We experience stress every day. And although some stress is helpful to stimulate our body, left unchecked it can have a damaging effect on our mental health.
Journaling is a highly recommended stress management tool. The benefits of journaling on mental health are well researched and documented.
Using CBT techniques, mindfulness exercises and developed on an “Action-Focused Journaling” technique, this journal with self-analysing and prompts will help you to write yourself out of stress by better understanding your anxiety and its triggers, while shifting your thoughts from anxious and ruminative to empowered and action-oriented, and it will take only a few minutes of your day.
My Review –
Last year I was given this anxiety journal to review for free for an honest opinion.
I won’t lie. When I was approached by this author with this great opportunity I was both delighted and eager to read and record through this new journal. I’ve held off on reviewing it right away as I wanted to really try it out and get a real feel for it before posting my review. Not only that but Olga has to be one of my favorite authors that I got lucky enough to discover back in 2019 when I came across Heavenward and was lucky enough to become a member of the blog tour for Hallow the second installment in Ogla’s Celestial Creatures Series.
Heavenward just so happens to be my very first book review, EVER, on my blog! You can check it out HERE.
If you follow me then you already know that anxiety is a huge obstruction in my life and has been for far too many year and so I’ve started working on helping myself push through the anxiety and I’m ALWAYS looking for other management options for my anxiety.
Writing is a HUGE part of my life. Its how I was taught to best express myself and its how I do best express myself. So an anxiety journal that helps you Record, Analyse, Manage your anxiety? That just sounded like it would fit perfectly into my lifestyle. I have (I still do) use The Anxiety Journal by Corinne Sweet – which you can read my review on this HERE.
Olga Gibbs, anxiety journal gives you an easy clear cut guidance in helping you record, analyse and manage your anxiety.
Has it helped me?
In a few ways, yes. It has helped me.
When it first arrived, I was filled with a lot of optimism for many reason. Again, because my best form of expression is writing but for some reason it never occured to me to write down and record my anxiety. 2nd, because I have already come across and use an anxiety journal, it was exciting to see how these two would differ. Would it help me in the same way? Help me in a different way? I couldn’t be sure, all I could be sure of was that I could give this journal my best attempt in the hopes of being able to help myself further.
I love how this journal doesn’t tell you how your anxiety feels or meant to feel, but rather it lets you explore how your anxiety affects you and ways on how you can manage how it affects you. This journal lets you explore and see from a different point of view what YOUR symptoms towards anxiety is as everyone reacts differently and deals with things differently – the same applies to those suffering from an anxiety disorder.
And with how easy it is to record your moments of anxiety, I’ve been able to look back on the first month I started writing it in my anxiety journal by Olga Gibbs and reflect on the triggers, the reactions and find a different solution or technique to change my reaction to my anxiety.
CBT is a HUGE factor when taking yourself on this journey with Olga’s anxiety journal, as a lot of what you write and a lot of the prompts that you read are there to help direct your thoughts into a different way of thinking.
This anxiety journal eases you into focusing on the good, on reminding yourself of the positive and to help drag your mind out of that icky inky darkness that swallows you when your anxiety starts to creep up or an attack comes on.
I’m aware this review isn’t very long, and perhaps it may even be a tad short on information but that’s because as I continue to use my anxiety journal I will also be updating this post along side that. My hopes for doing my review this way is that my viewers can better see how writing through this journal changes my way if thinking, my own view on anxiety and how I react to it. If anything, I hope by doing it this way I can give you a better in depth review on this anxiety journal.
With the recent pandemic and placing going back into yet another lockdown I believe this journal could benefit a LOT of people right now and I feel as though anyone who comes across this journal will be able to take something really amazing from it.
So Until Next time, I hope you all stay safe and I can’t wait to have you back for my next post!
National read a book day is an annual event, an a awareness day that takes place annually on 6th September.
For some people (like myself), reading is our ultimate form of relaxation, where all our stress and worries deflate and disappear as we are pulled into the authors world/time that they have created for us readers.
However for other’s, when it comes to reading, it can seem like a bit of a chore. National read a book day is celebrated to help encourage all of us to take a little break to curl-up and get stuck into a good book or read out loud to the family.
