Jo Huey is an inspirational speaker, coach and author. She is also an adult child of an alcoholic and shares her personal story of living with an alcoholic father for 16 years and how that has impacted her adult life.
Jo shares her story for two reasons, the first is to connect with those that have been affected so they know they aren’t alone and the second to educate and inform others about this very hidden problem. Within the book, Jo shares several techniques you’ll be able to learn and use in your life if you really want the change you seek.
If you are interested in an inspirational and motivational story, then you won’t be disappointed. Her book, Transition, can be purchased through Amazon*.
Here is my Q&A with Jo…
What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC, or pen and paper?
I started typing in Word straight away, no pen to paper for me. I don’t think my hand would cope with that! I’m a much faster typist, so that was never in question.
I did a bit of planning in terms of topics and chapters, but it wasn’t until after I gave it to my friend to review that she suggested a different format. I started making all sorts of notes on post-its and hanging them from string but it just looked overwhelming, so I reverted back to my writing on the PC.
I broke the chapters down and then added a ‘Time to Reflect’ section after many chapters, which allowed me to explain how I saw the previous chapters in the present. This allowed me to introduce learnings and reflections which would keep the reader engaged.
Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?
No I have never attended any writing conferences or any associated events. Recently, I’ve been given details about groups on Facebook which I’ve joined so I can learn and mix with other authors.
How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?
I went through a number of versions with my book and I had a draft printed, but it was never published because my ex boyfriends didn’t agree with the content. I had to redo it before I could self-publish.
What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?
I think if someone had suggested getting the right type of person to help with the editing and creation of the book that would have been helpful. I chose someone to edit it who used to be an editor, and was used to taking content out to make it succinct. That didn’t really suit the style of my book – what I needed was someone that knew about storytelling and how to engage with the audience.
Being told to think about the structure was helpful… but also not, at the same time. If you’re new to writing it’s all a mine field and so it’s hard to know what will and won’t work.
What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?
Once you’ve started writing a book it’s quite addictive and you can see something tangible coming together. For me, because the content was very personal, it allowed me to reflect on things that had happened, which was very interesting.
Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?
I wouldn’t say a particular book but more a person. I was at a networking event I ran and a lady who attended said to me ‘Jo, you have a story, you should tell it’. That got me thinking into lots of things and that’s basically how I started the book and my business.
Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?
There is no doubt in my mind that Reece Witherspoon would play me. She is someone I admire very much. Ever since watching her in ‘Legally Blonde’. I love her attitude and outlook on life and her integrity. She’s a great actress and so clever and I think she’d do a great job as she has done in other real life stories.
What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment in my life has to be the transformation I’ve been through. It was one of the hardest and most fantastic things I chose to do. It’s taken courage, strength and determination but it has been worth the investment. My life has changed dramatically and ultimately I’m a more fulfilled, happier and calmer person because of it.
The following is a guest post by Lisa Mary London as part of her Reality Rehab blog tour.
Gloria’s Guilty Addictions
Buxom soap legend Gloria Grayson is headline news again, thanks to her starring role on TV’s biggest reality show, ‘Reality Rehab’ where she’s fighting the flab in front of 10 million viewers.
And her memoirs of the same name are flying off the bookshelves – adding the title of Author to her impressive resume of achievements! In a world exclusive, Gloria reveals the personalities and pleasures she can’t live without.
When it comes to make-up more is more, and I’ve often been likened to Marilyn – Manson that is, not Monroe. I didn’t become Britain’s sexiest soap icon without sporting more slap than Ronald McDonald. Which reminds me, is it lunch time?
I’m currently starring on reality TV, but I’m not a fan of the genre. When I started out in showbiz, becoming famous required talent and hard graft. You had to go to stage school, tour the provinces, sleep with TV executives… These reality oiks walk into a house full of CCTV cameras and walk out megastars! The world’s gone mad.
As former star of Britain’s top soap ‘Jubilee Road’, I can’t get from one end of the Waitrose confectionary aisle to the other without a dozen selfie requests. So along with my mobile, keys and emergency macaroon, I’m never without my scarlet lipstick.
