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Debbie Flint

Debbie Flint

Debbie Flint

You know one of those films, shows or books you just can't get out of your head and want to keep going back to it? Well I have had that happen to me recently, with the acclaimed podcast and detective series, called 'The Teacher's Pet,' from Hedley Thomas on behalf of The Australian. If you've ever heard of or loved 'Serial,' a similar popular series, you'll love this expose as we go behind the scenes in the last days of Lynn Dawson. Was she murdered by her narcissistic psychopath husband? Because yes, it turns out that Chris Dawson appears to have been yet another example of that awful personalilty-defect - and as regulars will know I've written about them on my Back to You page blogs.

She disappears, and the circumstances are deemed not to be suspicious, back in 1982 in Australia's northern beaches. BUT with the benefit of 2018 technology, and present day procedures, as well as witnesses coming forward with every new episode being broadcast, it can't be anything BUT suspicious, with a capital Sus!

I have loved this podcast, available for free on itunes, 'podcast' app etc. It's investigative journalism at its best and I can't wait to hear more about the outcome, as they finally submit it to the DPP in Oz for the third time... find out more here.

Meanwhile I've been over to Wales to see my lollipop, pick loads of blackberries, make some jam (or coolie spread, depending on what it turns out tomorrow), and buy some more pretty little baby things for when Lauren's baby arrives mid Sept. 

Had some lovely meals out too- for their 1st anni. My goodness that year's gone fast! 

Lots of baby time with granddaughter Blake too, who is now cutting her first tooth and has started to crawl! lock those drawers and cover those sharp edges and corners, she's on the move!

This week's book of the week is another super period tale set in WW2 , called the Code Girls, by Daisy Styles - I'm listening on audiobook again - v good it is too. see it here.

My vlogs this week , posted mainly on Facebook pages, have included some of the walks around Wales as well as Devon, and updates on what's happening in Sheepwash, as well as my QVC shifts! If you'd like to keep up to date, go here to see them (public view, you don't have to have a Fbk account.) 

One of the days this week I went to see Barry, my singing partner, and return his CDs. Had a lovely mooch around his place, including meeting three little ponies or shetlands, and two big fluffy woofas. He's agot a picturesque little piece of England that's all his own. I'd love to have a field - but I'd need a ride on mower to cope with it all! 

And my QVC blog - just out - has links to see and buy a couple of upcoming deals - including Bare Minerals makeup #TSV on Sunday. Plus sneaky peeks. Go here to read it all.

September is shaping up to be a packed one, although we only have one retreat, 17 Sept till 21st. It's already got 4 people coming on it. I'm trying to keep the middle of Sept free - ish - as I await the call about the new little addition to our expanding family. When Lolly's baby is born, there'll be four people on this planet who all come from me - weird thought! Mind you my mum's got 28!! Long way to go eh! I even managed to fit in some blackberrying and jam making! hugs to you.

Have a lovely week!

Do join me Sat night midnight for a new laptop - with my lovely telly hubby Lee Hohbein and me!

best wishes

debs

x

Anyway have a fab week! Don't forget to follow my social media and you'll see the updates first!

best wishes

debs

x

ps My guest house in North Devon has spaces for non-writers (and writers in July. We are mainly a writing retreat but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally have non-writers.i (£95pppn inc full board and wine at dinner!) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about dates, and have a little look here - by the way - we have spaces currently on our yoga week on Oct 22nd if you fancy doing a super stretch class each day!

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

 

 

 

Book of the Week - as I mention on my latest QVC blog, this new audiobook takes us back to WW2 again, a period I've been loving and drawn to, since reading AJ Pearce's 'Dear Mrs Bird'. 