National read a book day is the perfect excuse to sit back, relax and get lost in a book, whether you’re rediscovering some old favourites or delving into a new bestseller, why not take advantage of the day and sink into a good story/tale.
Before you start wondering, how on this earth am I going to read a full book in a day? There simply isn’t enough time, not enough hours in the day!
Fear not! The intention of national read a book day is to motivate you to open your mind and eyes to a book for at least a few minutes of the day. To take that little break away from work, from our lives and get lost in a fictional characters adventures instead. It isn’t necessary for you to read a book from front to back, simply reading a page is good enough.
So whether you are an avid bibliophile, an occasional reader or simply haven’t picked a book up in a while take advantage of the day, spare a few minutes or hours of your time to pick up that book you’ve been thinking about reading and finally get started.
So don’t waste anymore time, sit back, relax and open up a book!
What way’s can I get involved?
One way to get involved is to help get the little ones involved!
If you have children, then today is the perfect excuse to sit down with your little one/s and read them a fascinating tale or maybe take an hour out of your day to sit down all together to read a book. Before bed if you don’t already why not read them a bedtime story.
Did you know?
Reading is much more of a complex task for our human brain rather than, say, sitting down and watching the TV
Reading also strengthens our brains connections and can also build NEW connections
Reading improves concentration
Reading can also help children learn more about the world around them
Reading also improves our vocabulary and language skills
Reading helps develop a child’s imagination
Reading isn’t just fun but it can also be a great way to spend time together!
There are many different benefits that are associated with reading, so what are you waiting for! Go pick up that book!
*I’d like to note that this was due for the first day of the blog tour, however my laptop has tapped out on me over the last 3 or so weeks. And so, I couldn’t express just how sorry I am to be posting my review later than agreed.*
I’m so pleased to be able to tell you all that I am part of the ‘Death Bringer’ by Kelly-Marie Pollock, Blog Tour. This is the second instalment of a three part series in the, ‘Chronicles of Nova Morgan Trilogy’, Organised by the amazing Frasersfunhouse.com.
About the Author
Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams. Kelly-Marie is a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger, you can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.ukDeath Bringer is the second novel in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.
Cherry Nova, Book 1 in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy is rated 5* on both Amazon and Goodreads, available to purchase via Amazon and The Book Depository, free to read for Kindle Unlimited users. (I’ll be posting my review of Cherry in a few days, now that I finally have a functional laptop again).
Death Bringer is the second book in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy.
Nova may have won the fight for her freedom, but she’s far from won the war. Journey beside her, Ruth and Chaplin as they leave the gritty streets of Victorian London behind and immerse themselves in the magical living realm of Hindra.
In a world where dying isn’t forever and living isn’t easy, they’re about to unearth all manner of secrets and lies. Their mission seems clear, infiltrate the Council Chambers and free the captive, Detective Maximus Steele, bringing down The Righteous Ones as they go, but time is moving fast and as Nova comes to realise, time is running out.
From street-workerto rebellion leader, isher path one of greatness, or has it simply been paved by someone or something, far greater than her? Like pieces on a chess board, is Nova just a pawn in someone else’s game.
*Content warning – Contains adult themes including; Sex, Drug use, Profanity and Violence.*
Before I get into my review I would like to state that I, along with other participates of this incredible Blog Tour – Death bringer, were gifted a free copy of this novel in return for an honest review. All thoughts and all opinions on this blog tour are our own. (I hope by now that you all know that I would never review a book I didn’t enjoy myself or didn’t believe my viewers would enjoy it either. Nor, would I rate a novel high if I didn’t actually feel that, that’s what it deserves).
Just like the first one I have to give Death Bringer it’s well deserved 5-stars. Kelly has once again done it, she’s done something few of us can only dream of achieving…Creating another incredible novel, this follow up to Cherry Nova deserves it’s full 5 out 5 start review. Just like in ‘Cherry Nova’ we are instantly drawn into the first page of ‘Death Bringer’, Instantly snatching your attention, until you are lost to the real world and planted into the new world Author Kelly-Marie Pollock has so brilliantly created.
Noah’s gone, Soul is dead, Nova’s memories are back, and the only thing on her mind is revenge.