That said, I’m not keen on sneaky paparazzi shots taken when I’m putting out the bins, have accidentally parked in a disabled space, or set the dog on a Sun reporter.
My pedigree Maltipoo Baby-Girl is my constant companion and something of an addiction. It’s spooky how much we have in common: Both well-groomed, both glamorous and both capable of eating our own weight in banoffee pie.
Baby-Girl’s in ‘Reality Rehab’ with me, on a strict diet and exercise regime. Before rehab she’d never eaten dog food and weighed roughly the same as a snow leopard, or pop sensation Justin Bieber.
I spoil my little sausage-gobbler rotten, she has a bigger designer wardrobe than I do, and why not? Some people bitch my Baby-Girl’s a child substitute but they’ve got it all wrong – children are dog substitutes!
My name’s Gloria and I’m a chocoholic. I could claim I’m devoted to the posh stuff but where cocoa’s concerned, I’m a total tart. KitKat, Twix, Crunchie, Mars Bars, Snickers… and that’s before I’ve got out of bed!
An unkind lady journalist recently pointed out my curves are a little more generous these days. Rather ironic, as the tabloid reporter in question was a 16 stone cake monster with a backside that could fill the O2 Arena!
I knew I’s gained weight when my masseuse asked if she could do the other leg next week, and I couldn’t find a Slanket to fit me. As the saying goes – Life’s a bitch and then you diet!
As two times holder of the ‘Rear of the Year’ title, the public could be forgiven for thinking my love life’s as peachy as my rear end.
No way! I endured a hellish marriage to alcoholic love rat actor ‘Mad’ Tommy Mack, which was no picnic (Ooh, Picnic bars, I love those!) If you’ve ever opened a newspaper, you’ll know my ex-husband’s so bad, he should have a bounty on his head. But that’s another topic (Bounty… Topic… I’m ravenous and I’ve only just had lunch).
We split acrimoniously, over his affair with a certain dyed redhead actress who shall remain nameless. Oh alright then, Lianna Lowe. I came home one night and found an unfamiliar, budget brand G-string in our bed (Size 16, since you ask).
When your love life stinks, a spray of Chanel No 5 is like a breath of fresh air.
I never travel without my diary, as Oscar Wilde famously said, one should always have something sensational to read on the train. And my memoirs are so juicy, they inspired my fabulous new book, Reality Rehab.
It’s chock full of celebrity gossip and my glamorous pooch Baby-Girl is the cover star, in red bandana and matching designer shades. Another of my addictions is animal print, and I designed the fabulous pink leopard cover myself. What better handbag accessory could a girl treat herself to than a copy of Reality Rehab – and all for the price of coffee and a cupcake! Which reminds me, it’s time for my elevenses – Must dash! X
Victoria decided to write the book because when she was first considering home education she didn’t really know anyone who was doing it and was surrounded by people telling her how mainstream school was the best and only way. This caused her to doubt herself and led to indecision and heart ache. She looked online at books on the subject but she felt that they were all written by ‘experts’ which she found both intimidating and unhelpful. What she really wanted was the advice and experiences of a real life home educating parent. So she turned to reading blogs and found the real life reasoning she was after; in fact she found them so useful that it inspired her to start her own blog. When she begun receiving messages from other parents saying her page had helped them decide to home educate she thought a book might be helpful too. Plus she generally enjoys writing and blogging too!
Home Educating The Mad Lads is a down to earth, honest and raw story of this home educating family. Victoria writes from the heart and shares her personal story of her own school life, recounts her eldest’s preschool and nursery experiences and the many reasons that led them to decide on home education.
The book is a quick, easy read that features snippets from her blog, useful information about home ed and glimpses into their lives. It is very relatable, and I think is especially handy for people who would rather read print than screen; I know there are certain members of my family who I struggle to persuade to even read my own blog simply because they have such a strong preference for the printed word, so I think a blog style book is a great idea!
Home Educating The Mad Lads book can be purchased through Amazon (RRP £5.79). You can also find their blog over on facebook.
Victoria has kindly also offered the chance for one lucky reader to win a copy of the book. Enter via rafflecopter below. Competition closes 2nd August 2017. UK only. Other T&Cs apply.
