thecostofchoosing/

At this blog, I found someone who does a story a week. The stories will draw you in, check it out and see for yourself. I loved it so much that I began following the blog.

http://ellisshuman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/my-granddaughter-wants-to-be-hammer-for.html

This blogger wrote a lovely post about her granddaughter. I think you will enjoy it. She has lots of other interesting things an her blog too.

http://thegreekurn.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/the-plot/ 

This writer started a blog in 2012 as she started her writing career. I found it fascinating to watch a similar journey to my own unravel in each blog post. This is one to bookmark and go back to again to she were it goes.

http://blackwomenunchecked.com/2013/02/01/black-history-month-2013/  I found this blog inspiring for many reason but one of these was it encouraging readers to give 3 hrs of service to others. What a beautiful thought.

 

Finally we come to my weekly Blogger for peace 2013 blog. It will take you a few minutes to watch her video and you will be glad you did. What an inspiration Tracie is to us all.

http://tracielouisephotography.net/2013/02/12/stand-up-for-peace/

                                Related articles

                               http://bit.ly/VoDzmP

http://angiebledsoe.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/2308/

http://juliannevictoria.com/2013/02/05/the-meaning-of-the-dawning-of-the-age-of-aquarius/

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My Goldfish Doesn’t Love me Anymore

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This is not a joke, I really mean it. My cute little goldfish has fallen out with me in a big way. Those of you who know me personally know what a softy I am; I love all God’s creatures big and small and even a few human beings. I was the kid who fed all of my mum’s bargain price corned beef to the local cats, when I was ten years old.

I didn’t mean to use it all, I was only ten years old and what I did I know. I certainly never knew that when you feed a couple of stray cats they would tell their mates and next time bring them along too. Just a bit, I said to myself but those huge, green, blue, eyes and all that soft fur in so many different colors; purring and rubbing against me, whilst looking longingly right into my eyes, was too much for a ten year old to bear. Before I said “here kitty kitty” it was all gone and I was in big trouble, grounded and thoroughly told off.  I would do it all again in a heartbeat, for the feel of those soft purring balls of fluff, which I kissed to my hearts content.

There was also the time our own cat had kittens and I stood in the doorway to prevent the RSPCA lady taking them away. They felt like my babies you see, my mum told me how to deliver them over the phone; when the cat had trouble in labor and I rang her at work. People often say never name an animal or you are lost, well I did that too, all six of them… and they were going nowhere.

How did it turn out, well my mum was a lot smarter than I was. She sent me on holiday with the school. Yes you guessed it, when I came back, no kitties. I never spoke to her for two weeks and called her a murderer; even though she said they would find homes for them all. Poor mum how did she ever survive me?

Anyway I digress, why doesn’t my goldfish love me anymore?  Were shall I start? I suppose the beginning would be as good a place as any. You see, once there were two little goldfish. We brought them over two years ago and from the moment they arrived in our cozy wooden cabin, they were family.

I know you will think I have lost the plot but they really, they had great personalities. I can hear you all saying get a life now but just shut up and listen. Every morning when I went to feed them, they splashed about and swam around their large tank with such excitement. Anytime my husband or I were in the room they would follow us around the tank. He thought I was mad the first I mentioned it and then he began to notice it to.

We lovingly nicknamed them “The Twins” and if we went up to the glass they would come over while we talked to them. he won’t admit this but I will I have no shame. Did I just say out loud, that I talk to fish? Well so what, I talk to fish, all the best people do you know. I would stroke the side of the tank and they would come right up to the glass and push each other out the way, to get their share of the love.

The twins got on swimmingly well, they never fought and did everything together. They would race around the tank when they were excited. They grew big and strong, their tails grew quite long and their color vibrant. The only time they had a tantrum ( must have been the terrible two’s lol) was when we went away for a few days. It was as though they were annoyed that we left them. Even though we had a friend come in and feed them, it just felt like they missed us. As they would ignore us for a few hours after we got back. Anyway,before long they would be back to normal and be as chirpy as ever.

One day everything changed, one of the twins died; and ever since he or she (how can you tell what sex a goldfish is, has anyone got a degree in fishology?) has died, our remaining twin darts away every time he sees us. I use the term he loosely, so as not to offend unsexed fishes. I have tried going to the side of the tank, as he hides behind the plant. I stroke the side of the tank, (I know, I am a Bono-fide basket case) to try and comfort him and he gives no response.