From being known as ‘Cherry’ – working at Lady Jaine’s Brothel on the streets of Victorian London, to becoming the ‘Lady of Death’ is not something Nova ever intended. Chasing after one of the people who saved her when she needed it most was also not on her ‘to do’ list. But when other beings start to play with your life like a chess piece on a game board, you have no choice but to take the punches to get what you want. After all, they say nothing worth fighting for is easy, love is blind, and hell has no fury like a woman’s scorn…and Nova is one woman who has dealt with more scorn than most could ever take.
Cherry Nova is the first instalment in ‘The chronicles of Nova Morgan Trilogy, set in Victorian London. Death Bringer is the second instalment from ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan Trilogy (a three part book series) Where, Kelly takes us from our known Victorian London world and leads us into a whole new realm that holds different rules. Ruled by a council that are as happy to hand out a punishment/banishment as a kid would be receiving candy, Nova knows her mission is no easy task. Things are going to get messy, crazy and overwhelming.
Everything seems more chaotic now, than it ever did before. With Detective Max missing, stolen from them by the monsters who have made their very existence the deadly nightmare that it has become, a new army to lead and her own emotions to manage, life for Nova is about to become a whole lot more hectic and it’s only the beginning.
Taken captive in the Hindra realm, Nova is willing to do whatever it takes to bring back detective Max, even if that means raising an army and walking through the gates of Hindra. With the help from those whose lives were affected by Noah, Nova is able to successfully raise the army she needs with the help of a drug dependence warlock – Chaplin, an old dock worker – Bucky and her trusted banished witch friend – Ruth. Death Bringer is filled with more action, more excitement, suspense and more surprises than what was hiding throughout the first instalment, which I truly didn’t expect or think possible after finishing Cherry Nova.
Reading, Cherry Nova, I was instantly hooked onto this new, exciting and phenomenal series. I was a young teen when the vampire craze started and I can safely say I have read more than my fair share of vampire fiction. I was pretty sure I’ve read it all…until I stumbled across Cherry Nova. Being sucked into Nova’s life as though I’m a front seat passenger, it was fascinating to watch Nova’s struggle, confusion, hardships,and new friendships. It’s been even more fascinating and exciting to be able to watch as Nova’s character continues to grow into a person she could only ever hope of dreaming of being in her old life.
Death Bringer picks up exactly where Cherry Nova left off, instantly thrown into another action packed scene, I knew instantly that Death Bringer was going to have me sitting on the edge of my seat while reading this new thrilling novel. With twists, turns and revelations no one saw coming, this is one vampire book that will leave you reeling while wanting more.
Kelly has an incredible mind, the world in which she has managed to create and express into words is beyond amazing. I wasn’t able to put this book down once I picked it up, spent a whole night awake reading this because I just HAD to find out what happened, page after page. It’s an instant mind gripper.
If you love a little twist on vampire fiction, love a little mystery, love a little romance, action and open-mouthed cliff hangers then I wholly recommend you look up Cherry Nova and Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pollock and buy both as once you’ve read one, you’ll be dying to read the next.
It’s the 1st March today, not only is it St. David’s Day today but Olga Gibbs has only gone and done it again! Today I am so happy to announce that I am apart of today cover reveal for the last instalment in Olga Gibbs, Celestial Creatures series – Halo, run smoothly (as always) by the lovely Frasersfunhouse. Just like the three before Halo, this cover is a Beauty and I cannot wait to have the full collection gracing my shelves!
On, December 1st 2019 I was so excited to be part of Olga Gibbs Cover reveal for Harbinger, her third instalment in her Celestial Creatures Series. And today the excitement is, all the same, to be able to be part of the reveal team for Halo.
Halo Cover Reveal! –
Halo – Synopsis
Add, Halo, to your Goodreads shelf! Halo-Goodreads
Author Bio –
Amazon Best-selling Author Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.
She is currently writing the final books in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller.Please visit author website www.OlgaGibbs.com for more information on upcoming books.
I was sent a beautifully covered book by the lovely author Emily Priest to read and review for free. I would like to state before starting my book review, like all my reviews (books or otherwise) I give my full honest opinion and would never suggest something to my readers/viewer that I didn’t fully enjoy myself.