*Disclosure: This book was sent to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links. This does not cost anything extra to anyone purchasing through these links.
Sometimes you have to leave the one you love … sometimes you’re the one who’s left behind. The new heart-warming and heart-breaking romantic comedy from the No.1 bestselling author of Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret?
On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.
But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.
Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.
There are two main characters in Love Them and Leave Them. Jessie and Jessica share equal star status!
When I first began writing the book, I knew I wanted it to be a parallel world story and I knew I was going to need two main characters, each a different version of the same person, but I wasn’t sure of anything else. I simply began writing about two women who’d had very different opportunities in life, and Jessie and Jessica appeared (although they had different names back then.) The more I chatted to them in my head, the more defined they became. Their main differences all hinged on the sudden loss of their dad at a young age (or not).
From that moment on, their personalities splintered, and, as Jessica told me all about her time at university and the support she had from her parents and boyfriend, so Jessie told me how hard it was to lose not only her dad, but her future, all in the blink of an eye.
What do you like most about them?
I like both my main characters, but I think my heart goes out to Jessie just a little more. She took a hard knock and is struggling to come back to herself. The way she feels about her dad’s death in chapter one is very similar to my feelings regarding the loss of my own dad, who died very suddenly over 12 years ago. All this time, and I still can’t listen to ‘Dance with my Father’ without getting tearful. I’ve experienced other losses since, but I think the shock of that particular death will always remain with me.
What do like least about them?
It’s possible the readers will feel that Jessica has it all too easy, but I suspect that will change as they progress through the book.
Did everyone like them to start with or did you have to change them in any way?
When my editor read my first draft, he was concerned that both my main characters swore too much. He asked me, ‘Are you angry?’ Reading through it I had to agree – both women were quite sweary and selfish. I concluded that I was allowing some external stresses in my own life to influence the way my characters behaved and spoke.
Once I was aware of it, I was able to rectify it. The good thing is, with the click of a button, you can eradicate many f*cks. I softened the characters and made them both much more caring. But I learnt an important lesson – try not to let my own mood reflect in my characters’ dialogue.
Are there any similarities with anyone real?
Both Jessie and Jessica physically resemble a real-life friend of mine. In my head, I see Jessica as my friend when she’s dressed up and Jessie as the same friend on her more casual days. Which friend? I couldn’t possibly say!
What are your plans for them?
I don’t have any further plans for Jessie or Jessica. I feel their stories are told. I know where I imagine them to be in the future, but I suspect not all my readers will agree. But, then, isn’t that the joy of writing – once a person reads your book, they have their own take on your characters and the worlds you’ve placed them in, and that’s exciting to know.
Win an e-book of Love Them and Leave Them by entering the rafflecopter below (two prizes to be won). T&Cs apply.
Sue Shepherd writes contemporary romance and enjoys creating novels with heart, laughs and naughtiness. She doesn’t pull any punches when choosing her subjects, but manages to handle her characters’ challenging situations with sensitivity and humour. Her debut novel, Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret? was published by Corazon Books in March 2015. It reached the top 10 UK Kindle chart, and also topped the romantic comedy, contemporary romance and humour charts. It became available in paperback on Amazon in November 2015. Sue’s second novel, Love Them and Leave Them, was published in September 2016.
Sue lives on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the sea-side and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies.
Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour follows the story of Rose who is stuck in an abusive and coercive relationship. After years of emotional abuse, the self doubt about her future and the erosion of her confidence, Rose takes a stand.
Finding herself alone, penniless and frightened Rose wonders how she will ever escape from the situation to provide a better life for herself and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1000 reasons why she perceives she can’t – will she have the courage to do it? And will she find the support to regain control and confidence?
I actually had the plot line set out together with the names of the characters for quite some time, but hadn’t developed the character profiles. Once I started to formulate the plot, it became clear what the character of people was going to be like and how they were going to fit into the plot. I then started to build the profiles. It was quite straight forward to build them, as I had a personal reference point regarding what a victim, abuser and hero was like in real life, so the personalities seemed to flow rather well. However, I was determined to get these characteristics accurate, so spent quite a lot of time working and tweeking various aspects.
