If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Guest Post: Anna Everett on Coping With Grief / @cw1985 @annaeauthor

Grief. We all react differently to this feeling. Some cry endlessly. Some don't cry at all. Some indulge. Others starve. Some are listless. Others are motivated into action. However we each react to grief, we do so on our terms and in our own way.

Author and motivational speaker Anna Everett is here to talk about how she coped with grief after losing her dad and what it brought about.

One of the motivating factors for me finally getting some books into print, was strangely enough the death of my father.

It will always feel like a shame to me that he didn't ever get to see my work, although I always struggled to meet his expectations so perhaps it’s a good thing my toughest critic doesn't get a say!!

Losing someone you love is a hard life lesson, and I got lucky. I have very little memory of anyone passing when I was a child. Certainly no-one in my immediate family passed away when I was a child, and it was long after my children were born that my grandparents passed away. Due to geographical locations, whilst I loved them, the hit was not as hard.

I am also a firm believer in rejoicing life when the person passing has made such remarkable age as 96 (as my nanna did).

However, for lots of people the death of a parent is a devastating and surreal experience. Due to the nature of his illness he faded out over a period of time, shrinking from a giant of a man, down to a shrivelled elderly person that I could have lifted of the bed with ease. Again, because he was 79, there was a part of me that thought it was a fair deal, but being my dad, a larger part of me was certainly not happy.

Bringing spirits into my book was quite a cathartic process. It gave me the opportunity to explore the concept of those who have passed still being able to see their loved one, even if, as by the law of spirits, we cannot see them. I do often wonder what his thinks of my books, although they are most definitely NOT his genre of choice!

It was lovely to have my lead character supported by a spirit guide, making her feel valuable and no longer lonely. There have been many times in the last 4 years when I have wanted to ask him something, or thought ‘Dad would have known what to do’.

As a child I grew up with a story my dad told from his younger days. Working on the road and commuting a lot, he often needed to stay in ‘boarding houses’, we now call them bed and breakfast! He used to tell me with absolute conviction, that one night he awoke to a feeling of ‘someone’ in his room. Peering bravely out from the covers, he recalled with utmost clarity a large matronly vision, dressed in servants black and white typical of the Victorian era, calmly walking around his bed, tucking the covers, creating neat hospital corners, and as she did so he felt the sheets tighten around him.

Whilst he felt he should be fearful, instead he found himself strangely calm, he knew she meant him no harm, and was just taking care of people as she presumably had done in her working life. He finishes with the recollection that she simply faded away as quickly as she had appeared.

I LOVE this story, and whilst I too wanted to be a little scared there is no doubt the lady meant only good towards my then much younger dad. I often wonder if he had a guide at the end to help him cross. It brings me much peace to think he might have.

Title: The Spirit of Christmas Past
Series: The Spirit Of..., Book 2
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: November 11, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance

When the holiday of a lifetime turns to tragedy, Caragh fears her life will never be the same again. Her beloved James is missing, she has to learn to live all over again. With the help of her nurse Elspeth, and her new friend Callum, slowly she begins to rebuild. However, not everyone is who they seem, and she fears she will be alone forever....until Christmas brings with it some unexpected magic.