With that being said, free products or books will not change my opinion, good or bad.
About Emily Priest
Emily was born in Southampton in 1997 but moved to Portsmouth in 2016 to study creative and media writing at Portsmouth University.
There she refined her writing and developed as a professional -building and extensive portfolio of creativity, journalism, radio and marketing. Emily was also awarded a ‘young journalist’ award in 2017 from unity 101 and then went on to publish her work in 2018 in several publications
Emily Priest’s first compilation, Nicotine and Napalm, is a raw and unflinching exploration of love and loss. This collection of prose and poetry is one woman’s account of growing up in the modern world and her own discovery of sexuality, strength and weakness.
I’ll start off by saying that this wonderful creation of compiled poetry has received a 5/5 start rating from me.
When I had received Emily’s book I was instantly in love with the cover. If you have read my ‘Bookish Confessions’ by the amazing @BethTabler you’ll know that I have been guilty of “judging a book by it’s cover.” I can’t help but appreciate and be drawn to an attractive looking book, I’m only human after all!
Diving into Emily’s series of poems I was instantly captivated by the by the beautifully placed words and although tragic and full of heartache there was a beauty in these words that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
This is the kind of book I would want my sisters and friends to read, something I believe should be placed into high school libraries for young girls to get their hands on and read. There are so many messages and hidden meanings in this amazingly put together poetry book that young girls and women can relate to, messages that young girls need to hear, need to know while learning to grow and love.
Emily has shown that she is nothing but audacious when it comes to her writing, showing and expression in such depth emotion of the love gained and loss through her journey of sexuality and self discovery.
And, she has inspired me to get back into writing my own poetry!
If you love poetry, love, heartbreak, self-discovery, passion, raw emotions… then this is something for you, this is one book you do not want to miss out on reading and enjoying. I’m so honoured to have read and experienced Emily’s emotions through her poetry and I have to admit there were a few line, especially towards the end that had the taps in my eyes running on full.
You can purchase or download your copy of Nicotine and Napalm right here! And don’t for get to check out Emily’s social medias!
Overall this beautifully written poetry book is something I would recommend to everyone of my female friends, family, blogging fam and strangers!
I hope this has inspired you to check out her book and read it for yourself! If there was one book, one piece of poetry that I had to recommend to the world, it would be this poetry book without hesitation.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and as always I appreciate any comments or shares that I receive on all my posts and I wish you all a lovely week!
So here is my long over due review of heavenward. 5/5 stars from me!
Heavenward is book one of the ‘Celestial Creatures Series’ a captivating and heavenly written book by an enchanting woman. Heavenward is an urban/dark fantasy and just book one out of a quadrilogy ( a four book series). Heavenward has also been placed as #1 Teen & YA Girls and Women Issues Nonfiction eBooks, #1 Teen & YA Folklore and Mythology eBooks and #9 Teen & YA Horror eBooks.
Before picking up this book I was introduced to it by @FraserFunHouse who has been organising an amazing blog tour for Olga Gibbs. The ‘Hallow Book Tour’ which had instantly caught my eyes. I have never done a blog tour before, being in my first month of blogging and all, but I’ve always loved books and I want the things I love to reflect onto my blog, so I saw this as a great opportunity to read an impressive looking/sounding book as well as doing something new and exciting while meeting other amazing bloggers/writers/aspiring writers.
27th February, I officially became part of the Hallow Book Tour! Who kindly gave me a copy of the book Heavenward for free to get caught up with Hallow. Before starting this book I had been in a year long reading funk. I hadn’t been able to find a SINGLE book that I liked or was interested in for an entire year! It’s my fault really, I had spent a good year or two locked away in my house and during that time all I did was read one book after the other, escaping reality and diving into a new and exciting world that was completely different from the one that I was in.
When reading the blurb of this book you are only introduced to Ariel a young girl who has lived an incredibly dark past and is forever haunted by the memories and a deep disturbing nightmare that leaves her questioning her sanity…not for the first time. The blurb also gives a very vague description of three other character in the book, however only referring to them as “three new students” I was left imaging anything I liked about the other characters to this intriguing book.
