#CoverReveal There’s a New Self-Help Book on the Horizon

Back in 2013, I embarked on a year-long quest where I completed fifty-two challenges over the course of the year – one challenge for every week. I blogged the entire event starting on January 1st, 2013 and have continued blogging ever since.

That project was only meant to be a personal mission. It was a way to show my holistic health clients that they could do anything they wanted if they believed enough in their dreams. Instead, the challenge changed my life in so many ways.

In 2014 I published my first book, How I Changed My Life in a Year based on my year of challenges. It went on to hit the number one spot on Amazon’s best seller list in self-help and memoir, and in 2016 it attracted the attention of Penguin Random House.

Since then so much has changed for me. I fell ill following a viral infection caused by an insect bite which in turn began to affect my body, energy levels, and mood. I had to close my holistic health business as there were days I woke up without the use of my arm and hand. It’s been a tough struggle at times, and along with the symptoms of my illness I also had to deal with depression and anxiety – something I’ve self-managed for over eighteen years.

However, I have always clung to positivity and self-help as a way to look after myself, physically and emotionally. Writing is another personal development tool that I find hugely cathartic. I adore penning my YA fiction as this acts as an escape from reality when I need it. My non-fiction books, however, are my way of sharing what I’ve learned, and the journey I took to get where I needed to be – the good and bad bits. Perhaps this is why How I Changed My Life in a Year was so successful, as people could relate to my story on a personal level.

After such a turbulent time, I’m now delighted to announce that my next non-fiction book, dubbed the sequel-that’s-not-a-sequel, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed: Top Motivation Tips for Life, Happiness, Changing Habits and Releasing Fears will be released on Friday 22nd September 2017 but is available for pre-order now.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to share the incredible cover, designed by my friend and fellow self-help author, Peter Jones from Soundhaven.

HIMMTS cover KINDLE

Look out for the blog tour in September and feel free to drop a message in the comments below and let me know what you think of the cover, blurb, topic, or anything else you feel drawn to share.

Blurb:

If you’ve ever felt like life is passing you by at a startling rate, or you just exist day to day rather than living life to the full, this book will share honest, straightforward, and realistic techniques to help motivate you to make powerful changes.

From setting goals and organising your life, to freeing yourself from fear, Shelley shares the unique story of how she planned, prepared, and executed the year of challenges and life-changing events brought about by her motivational, award-winning blog.

How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is full of practical tips, exercises, and real-life stories of success, including advice on how to trust yourself and celebrate achievements, as well as manage your time and balance your life effectively.

Shelley’s first book, How I Changed My Life in a Year, became a bestseller in self-help and memoir as it struck a nerve with the thousands of women looking to make a difference and be the best they could be.

Dubbed as the sequel-that’s-not-a-sequel, this book can be enjoyed before or after reading How I Changed My Life in a Year.

Pre-Order your copy today:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Magical Mystery Tour: Part I #Travel #America

A couple of weeks ago I shared a post announcing my imminent departure to America and the resulting radio silence this would entail (you can read that post HERE). I was excited about my trip as it’s been twenty-three years since I last visited the States. Even more exciting was the fact that this was a girls only/no kids/no cat kinda holiday.

I wanted to blog about my Magical Mystery Tour, and I wanted to share some of the incredible places I got to see on a trip that was brimming with inspiration, laughter, and positivity.

To avoid a 10,000-word blog post I’ve decided to write this up as a short series! Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa, and let me share a journey that lit up my soul, rekindled my smile, and filled my heart with joy.

USA 2017 433

The Itinerary.

Before we get going I must just say a HUGE thank you to my aunt and cousin, Vicky and Bex, who were my travelling companions for this trip. In my humble opinion they should venture into organising trips on a professional level as the itinerary they prepared for me was not only delightful but also allowed for impromptu stops at Krispy Kreme for a 10pm snack-attack.