The Code Girls is fab - 

It's 1941 and Britain is at war. For the aristocratic Walsingham family this means their grand home being taken over by the armed forces. But for newcomers Ava, Maudie and Bella, this is a chance for something more. Each is ready to do their part for the war effort and soon become firm friends. But Lord Edward Walsingham seems like he is hiding something. And although he may be clever, he might have met his match in Maudie and the girls…

I really enjoy these class battle tales - especially when the lower classes or the women, get the upper hand!

amazon review - 

'The Code Girls written by Daisy Styles for me was a wonderful read based on the lives of four girls who become best friends when they are brought together while working in a large house in Norfolk.
Ava arrives to as she thought she would become a Code girl, though her dream is soon destroyed but for her, she soon realises that the friendship she grows with the other girls who start work in the kitchen to feed the Code Girls who are being trained upstairs. She is joined with Ruby who has been working in the big house as maid and general dogs body. Along comes Maudie and the fourth girl though known as Bella West is actually Lady Annabel Walsingham but she has never been happier working with her now best friends while falling in love with the "Brig" as she lovingly calls him.
But this book for me was so much more than friendship, this was filled with action throughout and when they realise there is a spy in their midst the girls are soon doing their own style of "code work" to source the truth out and save the lives of those men who valiantly served their country.
I loved this book so much I read it on kindle and then got it via audio which was read by one of my favourite narrators and that is Anne Dover whose voice brought so much atmosphere to this marvellous read.
The Code Girls written by Daisy Styles is a wonderful read and I would happily recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction based on the Second World War.'

go here to find out more on Amazon.

Other News

writing for therapy - did you know that writing out your feelings can be very therapeutic? This topic is explored in a new blog explaining more here.

Review for Retreats for You by top author Nikki Moore - Nikki recently visited our retreat in North Devon and has done the most lovely write up here - do go read it! And if you'd like to come too, email us for info and dates This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - and see more on our website here - retreatsforyou.co.uk

Yoga Retreats - we are happy to offer full board breaks for writers with a daily stretching session to help tired muscles after hours at the keyboard. A last minute retreat is available -

- join us on October 22-26.

- 'Just Write' weeks - we are available most months of the year, Monday to Friday, full board including wine with supper, afternoon snacks and hot drinks, with a mini home gym, massage chair and summer house to get away from everything and finish - or begin - that novel. With over fifty finished novels from former guests on our bookshelves, we are proud to have been helping writers write for around ten years. Join us on - 

17th - 21st September

Themed weeks with Tutors.  We have experts offer tuition at our retreat too - join us - 

12th November for flash fiction week with Retreat West run by Amanda Saint

26th - 30th November for a writing workshop week for novelists with award winning Richard and Judy author Julie Cohen - my mentor! 

 

email us for more information and to book - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

best wishes

debs

x

TIPS AND MY OWN FICTION - 

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, which is also a fabulous resource for beginners. And advanced writers!  Go here to read more.

Also - launched  in 2018, Jericho press is the new name for Writers' Workshop - and their £30 a month subs will get you all sorts of free info about how to write a novel and how to self publish. MORE HERE.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

 

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

  

FICTION

 HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

 Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback.

 Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback can be ordered from almost all bookshops. Reached no 79 in WHSmithsTravel charts.

 Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

 

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

 The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

 

NON-FICTION

 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – originally published in 2000. It was updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do and published on Amazon as TTFLS 2.0

It was followed a year later by Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon which introduced new concepts and latest theories on gut bacteria and the inner chimp plus six guises of Freedom Eater.

 Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Choc-Lit, UK independent publisher, gave it a revamp and put it on order in Bookshops early 2017 - published just as 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' and with a black silhouette cover, it pulls together elements of all the predecessors, and is a good place to begin if you haven't read any of it yet. Go here to get the Choc Lit 2017 Till the Fat lady Slims on Amazon or order in bookshops.

Amazon review - January 2018 - 

This is a great book and so easy to identify with the author. I have been there and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. I took on board what was written and lost 3 pounds in the first week. I am still losing but I don't dwell on food or think about it all day which is brilliant. I feel I can get on with my life and food is in its proper place. I eat when I'm hungry and because I am hungry, I enjoy the food all the more. If you are struggling and have tried every diet known to woman - like I have - buy this book. You will not regret it. It is turning my life around and I feel so much more positive than I did.

Home news blog –

Come to our concert – Songs from Shows – with Barry Parsons and me singing to help raise funds for the village church roof. It’s in Sheepwash on August 22nd – a Wednesday eve at 7pm. Refreshments are at our place in the interval in return for a donation. It’ll be lovely to have a good sing song and song sheets will be handed out too! Email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for tickets, get them in the village shop or pay on the night at St Lawrence’s church, Sheepwash.