Heavenward takes us on Ariel’s journey as her lonely yet somewhat mundane life gets flipped upside down all because of three new mysterious students who suddenly start to attend her high school and attache themselves to her. Things start to become more complicated than Ariel ever could have dreamt… or have a nightmare about. When right is no longer right, wrong is no longer wrong and she no longer knows who to trust, she learns that some of those things her crazy mother believed in were real after all, among other things…and she has been thrown smack bag in the middle of it all by no fault of her own. With a war at hand and two devilishly handsome angels sworn to protect her she knows her life isn’t about to get any easier, the question was, could she handle it?
Struggling to accept the information thrown at her and her new future a head, Ariel continues to struggle with her own deep dark secrets. Who was really on her side, who just saw her as nothing but a pawn in a big game? Ariel may just have been thrown into a world/war too big for her to handle.
Ariel sparks the side of us I feel most of us as young girls have experienced at one time or another. Weak, defenceless, scared, confused and unsure of the world around us and the people in. Yet through her journey we get to see Ariel’s character develop into a strong and more confident heroine and a fiery ball of pushed down emotions.
There are two other main character’s to this book, Sam and Rafe. Sam is a very forward and a very cocky angel who swears to protect Ariel at all costs. He’s portrayed as a ‘ladies man’ that enjoyed every second of attention that he got, both good and bad. I feel like the safety he so quickly offers and the comfort is what draws Ariel close to him.
Rafe is another character in the book and another angel that swears to protect Ariel for different reason than Sam. Although at the start he is described as, “quite fit for a nerd.” by her friend Annie, a passing character in the book. The attention isn’t draw much on Rafe for a while and the mystery behind his introduction and lack of ‘action’ drew me more to his character and really made me want to know more about him. However through the other half of the book he takes the readers full attention along with Ariel and I found him to be the exact opposite of Sam. Where, Sam, was almost carefree and far too cocky at times, Rafe was the complete opposite. Rafe is more standoffish, stern yet an incredibly caring character and my infatuation with him only grew stronger the further I read on.
Reading through this book left me feeling more emotions than I care to admit, I got way too caught up into it and I loved EVERY SINGLE second of it. I haven’t read a book that made me feel so much in just one sitting, but the author really knows how to draw her readers in!
Ending the book has left me wanting and NEEDING to read the next book, Hallow, just to find out more secrets, more about the war at hand, more about the relationships/ possible relationships that are being formed and how on Earth (and Heaven) Ariel is going to get through it all.
The book is written solely in Ariel’s POV making me feel as though I really connected with her and what she was going through, I felt every emotion that she felt while reading this book and I wish that the book didn’t have an end! I truly fell in love with all of the characters, I felt like I was experiencing what Ariel was experiencing and connecting with those who she connected with. I feel in love with the author’s writing style, the way she was able to gracefully and thurley describe every emotion and thought that ran through Ariel’s head and I fell in love with the Author herself and the world that she has created.
I have rated this book a 5/5 and have absolutely no intentions on changing my answer. Although there are some scene that are consider sensitive or gruesome to some, I believe even those who may find subjects sensitive or gruesome would enjoy reading this book and I couldn’t find a single thing I disliked about the book or the characters.
I have to admit… I’ve already read Hallow and have half of my review written out already and I can’t wait for you guys to read it on 4th May! This is one book you are not going to want to miss out on and right now you can download you’re copy of Heavenward RIGHT HERE for FREE!
I couldn’t help but share with you guys (because it’s seriously made my year) my signed copy of Heavenward.I was gifted with such a wonderful gift from the lovely author Olga Gibbs. This book had arrived on a rather emotional day and It almost made me cry when seeing & reading Olga’s words, it had really put a smile on my face that day and now it dose every time I look at it. I honestly have to say that I feel as though I have gained a friend in Olga and the other lovely women in her book tour as well as the wonderful woman hosting the amazing book tour @fraserfunhouse. And I’m so proud of my self and so happy that I step out of my comfort zone, put myself out there and joined in with this book tour and speak with amazing bloggers and authors. I’ve really been enjoying every second of it so far!