I’ve always been crazy about anything American even going so far as to write a school project about American Football when I was just nine years old. I had no idea what I was going to be doing on this trip, or where I was going, hence the Magical Mystery Tour title. It was all a surprise – and a wonderful one it was too.

Magical Mystery Tour: Part I

Any worries about jet lag were swept aside when my cousin picked us up from the airport in Orlando. She herded us down escalators, into lifts (elevators), and down corridors until we found the car park. As I stood in the doorway of the multi-storey parking lot I surveyed the abundance of Jeep Cherokee and SUVs and wondered which one was ours. She giggled when she hit the key fob and a silver-grey Mustang convertible lit up in front of us. I frightened the poor man exiting his car as I squealed rather loudly! A MUSTANG! The car was incredible and really lovely to drive. My cousin took charge over the car hire as I utterly freaked out about the busy roads and couldn’t get my head around the traffic lights – what’s with turning right on a red? Nope, I was happy to sit in the passenger seat and soak up the ride.

My aunt and uncle have a lovely villa in Kissimmee which was our first stop. Hot tub at midnight? Don’t mind if I do!

Our first full day was packed with site-seeing and oodles of shopping (note to self: take an empty suitcase next time I go!).

We started in the beautiful area of Celebration which is a captivating small town with a range of little boutiques and restaurants. The tree-lined streets are so pretty and the diverse mix of smaller homes and grand mansions is wonderful. We drove around for a while and I found myself day dreaming about which house I would end up living in. We saw an armadillo munching on the grass at the side of the road but didn’t come across any alligators as we parked up by one of the many lakes.

The area isn’t a known tourist venue, even though it was originally founded by The Walt Disney Company, and because of this it retains its charm and character. You can feel the sense of community as you potter in the shops and sit by the lake eating an ice-cream. According to the Visit Florida site, Celebration has a few events running throughout the year that are worth a visit: Oktoberfest, weekly farmers market, and various art and wine occasions.

I loved this American town and would happily stop here again. We wandered into the Bohemian Hotel, which is perched right on the lake. There’s a decent sized pool and a beautiful restaurant. The walls in the public areas are decorated with some fabulous art work and the essential oil candles fill the air with an appealing scent.

Want to visit Celebration? Check out the Bohemian Hotel HERE.

After a mammoth photo shoot in the Mustang (tree-lined streets and lake views make a great setting!) we headed for Disney Springs which is also known as Downtown Disney. This is more of a tourist attraction as it’s packed with unique boutiques and huge branded merchandise stores. It’s home to the World of Disney which is the world’s largest Disney merchandise shop – I was in my element!

Set around the Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs is more than just a shopping centre. There’s a great variety of restaurants and attractions including a House of Blues Music Hall and La Nouba by Cirque de Soleil. The area has plenty of parking as well as buses to the Disney Resort hotels (these are available from June). (Twitter: @DisneySprings)

We finished the day off at the Premium Outlets where I snagged a pair of Ralph Lauren flip flops for $10, I was one happy shopper!

Next time, I’ll be spreading the magic with tales of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, and enjoying a meal with the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood.

I hope you’ve enjoyed part 1 of the Magical Mystery Tour.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Adios, Farewell, Au Revoir… #Blogging

Thanks to Suzie Speaks and her incredibly successful Facebook Group, Big Up Your Blog (opening up to new members soon), I have discovered a plethora of bloggers who write content on a wide variety of topics. There are blogs discussing mental health, fitness, emotions, vegan diets, family life, music, writing, and much more. There are also a number of travel bloggers in the group who leave me drooling into my empty suitcase every time I read their posts.

Some of my favourite travel bloggers include A Girl and Her Passport, A Brummie Home and Abroad, Global House Sitter, Wandering Darlings, and Deb’s World. They have travelled far and wide between them and offer up a tantalising taste of some incredible destinations. Continue reading “Adios, Farewell, Au Revoir… #Blogging”

The Soundtrack Of My Life #Music

The Soundtrack of my lifeMusic has always played a big part of my life. However, I’ve never really nailed down one particular genre, or artist that sums up the soundtrack of my life. I have a varied taste and will pretty much dance to anything!

