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Hello, my name is Trish and I’m Tudor obsessed.  So reading Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley was a forgone conclusion for me.  And within the pages, I discovered a fascinating blend of Tudor trickery and human insight into a character that I grew to like and admire.

Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc on April 5th 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads

By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Henry the Eighth and Catherine of Aragon's divorce as you've never heard it before - from the eyes of their daughter, Princess Mary.
More than anything Mary just wants her family to stay together; for her mother and her father - and for her - to all be in the same place at once. But when her father announces that his marriage to her mother was void and by turns that Mary doesn't really count as his child, she realises things will never be as she hoped.
Things only get worse when her father marries again. Separated from her mother and forced to work as a servant for her new sister, Mary must dig deep to find the strength to stand up against those who wish to bring her down. Despite what anyone says, she will always be a princess. She has the blood of a princess and she is ready to fight for what is rightfully hers.

First Line of Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley

“Press a little harder with the pen, Mary.”

My Thoughts on Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley

Before I read this book, my impressions of Mary were that of a vengeful queen who killed for religious reasons without qualm. After all she earned the infamous title The Bloody Queen Mary.  She is the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and became Queen after Lady Jane Grey was beheaded.

I knew the facts, but now I feel like I know the young woman before her assent to the throne.  This book vividly set the scene of the infamous Tudor dynasty, the luxurious palaces, the indulgent lifestyle, the hundreds of servants at the beck and call of the privileged few.  However after Henry’s separation from Catherine, Mary was banished from that lavish lifestyle.

I admired her strength as she refused to deny her birth right despite physical and emotional hardships.  And I raged at the lack of respect that Henry had for her, as she was only a daughter.  He had the cheek to consider himself childless, as daughters don’t count.  Of course I knew how little women counted, but being inside the head of Mary, while all this was demonstrated out to her again and again, made me sigh with indignation.

Factually, I can’t fault the book.  The Tudor period is never boring to read about.  There are far too many betrayals, beheadings, acts of treason, and colourful characters to be entertained by.  Queen Mary is one of those colourful characters, and this book shades her out nicely.  I’d love if there was a follow on book, or if this was the start of a series.  As it has just whet my appetite for more Tudor treachery!

Rating Report
Characters
Setting
Pace
Did I feel it?
Overall:
Who should read Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley

I’d highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, especially the Tudor period.  And even more so if you want to see what teenage/new adult Lady Mary was like.  Fans of the Philippa Gregory series should enjoy, I know I found it fitted in perfectly with my reading of those books.  And if you think history is boring, then I challenge you to read this book and see if your view stays the same.

The post Book Review: Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley appeared first on Between My Lines.

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I had a fabulous jaunt down the Tudor period in Feb, along with a bit of detour to Russia thanks to my February reads.  It has been a while since I read 12 books in a month, and even better is that most of these books are totally binge worthy.  At the moment, I can’t get enough of books about the Tudor period in England and the Romanov’s in Russia.  Still, I did throw in a few contemporary books to remind me that I live in the 21st century.

Feb 18 Wrap Up – All the Royal Scandals!

Favourite book : The House of Special Purpose – a must read if you love Russian History

Second favourite book : The Taming of the Queen – I’m obsessed with the Tudors!

Funniest book : Oh My God, what a complete Aisling

Scariest book :  Any of the Tudor ones, Henry VIII was a psychopath!

Favourite cover : The Secret Wife

Least favourite book : Entanglement – I liked the characters, but I wasn’t a fan of the writing style.  Too literary for me.

Saddest book : All the Tudor books, The House of Special Purpose and The Secret Wife – they are brimming with royal scandals, suspicion, plots, treason and all the deaths.

Lesson of the month : It’s no fun being Royal!

Most thought-provoking book : The Memory Chamber – it had me rooting through my brain for my favourite memories

Uniquest book : The Memory Chamber – creating a heaven using alternate reality, that was a first for me!