When we enter the room unexpectedly, he is swimming around like he used to do. However, the minute he notices us he hides again. This has gone on for a while now and it is really bugging me. (Stop saying get a life, will you) This may sound crazy to some people, though maybe not to others. I think he is grieving for his twin and I think he feels we killed him. He acts like he is scared of us or maybe he is just angry and needs someone to blame. Animals do feel pain just like us and do build relationships with others; they love and hurt just like we do. I miss our little friend and can feel his pain and hope one day; he will come back to us.

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Athena Bradys Febuary 2013 Book Review’s

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This month I have a very varied mix of authors whose work I would like to share with you. I have romance self-help & spirituality with a generous smattering of sci-fi fantasy. I have thoroughly enjoyed my book hopping, from one book to the next.

I found that each of these books offered something different, interesting and thought provoking. I enjoy being privy to the authors imagination as they weave their fantasy worlds seamlessly. I love the generosity of spirit of others, who reach out in love to their fellow human beings. I never tire of hearing love stories and how people find special and new ways, to connect with their loved ones. So where shall we start then? I think I will start this month with a love story.

“Cutters vs. Jocks, a Prequel Novella to Binding Arbitration” by Elizabeth Marx

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This book is so much more than a mere love story. It explores societal norms, status, and the importance of holding fast to your dreams.  It demonstrates awareness that, whatever your background in life is, we all suffer in one way or another. The book opens as Libby and Aidan meet and he is blown away instantly by her striking looks.

He feels he must have her but to his disappointment, she does not respond to his advances. Libby cannot afford to be distracted, as she has plans to make a better life for herself. Nothing can deter her from her plan, not even Aidan, who makes her heart skip a beat. They come from vastly different worlds Libby is a cutter and Aidan a Jock. She has a job to make ends meet and he is the all American football player. She has to work hard for everything she wants, whilst Aidan was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Aidan is used to getting whatever he wants and Libby is certainly a challenge to him. Women normally fall at Aidan’s feet but he can’t get through to Libby; she makes him work for every step forward, harder than he ever with any woman before.

Libby feels Aidan is a distraction she cannot afford, even though he ticks all her boxes and more. All the odds are stacked against them but they decide try to and make their love work. Will they be able to overcome their problems and give their love a chance, or will fate take the matter out of their hands completely?

You can find Elizabeth’s book here

http://amzn.to/Yq7PKJ

 “The 7 things That Made me Genuinely & Irreversibly Happy: And How They Can Do The Same For You” by Rohan Healey

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This young man just blew me away with the amount of knowledge he has accumulated in his life. This is a life changing book; I could feel it as I read it. Rohan must be an old soul, to be able to put these complex theories across in such a readable manner; so a layperson can “get them” at such a young age. In a world filled with jargon, Rohan is as refreshing as a cool shower on a hot day.

Throughout the text, he refers to his own life history as a yardstick to measure success. he tells of his breakdowns, obsessive compulsive behaviors and his former lack of self esteem.  As he gives the reader exercises to release pent up trauma from the body. He shares his thoughts on Stoic philosophy, meditation and teaches how to silence our damaging inner critics.

Rohan takes us on a journey to repair damaged self-esteem through the practice of affirmations and other techniques. As he seamlessly empowers people to take back their lives and reassemble damaged parts of the psyche and heal from within. His book discusses all these subjects and so much more, can you afford not to buy it?

You can find Rohan’s book here

http://amzn.to/WdKNaq

“Sorrows Fall (Bringer of Sorrow)” by Davonne Burns

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Davonne weaves a sci-fi adventure that will touch you deeply. All writers have strengths and Davonne’s is the simply the way she imparts emotions to the reader, She understands the masterful art of getting into her characters heads and assisting the reader feel a connection with them. She gives nothing away, as she effortless leads us through the plot. Presenting endless twists and turns I did not foresee.

I was swept away on the author’s imagination to a distant land, were our nightmares reside. A cruel cold place, were a child called Sorrow is bred as a weapon and used and abused, to fulfill the power hungry dreams of his tormentors. Sorrow is hated by everyone and defiled at every turn, he has no one to turn to that he can trust or open up to.

He has a special power that seems to him, to be a curse. He fights to control and understand it while dealing with a daily onslaught of violence. He can feel the hate and disgust of those around him as he is bullied and beaten into submission. He is nothing more than a weapon, a killing machine.

When someone reaches out to Sorrow with kindness, he cannot allow himself to believe it. Could it be true, that someone wants to help him? His self-hatred is dark and deep and only a very special person, will be able to help him heal. It is too late for Sorrow or will he allow someone, to show him a better way to live his life? Can he learn to trust and control his powers and use them for the greater good or will the dark forces find him and destroy him and his protector?