We were asked to do it after our concert in Torrington last September, by Rod Bridges, the lovely guy who runs the church and we are only too glad to help! Songs will include ‘Bring him Home’, ‘Some Enchanted Evening’,  and others like ‘That Old Devil Love’ – my standard! I do hope we get lots of people along – it’s only £7 per ticket – do pass this message on to anyone who lives down there, it’d be great to see them on the night!

It certainly is a picturesque little village, for sure. and so peaceful. Go here to listen to a vlog I did strolling through the country lanes nearby our lovely retreat in Sheepwash - very unusual! And do 'like' the fbk page if you would like updates ongoing! Other social media is below. I'm doing ever more on instagram nowadays too.

Author writes 25000 words in 4 days at RFY! How proud am I – great write up by Nikki Moore about our writing retreat, author of the ‘Love London’ series of novels. She’s written some awesome books herself and I’m looking forward to her next one being sent to us so we can add it to the shelves of former guests’ books in our dining room! Go here to read what she said about it.

STOP PRESS! We have one more place for Monday 13-17 retreat week in Devon if you're able to come? It's a yoga week - how fab if you've been sitting all day and want a daily stretch session - it's included in the cost, as is full board and wine at dinner and all snacks and hot drinks - just £102.50 pppn. email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Book of the week Kate Riordan’s period drama, The Stranger – a super summer romantic suspense – go here to read more and find out about writing for therapy if you need help with your emotions it could help.

This week’s QVC blog has a fab competition to win a silver Taxco Designs necklace, worth over £100,  and all about when I went to see an old colleague in theatre in Devon – can you guess which colleague?! It’ll be out on QComm page on Friday.

The play he was in was ‘Gaslight’ – the famous 1930s drama which gave rise to the expression ‘gaslighting’ meaning playing with someone’s mind to make them think they’re going mad, like the bullying character in the play. It’s connected with emotional bullying and narcissistic psychopathic behaviour – worth reading up on if you’re living with a nutcase drama king or queen. Don’t forget I also wrote all about it last year after meeting someone who was being bullied– there are four parts in total and another maybe on its way soon. Scary stuff but you’re not alone and it helps to find out how to deal with them – tons of links on my blogs and I’m so glad it’s helping so many people who thought they were stuck in these awful relationships. Part one has been read more than 11,500 times now so do pass it on to someone you think may be interested. Here’s the full round up on the latest blog about it click here to see ‘How to spot Gaslighting and emotional bullies – the Narcissistic Psychopath exposed.’

It feels good to help people with stuff like this. If you know anyone who fancies coming down to stay at RFY for just a normal retreat or is being bullied and just wants to get away from it all, I’m more than happy to spend some time chatting about it all with them, just ask them to email us for booking info This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Much love

Debs

X

Anyway have a fab week! Don't forget to follow my social media and you'll see the updates first!

best wishes

debs

x

ps My guest house in North Devon has spaces for non-writers (and writers in July. We are mainly a writing retreat but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally have non-writers. I have two full weeks booked of non writers, actually, including some spaces for July 23rd Mon-Fri (£95pppn inc full board and wine at dinner!) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about dates, and have a little look here - by the way - we have spaces currently on our yoga week on August 13th if you fancy doing one or two classes each day!

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

 

 

On August 1st, I went to see a play in Devon called ‘Gaslight,’ and it invoked a whole lot of memories about the series of blogs I wrote last year about emotional bullying. Here’s the summary and further resources – it turns out many people suffer in silence but they’re not alone - there’s a lot of help out there.

 Gaslighting is a form of emotional bullying – I wrote extensively about it on my website Back to You blog about Narcissists, when I encountered a guy being controlled by one last year. It’s a shocking way to live and one of the main things they do to control people is to make them question their own presence of mind, memory and course of events. It’s named after the above play so it was good to see the source. I can see why it’s so-named – the bully in the play hides pictures and keys and photos and makes the wife think she’s moved them but doesn’t recall, amongst other things.