When I spotted the ‘Soundtrack to My Life’ tag on Em Linthorpe’s blog I knew I wanted to give it a go. You can read Em’s music choices HERE.

Once I started to reminisce about my childhood and teenage years I came up with an eclectic mash of songs, but oh my goodness, it was so much fun to put it all together!

There is no format to this tag; you can list your favourite songs for every decade, follow a timeline of your life, or simply include your all-time favourites. I’ve decided to share the songs that made an impact on me at various times in my life.

My Earliest Music Memory

I was born in the early 70s, but it was the sounds of the sixties that I grew up listening to. My parents loved the Beatles, The Who, Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and even good old Cliff Richard! Even now, forty-odd years later our family dinners are always accompanied by Cat Stevens, Buddy Holly, or Manfred Mann.

The first song I remember vividly when I was a youngster was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, and it turned this little girl into a lifelong Beatles fan.

Naughty Boys in Nasty Schools

Singing along to a song about headmaster’s breaking all the rules, pulling hair and eating dirt was what the 80s was all about. Madness featured in my early school years, and I still get that foot-tapping joy when I hear this tune start.

The Tween Times

The term ‘tween’ is relatively new and covers the years where ten to twelve-year-olds think they know it all! Being a tween in the 80s was no different, but at least we had neon leg warmers, permed hair, and the Wham Rap!

Teenage Tantrums

I hated being a teenager. I was awkward and gangly (the downside of shooting up to 5ft 10inches in height at 14!), but I do remember the discos. A local nightclub by Birmingham airport opened its doors on a Thursday night for local school kids. It was fabulous! Kids poured to Blazers from all over Birmingham, and we danced, laughed, and hooked up with guys and gals from other schools.

I’m pretty sure the song choices would have included Dead or Alive (You Spin Me Round), Starship (Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now), INXS (Need You Tonight), Pet Shop Boys (It’s a Sin), and New Order (Blue Monday).

My love of all things purple began during my late teens, and I always remained a devoted Prince fan.

My Twenties Weren’t a Calm Oasis

My twenties were all about getting married and having my kids. Oasis dominated these years, and my favourite song will always be Wonderwall.

Although this next song came out in 1979, its title was totally perfect for the next period in my life. 2004 was a time of great turmoil, emotion, and fear as I left my abusive marriage and became a single mum to three small children, but it was also the start of a fabulous new life.

Since then I’ve embraced every genre of music from Guns and Roses to Adele, and I love it all.

Music really does feed the soul.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to do a ‘Soundtrack to My Life’ post on your own blog, then go ahead. Feel free to tag me in so I can take a look.

 

Inspirational ABBA logoExciting news! I’ve been nominated for the Most Inspirational Blogger Award 2017 at the Bloggers Bash.

The criteria is: Who consistently inspires you? Is there a blogger that’s thought provoking and inquisitive? Or perhaps they have become a muse to you with constant provision of inspirational content or imagery? Who’s the one blogger that’s touched your heart? This is the nomination for them.

I would be eternally grateful if you could throw a vote my way – link HERE.

#BookReview Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Review

Title: Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong

Author: Dr. Tim Cantopher

Category: Self-Help

My Rating: 4*

Depressive Illness

My Review:

I’ve blogged about my struggle with depression on a few occasions, and so it’s my ongoing mission to find books that help me make sense of this horrendous affliction.

The Curse of the Strong is a short book at only 114 pages. This appealed to me. If you suffer from depression, you will understand the struggle to sit and concentrate for long periods of time. Holding this book in my hand, I felt like I could finish it without too much trouble.

As well as the manageable size of this book I was also drawn in by the content.

  • What is depressive illness?
  • What causes it?
  • What to do when you get ill.
  • Recovery.
  • Staying Well.

These are the questions I ask myself daily.