You can find Davonne’s book here

http://amzn.to/W6Whlk

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s reviews, as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. Next month I will be reviewing the following books.

“Twelve Little Boats to God” by James Fielden

“She Belongs to Me” by Carmen De Sousa

“Friends with Partial Benefits” by Luke Young

 

 

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Giving Something Back 6 “Bloggers for Peace” Feb post 2013

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It is really week six? The weeks have flown by since I decided to do these weekly posts, where I honor my fellow bloggers out there. I find there is no shortage of talent, the problem is choosing what to use and what not to use. I have been really busy catching up with e mails and writing after my short break in Holland. I was particularly touched by my visit to Anne Frank’s house; you can read about that here

http://wp.me/p2zG6L-9Z

This week I have found you some fabulous blogs, which I know will touch you one way or another. I have my usual four and then a blogger for peace 2013.

http://bit.ly/VE9HCT

This is an amazing post which into is weaved some fabulous poetry. After comes the discussion on “listening” a must read for all us seekers out there.

http://bit.ly/YOEfQ7

Samantha takes us into a journey that affects all of us. She talks about the importance of self-love, a subject close to my heart. A subject I work on every day with my peers which I one day will teach in classes to others. What will I teach? How you can love yourself as much as you love others.

http://bit.ly/XT1ZSl

A poignant and touching story of how the love of another person can save us. When we bear our hearts to other people and they take the time to listen, we touch their souls forever.

http://bit.ly/XsycU9

Take a trip to a different culture with this array of photographs and text. Imagine you are there enjoying the New Year celebrations. As you journey to another land and see it through the eyes of a fellow traveller of life. Absorb the sights and sounds and smells as you enter a new world, prepare to be enchanted.

Now comes my weekly honoring of a fellow Blogger for peace 2013. In the related articles below this post, you can see for yourself how these bloggers are working for peace collectively.

http://bit.ly/XwZc1Y

Related Posts

http://bit.ly/122iQdu

http://bit.ly/Ytj7Oi

http://bit.ly/VoDzmP

Well I hope you enjoyed reading this post and will come back and tell me what you found. Any new people visiting for the first time welcome and please take a look around the site as I write about many subjects. For all you regulars and authors out there I will be posting the February Book Reviews on Sunday. If you look at the Goodreads widget at the sidebar, you will see what books I am reviewing this month. I have some great books for you this month and am looking forward to introducing you to the work of these hardworking authors. Take care, love and light always.

Athena x

 

 

 

 

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We can change the world, one step at a time.

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I went to Holland last week and visited Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam. I knew the story, as I have seen countless films on Hitler’s obsession and mass genocide of the Jewish people. I had read Schindler’s list and seen the film; and been duly touched by the plight of the Jewish people as anyone with a heart would be. However too actually stand in the house were someone hid for two years of their life, is a very different thing.

I imagined myself there the sense of isolation Anne and the others must have felt. The great need to be outside in the fresh air and the hopelessness of their situation. The longing and desperation for loved ones far away from them. The wanting to move forward, the digesting of the hate directed at them for no other reason than their faith and heritage.

When I heard she wanted to be a writer I wept. She wrote one of the greatest books of all time, made even more poignant because she died. Her own father confessed he did not know her and I felt how that realization must have haunted him to his grave. He gave her the only thing that was left to give, her work to the world.

We walked to the end and the French man I had spoken to in the long queue outside, stood beside me as we openly wept for the lost dreams of an innocent girl; caught up in a world of evil hatred and violence. We didn’t care if others saw us we were ashamed, ashamed, of the world of hatred that existed then and still does now.

I thought of my dear friend who is 87yrs old and fervently believes that the Muslims are trying to take over the world. I wondered if people are aware that the so called “Nationalist Party” is openly targeting our older people now with their hateful theories and fear mongering tactics.

I stood and watched as people who had been through the house, were asked to vote on whether young Muslim girls should wear veils in schools. It was obvious to me this was a clever subtle, measurement of discrimination and if it still exists. I am ashamed to say it does, as I watched people vote in the opposite way that I did.

I wanted to cry out in frustration can’t you see what you are doing, have you learnt nothing. However, I know people learn best when they come to their own conclusions. I love my 87 year old friend she is kind and loving and compassionate but I cannot condone her beliefs. However, this demonstrates how good people can be caught up in evil.