Most heart-warming book: Secrets We Keep –  a lovely story about second chances at life and romance

Twistiest book : The Daughter – Lucy Dawson always surprises me with a curveball

Talk to Trish:  How was your Feb reading?  What was your favourite book?  Have you read any of the ones I read?

The post Feb 18 Wrap Up – All the Royal Scandals! appeared first on Between My Lines.

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Part of me feels like I don’t even need to review this book.  The title alone – Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling : Just a Small-Town Girl Living in a Notions World – says it all.  But just in case it doesn’t scream ‘buy me I’m a fun read at you’, I’ll add a few more words in the hopes of persuading you.  For your sake, coz it’s a laugh out loud read and I loved it!

Oh My God What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght, Sarah Breen
Published by Gill Books Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Humor
Pages: 294
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads

Aisling is twenty-eight and she’s a complete ... Aisling. She lives at home in Ballygobbard (or Ballygobackwards, as some gas tickets call it) with her parents and commutes to her good job at PensionsPlus in Dublin.

Aisling goes out every Saturday night with her best friend Majella, who is a bit of a hames (she’s lost two phones already this year – Aisling has never lost a phone).

Aisling spends two nights a week at her boyfriend John’s. He’s from down home and was kiss number seventeen at her twenty-first.

But Aisling wants more. She wants the ring on her finger. She wants the hen with the willy straws. She wants out of her parents’ house, although she’d miss Mammy turning on the electric blanket like clockwork and Daddy taking her car 'out for a spin' and bringing it back full of petrol.

When a week in Tenerife with John doesn’t end with the expected engagement, Aisling calls a halt to things and soon she has surprised herself and everyone else by agreeing to move into a three-bed in Portobello with stylish Sadhbh from HR and her friend, the mysterious Elaine.

Newly single and relocated to the big city, life is about to change utterly for this wonderful, strong, surprising and funny girl, who just happens to be a complete Aisling.

First Line of Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen.

“Your one, Aisling is completely gas, isn’t she.”

My thoughts on OMGWACA (yes that’s what we are calling it from now on, coz my fingers are getting tired typing)

If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a country girl living in Ireland, and working in Dublin, then this book has you covered.  While reading it, I literally rocked from side to side laughing because it’s so cliched but also so true to life.  I saw myself within the pages, I saw friends, and I saw every Irish mammy hiding the good biscuits and worrying about having a full load of washing in the washing machine.

‘Are there biscuits hidden somewhere? I wouldn’t even know where to look – that’s your mother’s domain,’ he says, heading for the kitchen to first check the USA biscuit tin that we were convinced was a sewing kit. Turns out Mammy had been using it as a kind of double-bluff in her quest to keep anything ‘good’ away from us.

This book started off life as a Facebook Page, as a mockery of all the clichés of modern-day life.  And when I picked it up, I expected a fun, quick, light-hearted read.   And it’s got fun nailed down, but it’s also more emotional than I expected it to be.  It tackled heavy themes and did so in a very heart-warming way.

If you want to know what a complete Aisling is – it’s a girl who loves her parents, is polite to bus drivers even when they drive recklessly, is loyal to friends while also rolling her eyes at their less than loveable qualities, loves going out and also going out-out, is driven demented by the state of the communal kitchen in work and sticks up passive aggressive post-its, dreams of her boyfriend popping the question, knows that a garlic cheese chips is the only way to mend a heart, but also knows the weight watchers points in every thing.  She is a mass of contradictions, and fun to know.

Will it win any literary awards?  No.  Did it win my heart?  Oh yes!

Rating Report
Characters
Setting
Pace
Did I feel it?
Overall:
Who should read OGWACA?

Basically if you want an entertaining read, with an Irish Bridget Jones type character, then have at it!

The post Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling: Just a Small-Town Girl Living in a Notions World appeared first on Between My Lines.

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If you are alone this Valentine’s Day, don’t worry books have your hand. And if you’re all loved up, books are still there. All my life, through the ups and downs of relationships, books have been my constant.  So to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I want to share 6 romantic book quotes to swoon over from some of my favourite fictional couples.