Focusing on the victim (in the story this is Rose) I wanted to compile my own and other women’s stories together to form her personality and for me, her image then followed suit. I created her first as she is the main character and she needed to have features to remember like her red hair and green eyes. I wanted her to stand out to her abuser in some way, as well as creating a character that people could relate to.
What do you like most about them?
I love Rose’s natural beauty and her determination to make any situation work. She is so motivated even if she doesn’t see it for herself; she simply needed someone to give her that support, encouragement and a helping hand for her to be able to use all her skills to free herself from a destructive situation. Rose is full of potential that she is yet to realise.
What do like least about them?
Rose’s lack of confidence and that she listened to the wrong people for advice, and believes that their views are the correct and accurate ones. Her lack of confidence at this point in her life contributes to the mistakes she makes. Rose can be naive and depend on others to make decisions for her, which is linked to her lack of confidence and her low self esteem.
What are your plans for them?
My plans are for Rose to flourish and for her self confidence to grow so that she is able and confident in making her own decisions in order to take responsibility, ownership and control of her own life – a complex and slow process given all that she has gone through. I can’t wait to continue to work with Rose as in Isolation Junction she was almost robotic in her reactions to life’s events and I am excited with the anticipation that she will grow, learn and develop as a person.
Did everyone like them to start with or did you have to change them in any way?
As I was writing, a couple of the characters were changed slightly and I amended their character profiles accordingly. It was either an addition or a slight change because I didn’t believe the character would react a certain way. It is hard sometimes to work in restrictions but now I have the profiles set I can refer to them and still add aspects if I need to.
Rose is one of those characters that people have said they want to see more of and hear more of her ‘pain’ but it is hard to express the ‘pain’ she is going through when she hasn’t realised the full extent of what has happened and is running on adrenaline so to speak. I have taken this into consideration though and I believe it will work well, and readers will be pleased to hear that her character is yet to flourish and in the future they will see more of her recovery and development.
Enter here to win an e-copy of the book. T&Cs apply.
About the Author
Jennifer Gilmour is a married mum of three, and a business owner. She has spent the past eighteen months writing her first novel to raise awareness of the unseen side of domestic abuse/coercive control.
Jennifer was born and educated in Hull before moving south to attend university. Now happily living in her home city with her husband, three children and a hamster she runs an Internet business (Blissful Gifts and Services) and is a top performing Consultant for Jamberry.
I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to interview inspirational author Penelope Magoulianiti. Her book ‘Women, Motherhood & Independence: A Guide to Financial Freedom, Beauty & Confidence After Birth’ aims to help women achieve their goals and be successful, with clear strategies and practical advice on how to do so. Here is our interview…
Your book is inspirational to other women, but who is most inspirational to you?
My mentor and the person who saved my life literally is Anthony Robbins. Many years ago, I attended my first seminar in personal development; the UPW (Unleash Power Within) with Anthony Robbins. It was the best decision I ever made and it changed my life.
I gather you faced many challenges during your childhood. What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest fear was money, lacking money to be more precise. I also had self-esteem issues due to many financial problems faced by my family while I was growing up. To wake up and fall asleep with the same thought day in – day out was exhausting. The universal law is that you bring to your life what you put energy in and because my focus was so intense and my fear was so big, I found myself at age 29 being completely broke.
It took lots of courage and determination to change my life, but I did and I’ve never looked back since then.
Your bio states you want to leave your children a legacy to be proud of. What are you most proud of to date?
The fact that I don’t live any more within my comfort zone. The fact that one by one I am managing to achieving my goals and living my dream life. I’ve always wanted to write a book and influence as many women as I can to step up and follow their dreams. I did it. Taking into consideration the comments I am receiving from my readers, I believe that I am influencing their lives. The fact that it has also been translated into three languages tells me that what I am sharing in the book is of interest.
Another thing that I am proud of is my decision to escape from the corporate world and to start a completely different career. Starting a new career at the age of 40 was petrifying but I’ve been always honest with my kids. I talk to them and let them know about my successes but at the same time I’ve been always honest about my failures and setbacks too. I try to teach them that we don’t give up our dreams with the first setback or failure and to succeed we need to keep pushing and trying.
