Posted in Book Review, Literary Fiction, Motivational

Re-Navigation Sue Parritt 4*#Review @rararesources #BookReview #BookBloggers #LiteraryFiction #Faith #Belief #Retreat #Sanctuary #MidLifeCrisis

#Re-Naviagation

A gloomy seascape is of little consequence to Julia, as a ferry transports her to an isolated Welsh island to undertake a Spiritual Development course.

Soon, Julia finds herself surrounded by new friends and questions. As relationships deepen, so does Julia’s feeling that something crucial is missing from her life.

As passion ignites and deep-buried secrets surface, Julia faces choices that will forever change the direction of her life. But at what cost?

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a difficult book for me to review.

I like the beginning, where Julia, obviously at a crossroads in her life decides to use long- service leave and savings, to attend a three-month spiritual retreat. I did smile that she thought to leave a sixteen and eighteen-year-old with just their father wouldn’t cause any problems, but that aside the beginning is good and full of promise for a literary adventure.

When she arrives, I wondered what I was letting myself in for. The prose was steeped in Christian church language, and I couldn’t see how this would be an enjoyable book for me, but I was in for a surprise, and I’m glad I persevered.

The characters are wonderful, believable, complex and flawed. They bring the story to life, as they find that a spiritual retreat is not what they imagined. This is especially true for Julia. Her reawakening is more physical, initially than spiritual, but the consequences of her actions, change her whole life.

The plot moves away from Christain doctrine and concentrates on Julia and her fellow retreaters quest for faith. The issues raised are complex and interesting, and the plot twists reveal more of the characters’ personalities and the true reasons they are there.

The last part of the story concentrates on Julia’s arrival at home, and what follows. It is engaging to read, and the final scenes are poignant.

So, if like me you enjoy to read something different, this is worthy of your time. Literary fiction with a message about faith, family and prejudice.

#SueParritt

Originally from England, Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written short stories, articles, poetry, a short TV drama script and six novels:

Sannah and the Pilgrim, first in a trilogy of a future dystopian Australia focusing on climate change and the harsh treatment of refugees from drowned Pacific islands. Odyssey Books, 2014. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2014.

Pia and the Skyman, Odyssey Books, 2016. Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2016.

The Sky-Lines Alliance, Odyssey Books, 2016.

Chrysalis, the story of a perceptive girl growing up in a Quaker family in swinging sixties’ Britain. Morning Star Press, 2017

Re-Navigation recounts a life turned upside down when forty-year-old Julia journeys from the sanctuary of middle-class Australian suburbia to undertake a retreat at a college located on an isolated Welsh island. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

Feed Thy Enemy, based on her father’s experiences, is an account of courage and compassion in the face of trauma as a British airman embarks on a plan that risks all to feed a starving, war-stricken family. Creativia Publishing, 2019.

Sue’s current project, A Question of Country, is a novel exploring the migrant experience through the protagonist’s lifelong search for meaningful identity.

Passionate about peace and social justice issues, Sue’s goal as a fiction writer is to continue writing novels that address topics such as climate change, the effects of war, the treatment of refugees, feminism and racism.  Sue intends to keep on writing for as long as possible, believing the extensive life experiences of older writers can be employed to engage readers of all ages.

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Posted in Book Review, Motivational, Non-Fiction

Motivation Matters Wendy H Jones 5* #Review @WendyHJones #NonFiction @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #motivational #workbook #writers #bookreview #bookbloggers #BlogTour #FridayMotivation

#MotivationMatters
Back Cover Blurb

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Written by a successful writer, ‘Motivation Matters’, is an inspirational motivation workbook, full of exercises that you can incorporate into your everyday life, to make it a little different, and stimulate your intrinsic motivation for writing. You have to want to write, it has to make you feel good, and this book gives you the tools to reawaken your inner motivation towards your writing.

Personally, I am drawn to this book because I struggle with my inner motivation to write novels. I write every day for my blog and read avidly, always prioritising this in my life. Despite having written three published books, I struggle to find regular time to complete the two stories, I have unfinished. So, starting this book I’m looking for techniques that will give me the motivation to write my books every day like I write my blogs.

The book is interactive and user-friendly, after a brief introductory chapter, it jumps into the exercises. The second chapter asks what motivates us? It demonstrates how, through change, and looking at everyday things differently, we can stimulate the motivation process within us.

The author provides you with an exercise a day, and one extra. I read this through like a book, absorbing some of the ideas, and trying some of them. Ideally, it should be used as a workbook, something to dip into regularly to top up your creativity. You may have favourite exercises here, but mix them up try something new. The ethos behind this process is that change stimulates creativity.

The exercises stimulate your creative brain, so once completed you should want to write, don’t put it off, or the exercise’s motivational properties are wasted. This is the hardest thing for me. I realise I already do a good proportion of the things mentioned here, but I don’t immediately write following them, I must.

The exercises are individual but grouped into chapters to allow you to work on particular areas, for example releasing your inner creativity, observing your world and different worlds. The key is honing your observational skills and changing your environment to give your creativity more scope. Downtime is important, but you need you to use what you learn in your writing.

This book isn’t something you read once and reap the benefits, it is designed to change you. So you need to regularly reinforce the messages it relays if they are beneficial for you. I like it, and I am going to see what it does for me, and my fictional writing.

The key messages I take away from my initial reading are, use what you observe, to make your writing realistic and relevant, change something every day to stimulate your creativity, set yourself goals, something to work towards, and find your balance of active and cerebral to make your writing part of your life, something you want to do.

I will follow up this review, to share how I get on.

Award-Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy, she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.  

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