6 Romantic book quotes to swoon over Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”

Sounds good to me!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

 “Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge, a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.”

No one but no one puts words together as deliciously as Lauren Oliver.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

You love me. Real or not real?”

I tell him, “Real.”

That moment when you’re hit in the gut with all the feels when your OTP admits their feels.

Anne of the Island by L M Montgomery

“I have a dream,” he said slowly. “I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends – and you!”

Oh Gilbert, no wonder you were my first book boyfriend. The simplicity of that dream wins my heart every time.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

“If we’re going to kiss, it has to be book-worthy.”

A pretty good rule of thumb!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary”

So true. Happy sigh!

Talk to Trish : Who is your favourite book couple?  Do any of the quotes I shared resonate with you?

The post 6 Romantic book quotes to swoon over appeared first on Between My Lines.

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Welcome to The Sunday Post, a weekly meme hosted by Kim the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  Grab a cuppa and let me bend your ear (eyes?) for a few minutes with all my bookish news.  This week I’m in a reading frenzy and loving all the books

Between My Sundays – what happened this week I’m in a reading frenzy

As a book blogger, that might not sound like a very startling statement.  But I have been feeling lacklustre about books for months and months.  Often choosing to Netflix binge rather than read.  Then just like a switch, my feels for books have turned back on.  Now I can’t read enough and I’m loving all the books I’m reading.  Although those two statements are probably related.  All I know is I’m happy to reclaim my inner bookworm, and all feels right with my world.

Valentine’s Day

For now, and forever Valentine’s Day will be bittersweet for me.  It’s the day our baby was due.  We are marking this bittersweet day with a break away, and honouring our little angel by spending the time together.  It feels like the last step in the grieving process to get through this day, although my heart will never be the same again.  Yes, I know it might seem odd that I talk about this here on the blog, but I find the silence does me no favours.  Unfortunately, it’s all too common, and I feel we should make discussion about it a more normal thing.  You never know who it might help.

My Reading Week

Finally I finished my audiobook three Sisters, three Queens and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The length of time it took me to read is only reflective of the monster length of these books on audio, and not because I was dragging my heels with it.

The Secret Wife was a brilliant read, and a must-read if you are intrigued by Russia and the Romanov Royal family as I am. Huge thumbs up for a gripping story that I wish was true. It’s intriguing to think one of the family might have escaped even though I know dna evidence proved otherwise.

Last night I started The Daughter by Lucy Dawson, and somehow I’m 75% in this morning.  That says it all!

Second Chance Sunday – What happened here: Second Chance Sunday – What happened in the blogosphere:

Avalinah’s Books shares What Tools Can Help Me Be An Organized Blogger? Writing And Scheduling Posts

Read All the Things reveals A Brief List Of Oddities Discovered Inside Used Books

One Reader’s Thoughts wonders Is Variety The Spice of Blogging Life?

Check out some of my favourite #bookblogger posts this week via Second Chance Sunday!
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Books I have received to review:

Huge book blogger fail here.  This week I got some fab books from publishers, but I left them under my desk in work and I can’t remember the titles of them!  I’ll save them for a future Sunday Post.

Purchased Books:

Already I own this in physical book form, but I wanted to continue to listen this series on audiobook.  So I bought it in that format too.

Library Haul:

My second time to borrow this book.  But this time I WILL read it.  The Secret Wife has made me anxious to read more books set in Russia and this fits the bill nicely

Calling that a wrap on this week.  Happy Reading to all.

Talk to Trish:  Firstly, how was your week?  Secondly, does anything in my Sunday Post catch your eye, if so let’s talk!  Finally, if you do a Sunday Post, make sure and leave  a link.

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The post The Sunday Post : Get your bookish news – I’m in a reading frenzy appeared first on Between My Lines.