I love the quotes you share in your book. What is your favourite quote and why?
‘There is no passion to be found to play small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living’ – Nelson Mandela.
I love this quote because many of us, are settling for something less out of fear of not being good enough or capable enough to achieve everything that our heart desires. However, when we settle we don’t live we just exist. Life passes by without meaning and we become like robots. When however, we pursue something that excites us, we are growing. We are looking forward to go to work every single day and we are not perceiving it at all as work. We are alive and happy and that makes all the difference in the world.
If you could only share three pieces of advice from your book what would you tell people?
1.To stop reacting to what life brings and start planning their lives. It’s time to stop trying to fulfil other people’s agendas and start working towards their own.
2.Accept and love ourselves. Understand that each one of us has a unique talent and all of us have something great to give to this world.
3.Take control of your life and stop relying on other people to do it for you. You are the only one responsible for your successes and failures. The minute you take full responsibility for everything that is happening to you; that is when your life will start changing.
Obviously your book is aimed at women specifically, but do you feel there is any value in men reading your book too?
I have many men who read the book and they found it very useful, so yes, even though the title is aimed to women, the principles and techniques I am describing in the book can benefit both sexes.
What advice would you give to mothers who are trying to juggle everything?
We need to understand that even though we are capable we are not superwomen. We need to concentrate on the things that are the most important, the ones that are going to make the biggest difference in our lives and delegate or stop doing the rest. It’s not easy to do it but by setting priorities we can achieve more.
I have created a list is called: “The Ultimate Jugglers Task List – For Mums who have so much to do”
This is a list where you write down the five most important things that you must do on a daily basis to move forward with your projects, to get closer to achieve a goal whatever that goal may be. I have been using this for many years now and it has changed my life completely.
If any of your readers would like to have access to it, they can email at firstname.lastname@example.org using the title “Jugglers List” and we will send it to them free of charge.
What other projects do you have in the pipeline? Any news to share with us?!
I am in the process of launching my online product called “21-Day Transformation Program for a Balanced Life”. This program consists of 9 video- lessons where you receive one by one every three days and it gives you tools to help you do what you need to do in order to create more balance in your life.
Also I’ve started my research for my second book which hopefully will be ready by the end of this year.
About The Author
Penelope Magoulianiti used to work as a private banker for many years. From a very young age, she had to face many challenges, both financial and social. The challenges she faced through those difficult times make her more determined to succeed in life.
When she became a mom, she felt the urgency to pass to her own children a legacy that they would be proud of. She wanted to become a good example for her son and daughter; a successful businesswoman, and entrepreneur dedicating her life to helping her fellow women in becoming successful in their niche.
With the economy getting worse every year and the corporate world looking not so promising, she finally took the decision to quit her job and move forward in creating her own business. Her dream to help other women in gaining their financial independence while being good mothers and living their lives more fully became her ultimate goal.
With her experience throughout her working life in the corporate world, the invaluable knowledge gained through her mentors, together with her home life as a wife and mother of two, Penelope delivers her message in a simple and to-the-point manner that will help women to regain their drive to succeed and the determination to conquer their dreams and ambitions.
Penelope’s book Women, Motherhood & Independence: A Guide to Financial Freedom, Beauty & Confidence After Birth is available in Kindle and paperback version on Amazon
This book is intended to help all of Women who wish to continue living their dreams, achieving their goals and becoming successful without having to compromise their dreams and desires because of Motherhood.
In this book you will find strategies and ideas that you can apply to your life daily in order to stay on top of things, become more creative, more energetic, and healthier irrespective of how much sleep you have managed the night before.
It will encourage and guide you to step out of your comfort zone and claim what is rightfully yours… your success, your financial freedom, your confidence, and beauty.
It is my belief that we can achieve anything we want, in life if we are clear about what it is that we want, make a commitment to become successful, and then take the necessary steps and actions required to achieve that success.
Whether you are already in a career, you have your business, you would like to start a new business, or you just want to be more present and engage more in family life and activities, Women, Motherhood and Independence will help you utilize your talents, become more focused and achieve more in less time with less stress.
To be in with a chance of winning a copy of Women, Motherhood and Independence enter via the rafflecopter app below.