I’ve been told to ‘snap out of it’ a couple of times and believe me, I wish I could. To discover in the first few pages that depressive illness is not a psychological or emotional state and not a mental illness, but a physical illness was a huge relief.

According to Dr. Cantopher, Clinical depression is every bit as physical a condition as pneumonia or a broken leg. He goes on to explain that this can be demonstrated in the chemical analysis of the cerebro-spinal fluid (this is the fluid found around the brain and spine) by showing a deficiency of two chemicals.

What I liked about this book was the way in which Dr. Cantopher feeds his reader the scientific information behind depression without losing his audience. I was grateful for the simplistic way he describes the limbic system for example.

He uses cases studies to put his points across, and the section on cognitive therapy was interesting to read as I didn’t find CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to be of any help for me when I had my sessions. It made me review a lot of the work I’d already done.

He lost me completely when talking about medication as he goes into great depth about the history of antidepressants and their chemical and trade names. I skimmed over these parts as I just couldn’t focus.

To finish, Dr. Cantopher reviews practical ways to help yourself, including relaxation exercises, time management, and tips for sleeping.

I liked his down to earth approach and the fact that he has worked with clients for many years. Although Dr. Cantopher hasn’t suffered from depression himself, he has seen the harsh realities, symptoms, and effects on his patients and uses his knowledge to offer a practical, manageable book that will offer some help.

People who get stress-induced depressive illness tend to run too hot. They spend too much of their lives putting in too much effort. When confronted by a sea of troubles, they try to deal with them all at once. By now this will be a familiar picture. When they get over-whelmed they just push harder. Because they are so over aroused, they have difficulty in getting to sleep and then, when they become ill, they start waking in the early hours of the morning as well. Then they deal with the mounting tiredness by trying to push their way through it. So the conditions are in place for the fuse to blow.

At the end of the book, there is a list of useful addresses and recommended further reading suggestions.

Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong is an easy read that offers good advice. It will be helpful for anyone suffering from stress-induced depression as well as family or friends who wish to understand this illness better so they can offer support.

BUY a copy from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Book Blurb:

This book has helped many thousands of those who have depression. This new edition, written by a leading consultant psychiatrist, explains that depression tests the strongest of us. Dr Cantopher guides the reader through the nature of depression, its history, symptoms, causes and treatments. He covers the latest information on medications, new guidelines as to the management of depression, and stresses that no one should be to blame for succumbing to depression.

 

I write. I read. I review. #FridayReads #NonFiction #YA

Reading is a favourite hobby of mine, not just as a way to escape the daily grind but it also helps evolve my skills as a writer. It was Stephen King who told us “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others. Read a lot and write a lot.”

Losing yourself in a good book is the perfect way to relax and unwind. It’s thought that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 68%.

Sharing the wonderful books I’ve read and reviewed is the highlight of my blogging life. When a book touches my heart or reduces me to tears, makes me laugh out loud, or shudder with fear, then I know I’ve found a masterpiece. Continue reading “I write. I read. I review. #FridayReads #NonFiction #YA”

Become a Better You by Byron Morrison #Interview #TuesdayBookBlog #WeightLoss

I’m delighted to have local author, Byron Morrison, on my blog today. I ‘met’ Byron through a local Facebook networking group and was instantly drawn to his positive energy. I was thrilled when he agreed to pop over for a quick chat about his lifestyle and weight loss coaching and writing non-fiction. Over to Byron…

 byron-morrison

The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from? I actually grew up in Johannesburg in South Africa, but I moved to the UK around 20 years ago and now live in Stratford upon Avon.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Weirdly I actually wanted to be a writer but in a completely different context. As a kid I loved fantasy books, but as I grew up I kind of lost my passion for writing stories and instead moved onto writing songs and music. Then a couple of years ago that passion was reignited, but again in a different form.

List three words to describe yourself. Continue reading “Become a Better You by Byron Morrison #Interview #TuesdayBookBlog #WeightLoss”