I hope this has made you all excited and ready to get your copy of Heavenward so you can be ready to read Hallow which comes out 1ST MAY! And if you would like to read more about the author behind the book as well as inspiration that caused Olga to create such a wonderfully written and engrossing book, then just CLICK HERE to read my author interview with Olga Gibbs herself.
Before releasing my book review on heavenward and my post on joining the Hallow book tour and my experience with it, I thought I’d introduce the author herself. The wonderful and amazing writer of the captivating dark fantasy series ‘The Celestial Creatures’ Olga Gibbs was kind enough to take time out of her busy scheduled to answer a few questions for us, isn’t that great?
So, I understand that You’ve published a book called Heavenward (The first book in the Celestial Creatures series) and will soon be publishing another book following Heavenward, was that planned from the beginning or did inspiration for a book series hit you after you had finished writing Heavenward?
It was originally planned as a series.
Although it was planned as a trilogy, but now it’s shaping up as four books
series. I even have titles ready for each of the books in the series:
“Heavenward”, “Hallow”, “Harbinger” and “Halo”.
“Heavenward” is a dark fantasy with elements of high fantasy and paranormal
fantasy. “Hallow” is a dark urban fantasy with some paranormal elements, and
the last two books will be high fantasy as I intend to take all the action into
my fantasy realms, into my created worlds.
Could you share with us one or more of you’re writing ritual/s?
I write every day. Every day! Every single
day that I don’t work, I pack my children off to school, have breakfast and sit
down – ready to write. No excuses. No reason was ever good enough for not doing
it. Even when I was ill (well, still sick). Every day. From 9am until at least
3pm – before children will get back from school and will need their mother – I
will sit and write. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes all that I will show for so
many hours of work is just 500 words, sometimes even less, but that doesn’t
matter. What matters is that every day I have driven my story forward.
And I don’t begin to write without a plan. I have a rough plan, then make a
more detailed one, might even expand it by the chapters (what will go where),
but I don’t begin on my story until the plan is done – I hate wasting my time.
You will see in the next two answers how valuable my time is!
Where did the inspiration behind Heavenward come from?
At first I had my character – Ariel. I had her with me for a few years now. She lived with me, inside me and one day when I was ready to write, I wondered what I could do with her – for her. Some parts of her is me. Some of her stories are my stories; some of it is from my childhood and my hurt (sorry, that’s as much as I am prepared to share now). Ariel lived an incredibly tough life and I wanted her to have something good for a change. I wanted to give her her power back and for a good measure to throw humanity in it, to put us at her mercy, to turn the table. I’ve written this book for all girls out there, like Ariel – like I was once – powerless at that moment, struggling, emotionally and mentally. With this book I wanted to tell them, that they’re an incredible universe of their own, an archangel, who can change the world if decided to do so. I wanted these girls to know that their past doesn’t have to define them – I make sure every day that it doesn’t define me. I find it incredibly sad that there are almost no books for girls like Ariel. There are books written for adults who suffered abuse, but nothing to help girls to push through, to let them know that there’s no shame, to make them feel that they’re not alone – and that’s the main issues: self-loathing, guilt, hate and utter isolation. This topic is not appropriate for YA market (or so I was told), so here we are. But I didn’t want to write a realistic book about Ariel’s abuse. I feel that someone who never lived through such things wouldn’t want to read about it, the way it would come out of me would be too disturbing. (You’ve read this book, right? And it’s me diluting it for the YA market), and girls, who lived through it, would never want to relive it, so that how this book became a fantasy. But I felt it was important to give Ariel a voice, to speak about the abuse that some girls are suffering on a daily basis. “Heavenward” is a story of empowerment and the promise of hope.
What do you like to do in your spare time if you aren’t reading or writing?
I have very little spare time. I am writing
every hour God sent. I read. I have family: husband and two teenage daughters,
who need my support and guidance every day (and help with homework for GCSE
year). I work part-time as a supply teacher in a secondary school and as a
facilitator for the fantastic charity called “Juno Project”, which is operates
in Sussex and is chaired by amazing woman, who I am proud to call my friend,
Ali Golds. I am very passionate about this charity. The “Juno Project” provides
support and empowers the girls, who are at risk from being excluded from
school, to achieve their goals in spite of their challenges. Unfortunately, my
illness precluded me from taking groups this academic year, but I am planning
to get back swinging towards end of this year.