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Relationships between sisters can swing intensely from a loving sister bond to driving you crazy, often within the same hour.  But the sisters in Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory bring that love/hate relationship to a whole new level.  Fraught with tension, and full of human frailties, I found it a gripping read.

Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8) by Philippa Gregory
Published by Touchstone on August 9th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 556
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Goodreads

As sisters they share an everlasting bond; As queens they can break each other’s hearts.

“There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.”

When Katherine of Aragón is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

My Thoughts on Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

This book centres around Henry VIII’s older sister, Margaret, and her relationships with her sister Mary Tudor, and her sister-in-law Catherine of Aragon.  First thing I have to point out is that disappointingly, even thought it’s titled three sisters, we only get Margaret’s point of view.  I would have liked more about the other two women, as each is interesting in their own right.  Especially Catherine who married King Henry’s older brother, and then Henry after her first husband died.  Big mistake, as she then became the first casualty in the notorious rhyme “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived”.  I’m hoping I’ll get more of her story in another book in the series.

Margaret confused me.  I never knew what I thought about her.  I scorned her sense of Tudor importance, hated her selfishness and arrogance, her desire to score points off her sisters.  But I loved how she made the best of the many dire circumstances she found herself in. My heart plummeted when she suffered the loss of her children, soared when she fell in love, cheered when she instigated rebellions.  She was a complicated women, but I was enthralled by her life.  And the Scottish setting added an atmosphere of wildness and unpredictability.

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory features three sisters whose sisterly bond seesaws between loving, confusing, supportive, deceptive and bat-shit crazy!
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Her relationship with her sisters was very ambitious.  They shared a bond that never severed.  But committed atrocious acts against each other.  Complicated.  That’s the best way to describe their relationship.  And at times bat shit crazy!

“When men have authority over women, women can be brought very low—and they will be brought very low. We spent our time admiring and envying each other and we should have been guiding and protecting each other”

I didn’t flat out love this book as much as I did The Last Tudor, but I’m as engaged as ever in the setting.  The plotting, the obsession for power, and the volatile relationships are everything.  So I won’t be abandoning this series anytime soon.

Rating Report
Characters
Setting
Pace
Did I feel it?
Overall:
Who should read Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory?

I’d recommend to fans of historical fiction, especially if you like the Tudor Era, books set in Scotland, and complicated women with twisted relationships.  Fans of previous books by this author should also enjoy.  Or if you enjoyed Outlander, then this is a must read for you.

The post Book Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory appeared first on Between My Lines.

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The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory has thrown me down a Tudor rabbit hole, but I’m not looking to escape anytime soon.  The treachery, the gore, along with all the political wheeling and dealing captivate me, and I can’t get enough.

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory
Genres: Historical, Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Goodreads

Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Using her position as cousin to the deceased king, her father and his conspirators put her on the throne ahead of the king’s half-sister Mary, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her crown and locked Jane in the Tower. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block. There Jane turned her father’s greedy, failed grab for power into her own brave and tragic martyrdom.

‘Learn you to die’ is the advice that Jane gives in a letter to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and find love. But her lineage makes her a threat to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and, when Mary dies, to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a potential royal heir before she does. So when Katherine’s secret marriage is revealed by her pregnancy, she too must go to the Tower.

‘Farewell, my sister,’ writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary finds it easy to keep secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth’s suspicious glare. After watching her sisters defy the queen, Mary is aware of her own perilous position as a possible heir to the throne. But she is determined to command her own destiny and be the last Tudor to risk her life in matching wits with her ruthless and unforgiving cousin Elizabeth.

My Thoughts on The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

The initial thought that hits me over the head is why, OH WHY, did I wait so long to read a Philippa Gregory book?  She has been on my book radar for years but somehow I just never dived into one.  When watching Reign on NetFlix lately, I decided it would be fun to visit the same period but via the English setting.  Now I’m addicted to all the Philippa Gregory books, and reading my way furiously through them.  And I’m loving Reign more than ever.