Other books in this series


In just a few days they would be celebrating their first wedding anniversary, and then their first Christmas Day as husband and wife, under this spectacular backdrop.
The New York skyline flashed passed them, as they both stared intently out the windows trying to take in every small glimpse of the city, before in a flash it was gone and replaced by something new. It was much colder than home, snow ploughs became a common sight and the winter wonderland scene was really beginning to take form, even if some of the snow was greyed with city smog and bustle just as it did back home.
Tucking her brown faux fur coat tightly round her, as the chill of the city dug deep, Caragh looked at James, and with a smile said “I love you Mr Coles, thank you for making my dreams come true”
Reaching over the rather worn black leather seat of the slightly battered workhorse New York taxi, James placed his black gloved hand over her white suede gloved hand and replied “I love you too Mrs Coles, and thank you”
Moments later the cab drew to a halt, and the door was opened by the hotel porter.
“Madam, Sir” said the uniformed man. “Welcome to the Renaissance, if you would like to follow me, your luggage will be brought in directly”
He offered his hand to Caragh, and she took it to steady herself as she stepped out of the cab, gasping at the grand hotel frontage that awaited her.
The shining staircase and massive glass frontage were quite spectacular, she felt like she was arriving at some sort of movie premiere, and half expected to look down and see red carpet, and be distracted by the flashbulbs of the paparazzi.
Even though she had seen the pictures nothing could have prepared her for how grand and radiant it was in real life. She heard James gasp too as he joined her from the cab having hung back to pay the driver.
“Wow!” was all he could manage.
Feeling distinctly VIP and just a little bit giddy at the situation and surroundings they were ushered through the hotel check in and passed from the care of the porter, to the reception staff, and finally led by the bellboy to their suite. It was clearly a smooth well rehearsed process that these polished staff carried out without hitch. They had splashed out on getting the best hotel and suite they could possibly stretch to, and certainly looked as though they were not going to be disappointed.
“Broadway View” announced the corporately dressed bellboy, using the card key lock,and flinging wide the door for them to enter.
“Will that be all?” he queried as their luggage was brought in by another clone style porter, and he placed the card keys on a nearby table.
“Yes, that’s lovely, thank you” said James taking a ten dollar bill from his pocket and passing it discreetly to the young lad as he shook his hand.
(He had seen it done in the movies so many times and longed to have a go... sadly he didn’t feel he pulled off the cool as well as they do, but he had a couple of weeks to practice)
“Sir, Madam” he said with a slight bow, and he retreated from the room closing the door behind him.
They were both silent for the few minutes as they drank in the dazzling setting that was to be their home for the next two weeks.
A grand dark wood kingsize bed dominated one side of the suite, a lounge and desk area taking up space the other side, not that space was an issue the suite could certainly not be described as small. Doors lead off the main room to as yet unknown destinations waiting to be explored.
The setting was wonderfully opulent to say the least, chic and modern, there seemed to have been no cost spared in the aesthetic effect it presented.
“It is beautiful” said Caragh, standing on one spot and turning a full 360 degrees to take it all in.
They took off their coats, gloves and hats, and like a pair of children in a candy store they wandered around, touching furniture, opening doors, stroking the bedding and curtains, gasping in excitement at each new discovery. It was a fantastic setting in which to begin their Christmas adventure.
Caragh disappeared into the bathroom and shrieked excellently, “it’s gorgeous” she exclaimed as James followed her in to see for himself.
A massive corner jacuzzi bath, a television mounted on the wall about. Glass holders to the side, his and hers sinks, and the toilet presented discretely behind a wall and screen.
“It is very expensive” he said with a laugh as he headed back to the main room.
Caragh reappeared and flopped starfish like across the huge bed. “Oh I do like it” she said stretching luxuriously, her long blonde hair spilling around her, a stark contrast on the black bedding the hotel provided
James walked over to the bottle of complimentary champagne resting in a tall silver ice bucket, and lifted it out. Collecting the two glasses also on offer, he made his way to the yellow and cream striped couch sat in the massive floor to ceiling window, positioned perfectly to take in the city lights below.
He motioned to Caragh to join him, and with a pop of the cork opened the fizz. Sitting side by side, glasses in hand they were content for the next few minutes just gazing out on the bustle of the city below.
“I can see Hell’s Kitchen, oh my goodness that is surreal, Oh James, I can’t really believe it’s true” said Caragh “but here we are!”

Anna is an establish author with 4 books published across 2 genres. From a background in holistic therapy and freelance writing it is little wonder Anna has an eclectic range of interests and talents to appeal to her readers. First published as a child, Anna moved from poetry writing to self help. Her commitment to her clients led her to create two books on meditation. However as an avid reading in all genres, Anna was drawn to create a series of paranormal romance novellas that offer the reader characters to identify with and root for as they battle adversity in a quest for happiness. Always looking to learn, Anna has over 20 holistic therapy qualifications to her name and when not writing is often found with her head in a text book. Aside from writing and therapy her biggest passion are her six tiny dogs, who have inspired a new series of detective novellas due for release in 2016.

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