We are not different, we are connected all of us. There is good and bad in every faith, society, and country. Instead of pointing out these differences negatively, we should be celebrating them and joining together. I don’t care whether you are Jewish, Muslim, gay, straight, disabled, black, white, hop on one leg while singing the national anthem, I love you all. Please leave the hate behind us and lets start loving and respecting one another. Let’s live in a world we can be proud of and let our children inherit a better world. I truly believe that love is the most powerful force in the universe, let’s use that force to change the world.

http://www.annefrank.org.uk/

http://www.youtube.com/user/AnneFrank

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Giving Something Back Post 5

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This post is a day late, I know. I have been to Holland for a few days and have had so much to catch up with, that I am now, a little behind. This week I have found a wide mix of artists for you to explore. I hope you enjoy them all and receive what you need today from these posts. If you have time, please come back and share your thoughts on what you have found.

http://bit.ly/YpQZh0  Please, please read this amazing story it is beyond words. It shows “Love in Action” if you like it and have a blog yourself, please reblog, everyone should see this post. It demonstrates how when we hold out the hand of love to others, it can have global consequences. I cried when I read this and I believe that you will too.

http://bit.ly/YzkMTo  Take a journey around Iceland as you travel with this blogger. As she shares with you, her thoughts and pictures; you will be glad you visited.

http://bit.ly/12xhXco   This post is one person’s journey on 9/11 told with respect and reverence for its victims. I am not surprized that this post elicited over 300 responses. Please take five minutes out of your busy day to visit.

http://bit.ly/12VXptR  This story really struck me in my heart deeply. I normally stay away from religion and political posts; but if I am to be the best person I can be, then I have to be true to myself. I don’t want to offend any of my readers, you are all precious to me. What I have to say may have you unfollowing me. I believe in a God that includes everyone. I don’t believe that love can stigmatize one group of individuals or how can we call that love? So as the saying goes publish and be damned. My own take on that would that if you reach out in love to your fellow human being, you will receive love.

http://bit.ly/Z7EDuO  In this post, you will find a wife’s tribute to her husband as he journeys through cancer. A moving and compassionate post, get the tissues ready.

Related Articles

http://bit.ly/12xiOd0

http://bit.ly/VoDzmP

http://bit.ly/14ZDZCU

 

 

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Giving Something Back Post 4

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Hello everyone and thank you for tuning into post 4. This week has been busy week like most are. I have spent quite a lot of time at a new online magazine. I was invited there by a twitter friend Joseph Ephraim. The magazine I am talking about, is The New Yorker Times. There are possible job opportunities and you can sign up here.

http://newyorkertimes.com/

If you decide to pop over, please add me as a friend and join my groups. It is a lovely lively and friendly site with members from all over the world. There are lots of interesting articles to read or if you just want to chat with other people that is fine too. This magazine will be what we make of it, as a community. So jump in there and make your mark. Don’t miss this great opportunity to shape your own future and the future of others.

I have found you some amazing bloggers this week. So let’s give a big shout out to all those talented artists out there. Who are there, because they love to assist and entertain us. Please drop by and visit them, leave a comment, tweet and follow. Then come back and tell me all the great things you found on their fabulous sites.

http://fecthis.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/the-gifts-you-give-may-well-have-saved-my-life/

Tracy is a survivor of breast cancer with a huge heart filled with gratitude. She is a blogger for peace 2013 and I will feature one of our team every week, with links to other member’s posts. This post is especially lovely as it is a post about her cat. Go pay her a visit; you will be glad you did.

http://hoppycow.com/2013/01/21/how-to-make-dinner-for-a-lot-of-people-when-youre-not-a-professional-chef/

Fancy hosting a dinner party? This website makes it sound simple; it takes all the hard work out. Leaving you free, to enjoy the company of your guests. There are step by step instructions to give you the perfect hassle free dinner party.

http://escapology.eu/2013/01/27/the-mae-hong-song-loop-a-road-trip-through-thailands-remote-north-west/

How about traveling via Motorbike around the most beautiful sights of Thailand? Let this blog take you on a magical mystery tour with amazing pictures and commentary. You will feel like you are there already.

http://chrysalisjourney.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/curiosity-as-a-way-of-life

At this blog you will find a very brave woman who bares her soul to help others. She is insightful, thoughtful and writes from her heart. I just know you will all love her blog as much as I did.