Now don’t get me wrong they are not comparable in terms of historical accuracy.  Reign is VERY loosely based on fact, and has a soap-opera feel to it.  But I love it.  And then seeing the same figures appear in the Philippa Gregory books is great fun.  Especially knowing that the books are a lot more authentic.

Now I’m not telling you that these are meticulously researched as a fact.  To me they feel that way, and I have been intrigued enough at times to check certain facts out, and they measured up.  That’s good enough for me.  But what I truly love about these books is that they tell women’s stories.  And in an exciting way that makes history come to life.

A tragic tale of three sisters

The Last Tudor features the three Gray sisters.  Jane who comes across as innocent and pious, Katherine who is silly but charming, and Mary who is small in stature but has a heart full of fight.  I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that all died tragically young (after all that’s history), but the loss of life is so striking when you get to know each one personally.

All died for no reason, no reason at all, but to prevent them from taking the throne.  And the story of just how and why each ended up such dire plights will stay with me for a long time.  I love when a book series excites me, and I think it has been a while since I’ve felt so satisfied and fired up as a reader.

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory has spiralled me into a reading fervour. And I can't read fast enough. Check out the full #bookreview if you love #historicalfiction
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I’m in the exact opposite of a reading slump, not sure what to call it.  Maybe a reading fervour?  All I know is I’m loving it.

Rating Report
Characters
Setting
Pace
Did I feel it?
Overall:
Who should read The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory?

Most people who love historical fiction have probably already tried this author out.  But it you are late to the party like I am, then I can’t recommend these books enough.  Fans of Outlander might also enjoy.

The post Book Review: The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory appeared first on Between My Lines.

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As we draw January to close, I am delighted to feature a giveaway for J.P Delaney’s bestselling thriller THE GIRL BEFORE.  I have added it to my to-read as I think it sounds twisty and full of suspense.  And when other reviewers are describing it as clever and original, well they are buzz words that draw me right in.  So read a bit more about it, and then try your luck at winning your own copy.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
Published by Hachette on January 1st 1970
Pages: 408
Source: Blog Tour
Goodreads

A psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception—and the hottest title at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair.
A damaged young woman gets the unique opportunity to rent a one-of-a-kind house. When she falls in love with the sexy, enigmatic architect who designed it, she has no idea she is following in the footsteps of the girl who came before: the house’s former tenant.
The eerie parallels in the two girls’ lives lay bare an enthralling story…and make this novel the must-read thriller of the season.

Reviews that are catching my eye!

‘Dazzling – a pitch-perfect novel of psychological suspense’ – Lee Child
‘I was instantly gripped . . . devoured it in two straight sittings’ – Peter James
‘Riveting! One of the most compelling page-turners I’ve read in years’ – Lisa Gardner

GIVEAWAY for a Paperback Copy of The Girl Before by JP Delaney
  • open to UK and Irish residents only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Quercus Books for this Giveaway.  And if you want to read more about The Girl Before by JP Delaney, check out the other blog tour stops.

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The post Giveaway! Win The Girl Before by JP Delaney appeared first on Between My Lines.

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The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod claims it will transform your life by 8am if you follow 6 habits.  I stumbled across this book on Because Reading when Berls posted her review of The Morning Miracle.  As I was determined to implement a morning routine for 2018, this sounded like a book a needed to read, and a promise I needed to investigate.  So I dived in.

The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM by Hal Elrod
on 7 January 2016
Genres: non fiction, self-help
Pages: 189
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

What's being widely regarded as "one of the most life changing books ever written" may be the simplest approach to achieving everything you've ever wanted, and faster than you ever thought possible 'Hal Elrod is a genius and his book The Miracle Morning has been magical in my life' Robert Kiyosaki, bestselling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad What if you could wake up tomorrow and any - or EVERY - area of your life was beginning to transform? What would you change? The Miracle Morning is already transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world by showing them how to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your life to the next level. It's been right here in front of us all along, but this book has finally brought it to life. Are you ready? The next chapter of YOUR life-the most extraordinary life you've ever imagined-is about to begin. It's time to WAKE UP to your full potential...' Every once in a while, you read a book that changes the way you look at life, but it is so rare to find a book that changes the way you live your life' Tim Sanders, New York Times bestselling author of The Likeability Factor 'To read The Miracle Morning is to give yourself the gift of waking up each day to your full potential. It's time to stop putting off creating the life you want and deserve to live. Read this book and find out how' Dr Ivan Misner, CEO and Founder of BNI(R)

Key Messages of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Set your alarm to off earlier.  Get up when it goes off.  No snoozing allowed.