What does your family think of your writing? Have any of them read your book?
My family is very supportive of my writing.
My husband always has encouraged me to write, but after I’ve read a few
excerpts from “Hallow” to him, he thinks that I should drop all my other work engagements
and spend my time only writing – honing my craft, so to speak. Both my girls
read my book. The eldest has read both of my books and helped me with the first
book a fair bit, mainly encouraging me, re-reading some parts back to me and
quizzing me, challenging me, demanding me to do better. The youngest started
reading “Heavenward” but she didn’t go past the scene of essence waking in Ariel.
She teared up a bit there and said that doesn’t want to read any further. Fair
enough. I always thought that if the book doesn’t bring you pleasure, you
should close it and move on. Well, for me that applies to every book, apart
from academic or research literature and documents.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Heavenward? And do you hear from your readers much? What kind of things do they say?
I guess I was surprised to find out that I have such a great imagination – to create these worlds, creatures, clothing, and disturbing to think how dark my imagination can go – how twisted it can be, and that me trying to hold myself back as I still had YA book parameters to work within. Very rarely a reader might write and say that they have enjoyed the book – I only had two to date – but these messages make me feel that I have done well and I have achieved that I set out to achieve. I love to see that some understood and saw (maybe read between the lines) what I was trying to do.
What would you say was your Kryptonite? What do you dislike writing about?
To write anything sweet and “plushy”. Cutesy things, romance, comedy, happily-ever-after stories – I don’t know how to do that. My impulse is to throw my characters into deep waters, with sharks circling them, and watch them swim. Or maybe they will drown each other?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the good and bad ones?
That’s a very tricky one, every author will
attest to that. I am tempted to read reviews, but for the last few months, I was
learning and keeping myself away from all review platforms. With my logical
mind, I know and understand that I can’t please everyone, nobody can – that’s
simply impossible, but my heart wants to see and read reviews. I want to know
if the years of my life and work have paid off, if baring myself to the world
was worth the gamble. But I am learning to stay away – just to protect myself.
It’s a simple self-preservation.
If you had to describe your main character in three words what would those three words be?
Difficult, broken, unapologetic.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing Heavenward?
The biggest challenge was to tone the story down for YA market (and I think I have miserably failed still). I wanted to write this book for girls of age 12-18 – this book is for them. For the girls, who may need this book so they don’t feel alone, for the girls who need to believe in themselves. This book is for them.
What was your highlight writing heavenward?
The readers who said that it’s the best book they have ever read (or even if it’s just the best book this year). The readers who have appreciated the story and understood what I was trying to do.
And lastly (I swear this is the last question I have) Do you have any piece of advice or favourite quote you could share with aspiring author’s such as myself?
Just two: “Grow a thicker skin if you want to publish your story” and “don’t wait for an inspiration to hit you – start working and the muse will come”.
Wow! Thank you, Olga, for sharing with us today. I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and I have to say this is one book that helped me out of a year reading funk, kept up at night and had my emotion rushing in a whirlwind while reading through it. Considering you’ve made it to #1 in Amazon I think it’d be safe to assume that your book has reached many women and young girls who are falling in love with your story and the world that you have built within your book.
If you would like to check out the book you can now download your copy FOR FREE. That’s right, in early celebration for the release of Hallow you can now get the #1 in amazon for Teen & Young Adult girls & Women Issues Nonfiction eBooks and #1 in Teen & Young Adult Folklore & Mythology eBooks! So don’t waste anytime and CLICK HERE to be directed to your free copy. And stay tuned for the release of the next book Hallow and my book review on it.
Today I thought I would share with everyone the real truth behind my love for reading. Now I know I have told the story a few times to people on how I became so obsessed with reading after all I used to write and read my own stories when I was child, however, I hardly ever picked up a book written by another person.
But on a particularity boring day, the sun was shining, the warm weather had kicked in and so too had the start of my extreme anxiety and the start of depression. I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house that day, my step dad had decided that football would be an amazing thing to watch that day and so I ventured upstairs into my mum room (I used to nap my mums room because I always felt safer there) but I wasn’t able to go to sleep. I wasn’t able to shut out the world around me and so picked up the first book my hand touched. Which just so happened to be ‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer.
