The 5 Most Popular Posts of 2015

Cancer & Me, Delicious Healthy Recipes, To Love To Read, Writing & Blogging

I actually cannot believe today is New Years Eve and the end of 2015!  As NYE can make us a little reflective, I thought that I would give you all the links for the 5 most popular posts on this blog in 2015!

  1. The Stupid Things People Say When You Have Cancer! – This is actually my most popular post of all time, I think because it is just as useful for people who don’t have cancer as those who do.
  2. Top 5 Things to do When Someone Has Cancer – I imagine this is for a similar reason, it’s useful for everyone.
  3. Holy Island by LJ Ross – Book Review – This book was such a huge success for LJ Ross and people seem to like reading about Holy Island, just as much as they like reading Holy Island.  Final instalment is out this year, can’t wait!
  4. Kiddie Friendly Green Juice – AKA Dinosaur Juice – This post was actually from 2014 but remains one of my most read this year!  Clearly I need to be doing more posts on the healthy juices I get my kids to drink.
  5. The Problem with NOT Losing Your Hair When You Have Cancer – I remember being so nervous when I wrote this post.  It is a side of cancer that you don’t hear very much about and I was worried about people’s reaction to the post.  But I needn’t have been, you guys couldn’t have been kinder and I got some very sweet messages from people who had exactly the same thing.  I’m so pleased this post made it onto the list.

So there they are, my top 5!  Are they yours?  Was there another post you preferred?  Let me know in the comments.  And if there is anything you would like me to write more about, please feel free to let me know about that in the comments too.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!! Nx

Happy-New-Year-2016

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Book Review – Sycamore Gap by L.J. Ross

To Love To Read

You may remember that a few months ago I gave a glowing review for LJ Ross’ debut novel Holy Island, the result was that I couldn’t wait for Ross’ second novel in the DCI Ryan series.  Thankfully, I know Ross so I could badger her (repeatedly) and get added to her beta list, yay!

Unknown-2I thoroughly enjoyed Sycamore Gap.  I really liked Holy Island but I definitely think this sequel is better. From the word go I was completely in the midst of this captivating story, still set in the North-England, with the location adding to the story significantly.

We get so much more insight into the characters, learning about Ryan’s past as it comes back to impact on the present, including all the relationships between the characters.

What I like most about this novel is the way it intertwines.  That is the story, the characters, the crimes, the past, they all intertwined and connected with Ross pulling at the various threads to draw the conclusion out.  I did also really love the imagery drawn from the location, I am desperate to visit Hadrian’s Wall now.

You don’t need to have read Holy Island to understand Sycamore Gap, there are enough tip its of information to keep things clear – without going on about the first book.  Having said that, I would read both, just because they are both awesome.

I could not put this novel down as the crimes, suspense and questions build but Ross has balanced the dark excellently, offsetting it with humour, some good old banter and Frank’s enviable ties.

It’s no surprise to me that Sycamore Gap has flown into the number 1 spot on the Amazon bestseller lists, just like Holy Island before it.  I would definitely recommend this book.

Sycamore Gap is available now on Amazon Kindle, currently only £1.99

Holy Island is available now on Amazon Kindle, currently £2.55 and in Paperback, currently £8.99

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International Woman’s Day

Any Human Heart, What's Happening?

Happy International Woman’s Day!  To celebrate this wonderful day I thought I would take a moment to mention just a few (there are many many more but that would take forever) of the fantastic women have made me the woman I am….

My mum and I getting ready on my wedding day.

My mum and I getting ready on my wedding day.

My Mum

Possibly predictable, I know, but she has sculpted me into the woman who I am in so many ways.  My mum’s positive attitude to life and death became even more inspirational when I had cancer.  I see so much of my mum in the way I’m raising my children and my most my strength comes from my mum (and my lovely dad, but I guess that comes on Fathers day?!)  Even 6 years after she passed away I can hear her when I question what I am doing, encouraging me to do better.

Ms Nicola Fernhead 

Ms Fernhead saved my life.  Literally.  She is the amazing surgeon at Addenbrookes hospital who oversaw every aspect of my cancer treatment and performed my twelve-hour lifesaving operation.  She stripped me down and put me back together again (physically and spiritually I think)… and added an extra bit!  To be able to identify someone who is one of the major reasons you are actually alive is a bizarre but very wonderful thing.

Polly Nobel 

I knew when I got through cancer I was going to write (and write and write) but I remembering being at a loss of where to start.  Then I found Polly Nobel’s website Polly’s Path.  A wealth of information about healthy living and being a twenty-something woman living with terminal cancer.  Although we had some differing views on life with cancer (and diagnosis), it was so inspirational and starting helping me picture what I wanted to achieve with this blog and my non-fiction writing.  I had the joy of meeting Polly in 2013 at an event and she was just as inspiring on real life.  Unfortunately Polly died last year but her legacy lives on.

The lovely Thalia Skye

The lovely Thalia Skye

Thalia Skye

My first paid writing job was from this amazing and inspirational lady, Thalia Skye, and the fantastic website that I contribute to through Coloplast, My Ostomy.  It truthfully is my dream job and I am SO grateful to Thalia for giving me the chance and teaching me so much about vlogging, social media but even better than that… Thalia has taught me so much about my own stoma!  From practicalities to realising how much I appreciate having this life saving bag and the strength to keep talking about it and raising awareness about life with a colostomy / iliostomy of how boringly normal life remains!

Dr Anna Tripp

My personal tutor at university and the woman who agreed to take punt on a thirty-something mother who was desperate to finally fulfil a dream of reading Literature and Writing at university.  It’s one of the best decision’s I have made in my life and I can’t thank her enough for seeing enough of a spark that she would take a chance on a woman with absolutely no academic level 3 qualifications.  She rocks!

My sister and my son

My sister and my son

My Sister

Where oh where would I be without my sister!  Sisters (especially one like mine) are the best thing ever.  An absolutely driving force in my life that keeps me moving forward no matter how much I want to give up and stop and who shines the brightest light in my darkest of days.  I quite simply would not be here without knowing that my sister is well and truly in my corner.  And now my kids get to enjoy having the best aunt in the world.  I love this woman!

There are plenty of other women in my life who have done more for me than words can say.  In particular my wonderful female friends and all the women in my family – they are all strong wise and wonderful.  From the little things to the massive things you have all built me into who I am and for that I am truly thankful.

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Holy Island by LJ Ross – Book Review

To Love To Read

I am just going to put it out there right now that LJ Ross is a friend of mine but when it comes to book reviews this could be a double-edged sword!  When purchasing her debut novel Holy Island I was suddenly faced with an awkward realisation – what if I hate it?  Or (possibly even worse) what if it’s just all terribly average and I have absolutely nothing to say about it?

Oh my gosh. I loved it!

It was the perfect blend of mystery, characters and emotions.  I loved the language, Ross had a Unknownbrilliant way of using a select few words to convey something immeasurably powerful.  Generally I am not a fan of descriptive scenery but just as Lucy Clarke does in her novels, Ross brings the Holy Island landscape to life, making the Island itself integral to the story and one of the lead characters in the book.  I am now desperate to visit Holy Island!  The characters were all so strong with different facets of their personalities coming through as the story unfolds.

In hindsight I don’t know what I was worried.  I know that someone as awesome as LJ Ross was only going to write something awesome.  I happen to know that she is working on her 2nd book at the moment, I am definitely going to be trying to steal a peek to see what’s coming next!!

5 out of 5 – a must read of 2015.

Holy Island is available exclusively through Amazon

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