Prepare the night before.  Have everything you need for your routine assembled and go to bed on time.

Follower the SAVERS routine every morning; which is –

  • Silence – this can be mediation, prayer, or whatever form of silence appeals to you
  • Affirmations – it’s highly encouraged to write your own personal ones
  • Visualisation – using your mind, or pinterest, or a vision board whatever floats your boat
  • Exercise – self-explanatory!
  • Read – non-fiction, self-improvement books
  • Scribe – write/journal in whatever format you prefer, about whatever you want
Did The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod change my life?

In a word, no.  However that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth reading, and I did pick up tweaks from it that have made my current morning routine more calming.  I had been getting up early to write Morning Pages (3 pages of unconscious thoughts put down on paper every day).  And Morning Pages fitted very nicely into Miracle Morning.  The way I write Morning Pages includes affirmations and visualisation, so that was 3 steps ticked off in 1 (scribe, affirmations and visualisation).

I started incorporating silence into my routine by taking 3/5 minutes to meditate before I started my Morning Pages.  This felt good as it quietened my mind down, and ensured I entered in to a nice relaxed zone before I started writing.

I didn’t want to include cardio exercise in my morning routine, as I have built a habit of exercising at lunch and in the evenings.  Which works perfectly for me, and I don’t want to fix what’s not broken.  So I decided I would add a short yoga sequence instead.  I had been trying to practise yoga at night 3 to 4 times a week, but it’s one of the first things I drop if I’m feeling too tired to face it.   Adding short practises to my morning feels great, and if I bail on an evening session, it doesn’t bother me now.

The last step involves reading.  Considering I’m a book blogger, it’s ironic that this is the one step I didn’t even attempt.  Mostly because I already take time to read non-fiction without having to actively plan for it.  Reading, listening to audiobooks, and podcasts is part of my life so I just crossed this step off my list.

My biggest challenge

One of the biggest changes I had to make was to cull my impulse to hit that snooze button.  When I hit snooze, I end up falling into a deep sleep and then when I wake up 10 minutes later, I’m twice as groggy.  Even knowing this, it’s still a hard habit to break.  Basically this is still a work in progress, and I’m about 75% successful with it now.

The verdict?

My verdict is I love the calming start to my day.  My whole routine takes just over an hour.  Instead of flying around the house like a hare, and tearing out the door to work feeling frantic, I now start my days with silent me-time.  The sound of my morning is the clock ticking, the birds outside chirping, and my pen scratching across the page.  That sense of peace is well worth the effort of getting up early.  However this isn’t all down to Miracle Morning.  I attribute most of gains to Morning Pages.

#TheMiracleMorning by Hal Elrod promises to transform your life by 8am by following 6 habits. Did it transform mine? Check my #bookreview to see.
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I think there is nothing new in The Miracle Morning.  It inspired me to consider tweaking my routine, and I’m very happy with my new additions.  But it’s no miracle.  Also I am a morning person.  If you are someone who has free time in the afternoon, or after the kids leave the house in the morning, then that’s your time.  There is nothing saying this all needs to be done by 8am.  Or even all together.  It’s whatever works for you and your life, and no one fit solution will work for everyone.

One thing that bugged me was the constant references back to his website.  Stop that, I’ve bought the book, and I want everything in the book.  Not to be jumping back to resources on a website.