I had found a new love for books that day, I was unable to place it down and ended up taking it to my room where I continued to read it through out the night with no sleep. Once that was finished I instantly picked up the next and the next and the next.
I was devastated when I finished reading all of the Twilight books. What was I going to read now? That was the first book that had ever sucked me in and made forget the world I was in and to feel as though I was in the world of someone else.
With that thought in mind I ventured back to my mums room to take a look at all the other books my mum had laying around. My mother is one of the biggest book lovers I have ever known, loved reading from an early age as a child her favourite books to read where the Grimm Tales by Jacob Grimm books. I’ve recently bought her an old book by Jacob Grimm for mothers day that I really hope she enjoys.
The next book I picked up was The Vampire Diaries Volume 1; Awakening & The struggle – book 1-2 by L. J. Smith which I had just gotten overly obsessed with. I never wanted to put the book down for even a second of my time! It was after reading these books my love for reading truly came into play and I bought book after book.
At this point in my life I had start high school and was entering probably my 5th month of being there, already started the process of distancing myself away from people, I stopped hanging out with my friends and when I did I never had anything to say or add to our conversations. It was as though I no longer cared for the social game, I didn’t care if the pretty girls like me and thought I was cool, I no longer cared if I had any of the boys attention, I no longer cared for my work or the grades that I had spent all my life working hard to get better at. I just didn’t care anymore. Life with and around humans just didn’t seem like something I could carry on doing any more. I didn’t feel human… I still don’t at times.
I tried, I tried to keep in the conversation with my friends, I tried to engage in petty talk and breaking up arguments between my girlfriends, I tried to show interest in my school crush and I really did try caring about the mark the teachers were handing back to me but everything had started to feel…. not pointless but….Insane.
It honestly seemed insane to me that we were forced to do things we didn’t want to just because we were born into this society, because the people in power have told us this is best and this is what must be done. I noticed more the older I got the less people cared for you and your well being, teachers only start caring about the marks and numbers the school is making, kids stop dreaming about becoming a singers and wrestlers and start thinking about child-care or building… I watched kids go from dreams to piratical thinking and it killed any and every magic I thought was left in the world.
I believed all magic was gone by this point. I was locking myself away, I didn’t want to interact with anyone friend, family or stranger. There were a few moments of self-harm (luckily it was all shallow and not at all something that would leave any scars), there were so many moments that I just slept away because I was so sick of being awake, of being alive and there were countless of nights/days where I thought about suicide, where I thought about all the pros to be going gone, to not being here anymore… but there was always a major con that kept me here.
My family. Who’d help look after them, who would be there for them? Who would drop everything at drop of a hat to go running to try and save the day? My mother and siblings me the absolute world to me, they’re the only people in the world that understand my crazy & weird and love me unconditionally for it anyway. I couldn’t put them through something like that, I could do that and leave them thinking there was something they could have done, I didn’t want them living with the guilt that there was something that could have been done.
But even that thought was barely keeping me on. It wasn’t until I opened up that first book by Stepheine Meyer that magic was restored back into my life, it was as if a switch had been touched and a light had come on. All the fairy-tales that become Grimm’s Tales for me became the magical, soft and vibrant fairy tales they once used to be to me.
Books have restored my love for life, its given me a reason to go on, it’s given me something to escape to when reality gets to hard and scary. The creative imagination and other worldly views created by amazing people is what’s inspired me to become a writer of my own, to become an aspiring author who will one day have her book out on shelves in shops and in photos on Instagram from those who have read/bought my creation.
If you don’t read, if you’re kids don’t read then I beg you give it try! Find them a book they will like or do what my mum taught me to do and teach your kids to write their own little stories they can read. Books saved my life in the same way music saves others. It’s restored my faith in magic and has given me a goal to focusing my energy on.
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy books, and that’s kind of the same thing…
This is one quote i have forever and always loved because it’s true, for me anyway. happiness can’t be bought but I find a little bit of happiness in every book i open, in ever page i turn and in ever new world I enter.