Please don’t forget all the great work The Bloggers for Peace 2013 are doing out there and visit their blogs. If you want to join us you are very welcome. Just click on the Bloggers for Peace Badge. http://everydaygurus.com

Well. I will say goodbye until next week’s post. I am off for some much needed R&R to Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day with hubby. I may even take some photos and share then with you at a later date.

Bloggers for peace related articles

http://rohan7things.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/blogging-for-peace-how-to-meditate-for-deep-relaxation/

http://bloodinkdiary.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/whirling-in-istanbul/

http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/the-wisdom-of-strangers-loopholes/ http://professionsforpeace.com/2012/12/16/change-the-world/

 

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Giving Something Back Post 3

 556173_357662764298464_1036408878_nI can’t believe it is Saturday already, were has the week gone? I have been busy adding pages to my website and reading and writing and promoting. The week has just flown by and I hardly noticed it but I have had so much fun.

I have connected with some old friends that I lost touch with and made some new ones. All in all, it has been a very productive week with lots of variety. I don’t work nine to five. I work seven days a week and many hours because I enjoy what I do. I am following my dream and when we do that it doesn’t seem like work at all.

I have found you some great guys this week; and I have mixed it up a bit, so it is not just writers but other artists too. Without further ado, I present to you these great blogs. Which I hope you will check out and share and maybe even leave a comment or two. Please come back and share your thoughts as I love to hear from you all.

Marci Wise gives so much of herself to her readers and shares love freely. Please check out this post entitled “Honouring the Angels Among us”

http://bit.ly/Wijwag

Kozo This man has started a bloggers for peace 2013 group of which I am a member. He is a great writer that gives so much to others and really cares about our world. Please check out and share his post entitled “Mad Men”

http://bit.ly/11bqFNF

This artist, whose name I don’t know, is really talented. Please check out his post which is entitled “Be Kind”

http://bit.ly/UHk5th

Andrea talks about many interesting things and shares some great photographs and inspirational pictures on her blog. Please check out and share with your friends.

http://bit.ly/11oCOtb

Well  that is all for this week folks. What did you think are there any great blogs you would like to share? Please feel free to add some.

 

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Giving Something Back Post 2

 

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Hello and welcome to my regular Saturday post, which honours my fellow bloggers out there, in the blogsphere. I have four for you this week that have inspired me. Sometimes you just stumble across a great blog after you follow a link. I love getting lost in the blogsphere, because I find so many treasures whilst I am there. I have regular blogs I pop in and out of but I try to read a new one every day. Here is what I have found for you this week.

Heartflow2013 I found this blog by following a link and liked it immediately. This person writes from the heart and has some lovely posts on her blog. This one is entitled “Share the Love” please check out and share with your friends.                                     http://bit.ly/W2Jui2

 

Kristen Lamb is already a bestselling author in her own right. You can check out links to one of her books here.     http://wp.me/p2zG6L-6H  apart from doing her own writing she still found time to set up a social network site, for artists. Kristen, launched Wana last year and it is full of well-known and budding talent. It now has thousands of members. Wanatribe members support each other and share tips and links. There are groups you can join to learn about self-publishing and character development etc. They also provide affordable classes so artists can improve their craft. Wana has musicians, writers, photographers, graphic design technicians, in face every type of artist you can imagine. If you join Wana Kristen will be the first to greet you and welcome you to the tribe. She teaches members the importance of service first to each other. She has started a revolution and if you want to join, here is the link http://wanatribe.com/  the link below is Kristen’s about page please check it out and share. If you have the time read some of her posts. I promise you that you will learn a lot and it will be time well spent.  http://bit.ly/WWS4L4

 

Renee King is a travel reviewer that is dedicated to helping people travel on a budget. She provides through and well thought out reviews and pictures. The link below is her review of a trip she made to Paris recently.       http://bit.ly/WwMcJW

Daphne Shadows this young lady amazes me. She is so dedicated to her writing and despite massive personal problems; still finds time to connect with her readers. She is an inspiration to us all and she is going to go far. Please check out her blog. http://bit.ly/W2NOhe

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post and clicked on some of the links. Please come back and let me know what you think. I love to hear from you all and it is especially touching, when someone takes the time out of their busy day, to leave a comment. If you are a regular visitor you will know I always reply personally to each commenter.

What do you think of this new regular weekly post, is there something else you would like me to post? Your opinions are always welcome.

Why not try something like this on your own blog? Let’s start a gratitude for our fellow bloggers revolution. Try it and see, it sure feels good to give something back. If you decide to do this yourself, on your own blog please leave a comment and let me know.

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testing twitter

testing twitter

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