Final Thoughts

Lots of inspiration and enthusiasm, but it’s no miracle.  Or groundbreaking.  That said, I have implemented some of the ideas and found it to be a motivating read.

Who should read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod?

If you are looking for ways to add more me-time to your life, then I’d say this is a good book to check out.  Or if you are on a quest of self-discovery, the messages won’t be new, but they will reinforce the benefits of meditation, etc and how such practises can enhance your life.

Talk to Trish : Have you read this book?  What were your thoughts on it.  What’s your morning routine, and are you happy with it?

The post Will The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod change your life? appeared first on Between My Lines.

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I could just give you one reason to read this book.  Basically because it’s a great read.  But I really want to you to read it, so I’m throwing 5 reasons to read That Girl by Kate Kerrigan at you.  Because more is more, right?

That Girl by Kate Kerrigan
Published by Head of Zeus on January 22nd 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads

Three young women leave the cloying atmosphere of Catholic Ireland for the freedom of swinging 60s London, all in search of a new beginning.
You can escape a place. But you can't escape yourself. Hanna flees the scene of a terrible crime in her native Sligo. If she can just vanish, re-invent herself under a new name, perhaps the police won't catch up with her. London seems the perfect place to disappear. Lara has always loved Matthew and imagined happy married life in Dublin. Then comes the bombshell – Matthew says he wants to join the priesthood. Humiliated and broken-hearted, Lara heads to the most godless place she can find, King's Road, Chelsea. Matthew's twin sister, Noreen, could not be more different from her brother. She does love fiance John, but she also craves sex, parties and fun. Swinging London has it all, but without John, Noreen is about to get way out of her depth. All three girls find themselves working for Bobby Chevron – one of London's most feared gangland bosses – and it's not long before their new lives start to unravel.

First Line of  That Girl by Kate Kerrigan

“It was her first visit to Dr Dorian Black’s surgery, and Hanna liked him straight away.”

5 reasons to read That Girl by Kate Kerrigan

 That swinging sixties setting.  You can’t go wrong with London, fashion, some sinister gangland criminals and the sixties.  All these elements combined to make the book feel unique, plus they made it buzz with energy.  London seemed so vibrant, and anything seemed possible.  I loved the setting and it was one of my favourite things about this read.

 Three very different characters.  Hanna, Lara and Noreen couldn’t be more different if they tried.  And they don’t always have a harmonious friendship, but I loved all three points of view.  Each of them had different experiences in London, different reasons for being there, and all had their own journeys to find themselves.  Above all, I appreciated how they all grew through adversity.

  Girl Power: Any book where the female characters are fierce, determined, chasing down goals has a head start in winning my heart.  Here you have all that in abundance.

  Running for your life!  Another huge theme in this book is that all 3 girls escaped their lives in Ireland. I love a good reinvention plot, and where better than a new city to reinvent your life.  Especially a city in a decade where everything is changing, and away from expectations of home, you can be whoever you want.  Of course as the reader you know,  you can never outrun your past, and it’s only a matter of time until the past travels to London.  Waiting for those fireworks made this an exciting, page-turner of a read.

  An emotional satisfying read.  You have characters to root for, hidden pasts, a dangerous undercurrent and it all added up to a very touching journey as I got very involved in their lives.  Above all else, I love when a book reaches me and makes me feel attached to the troubles and strifes of the characters.  And the complex emotions captured my imagination and make really think and reflect on what I would do in similar circumstances.

Rating Report
Characters
Setting
Pace
Did I feel it?
Overall:
Who Should Read That Girl by Kate Kerrigan?

I’d highly recommend this to you if you like the idea of a Swinging Sixties London setting, escaping from your life and reinventing yourself, and an underlying dangerous vibe.  If you enjoy authors such as Sheila O’Flanagan, Faith Hogan and Kate Hewitt, then you might also enjoy this one.

Thanks to Head of Zeus and NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book for review consideration.  As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.

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The post 5 reasons to read That Girl by Kate Kerrigan appeared first on Between My Lines.

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