It’s fascinating why people act like this, alienating people from their own friends and family, and criticising them for the most innocuous reasons, making them live their lives on eggshells. Just get out, that’s the main message that came loud and clear from the many Facebookers and contacts who gave me their stories to add to my blogs about Narcissistic Psychopaths, as they are known. As I told a lady who visited my retreat down in Devon (Retreats for You) recently, there are tons of helpful videos on youtube and articles online, just look up the terms ‘gaslighting’ ‘narcissist’ ‘love-bombing’ and ‘zero-contact.’

But first read the four blogs below – and let me know if you have a story, by contacting me privately on my social media or via info @debbieflint .com – it’s about time I did another update like this, considering what the universe is throwing my way at the moment. And if you are currently putting up with one of these bullies, big hugs from me. It’s never too late to break free and start your new life.

 

Part one – Narcissus

Part two -  getting help and taking the first step

Part three – handling a narcissist – is this you?

Part four – catching a killer – when emotional abusers kill

And finally – here on youtube is the 1940 film version of ‘Gaslight’

D

x

 

 

 

What a brilliant cover! The Stranger by Kate Riordan is my latest must-read for the summer. The way she weaves her wartime tale is very evocative of the era, intertwining colourful characters and vivid settings and with a premise that's so cleverly written it keeps you wanting to read more to find out what leads to the dramatic opening. I'm loving the period stories atm, and this, set during evacuation in a coastal town, features land girls - posh ladies from London, out of place in a seaside setting amongst country folk. Once again I'm llistening to the audio book and there are several narrators, helping to move the story along, reading distinct segments of the book. One of them has a peculiar way of splitting up the narration but overall it's good, particularly the dialogue and you can feel the emotions of the time, beset with tension of class differences and strict rules about behaviour of the era. A romance rekindled and lots of secrets in the big house, keep you page turning. Very good and highly recommended for a summer read.

When you're the outsider, who do you trust? 

Cornwall, 1940. For decades, Penhallow Hall has stood frozen in time, protecting the secrets of its isolated inhabitants. But the far corners of England are no shelter from the war, and Penhallow must finally open its doors to strangers. 

Three newcomers arrive, each looking to escape their past. They adjust easily to the routine - nightly blackouts, the threat of invasion - but tensions mount, and secrets are forced into the open. For one of them is not there by choice. And then, in the hushed hours of deepest night, a young woman is taken by the sea. 

Was it simply a tragic accident? Or should the inhabitants of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

more here on Amazon

 

Other News

- writing for therapy - did you know that writing out your feelings can be very therapeutic? This topic is explored in a new blog explaining more here.

- Review for Retreats for You by top author Nikki Moore - Nikki recently visited our retreat in North Devon and has done the most lovely write up here - do go read it! And if you'd like to come too, email us for info and dates This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - and see more on our website here - retreatsforyou.co.uk

- Yoga Retreats - we are happy to offer full board breaks for writers with a daily stretching session to help tired muscles after hours at the keyboard. A last minute retreat is available -

13th August - 17th August.

Or join us on October 22-26.

- 'Just Write' weeks - we are available most months of the year, Monday to Friday, full board including wine with supper, afternoon snacks and hot drinks, with a mini home gym, massage chair and summer house to get away from everything and finish - or begin - that novel. With over fifty finished novels from former guests on our bookshelves, we are proud to have been helping writers write for around ten years. Join us on - 

17th - 21st September

Themed weeks with Tutors.  We have experts offer tuition at our retreat too - join us - 

12th November for flash fiction week with Retreat West run by Amanda Saint

26th - 30th November for a writing workshop week for novelists with award winning Richard and Judy author Julie Cohen - my mentor! 

 

email us for more information and to book - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

best wishes

debs

x

TIPS AND MY OWN FICTION - 

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, which is also a fabulous resource for beginners. And advanced writers!  Go here to read more.

Also - launched  in 2018, Jericho press is the new name for Writers' Workshop - and their £30 a month subs will get you all sorts of free info about how to write a novel and how to self publish. MORE HERE.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

 

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

  

FICTION

 HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

 Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback.

 Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback can be ordered from almost all bookshops. Reached no 79 in WHSmithsTravel charts.

 Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

 

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

 The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

 

NON-FICTION

 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – originally published in 2000. It was updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do and published on Amazon as TTFLS 2.0

It was followed a year later by Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon which introduced new concepts and latest theories on gut bacteria and the inner chimp plus six guises of Freedom Eater.

 Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Choc-Lit, UK independent publisher, gave it a revamp and put it on order in Bookshops early 2017 - published just as 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' and with a black silhouette cover, it pulls together elements of all the predecessors, and is a good place to begin if you haven't read any of it yet. Go here to get the Choc Lit 2017 Till the Fat lady Slims on Amazon or order in bookshops.

Amazon review - January 2018 - 

This is a great book and so easy to identify with the author. I have been there and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. I took on board what was written and lost 3 pounds in the first week. I am still losing but I don't dwell on food or think about it all day which is brilliant. I feel I can get on with my life and food is in its proper place. I eat when I'm hungry and because I am hungry, I enjoy the food all the more. If you are struggling and have tried every diet known to woman - like I have - buy this book. You will not regret it. It is turning my life around and I feel so much more positive than I did.

 

 

Have you ever found yourself in a place where in the middle of the afternoon, you need to go eat, but nothing is open? NOTHING?!! That's what happened to my Yoga pal Jennie and me one Saturday afternoon in the middle of North Devon.

Went to yoga - nearly fell asleep as usual - so relaxing. Especially after the huge number of guests I was looking after - see below. Then it was about 2.45pm so we went off for some 'lunch'. Except in the area I live, there is NO FOOD served for a couple of hours mid afternoon. None. We went to Shebbear, pub stops at 3pm. Then to Black Torrington - ditto. Then to Holsworthy , to my fave Filter Through, and guess what - it closed at 2pm. Pubs the same. Apart from a sarnie from the coop or the coffee shop in Waitrose, we were stuffed. And hungry. Why don't you go to Bude, says a lady in the pub. Turns out it's only 15 mins from where we were. I forget how near we are to the amazing Cornish coast! So off we did go. Eventually found a parking place and had a bite to eat which was blimming lovely! 

Look at those plates - yum!!

So eventually a good time was had by all. And Bude was heaving with people - obviously the ghost town that was Holsworthy on a Saturday is due to everyone going elsewhere - like Bude. Must go again and do it properly. At least I got to go be a tourist with one of my besties in Devon, during my heavy workload week in Devon.

go here to see the post on Facebook about it - videoed outside the fab hotel/cafe we finally managed to get served at, with the Bude surf in the background.

The video also tells the story of how I got a full house. This week I had the most guests I've had yet at my lovely guest house in Devon. Retreats for You had four writers in the week, who were lovely, and two stayed over the weekend as it was my Devon week (to be followed by a London week - on air seven days out of the next eight! New schedule.) Then the others were spill over wedding guests from the pub opposite, plus a lone extra. Listen to the video to find out more!

We are busy again week commencing 13th Aug and 20th Aug, just one or two places left each week (four nights at £95pppn full board inc drinks), and then I'm easing off for September just in case my daughter Lolly has her baby early. Or late. Watch this space.

This week I also went to see an old colleague and good pal, in a play in Sidmouth. Again I did a vlog about it, click here to see it - plus it also showed what the poggies got up to down at the river - bless them, well it was hot - and also mentioned a teaser for the Laura Geller #TSV deal happening Sunday on QVC (go here to see it now and buy it if you're quick!) Loved seeing the play - very good day out this time with Sheena - one of my other 'Louises' (I'm Thelma!)

Very bracing. I do love my excursions. Just wish there were more hours in the day!

This week's QVC blog has a funny from Katie Pullinger, which I saw when I was in last weekend doing my early weekend stint - go here to read the blog, see lots of sneaky peeks and updates from my garden, and watch the funny - click here. I'm back on QVC tomorrow, Sunday (5th) late pm. Looking forward to Monday too, when I'm off to Margaret Dabbs clinic for a medical pedicure - she has the most superb TSV on Monday - amazing value, don't miss it. 

Lastly this week I'm happy to announce there'll be another concert for you to come along to if you're near Sheepwash on Wednesday 22nd August - after our concert last September at The Plough in Torrington, Barry Parsons the 'singing councillor' and I have been asked to perform to raise funds for the church roof - yes literally! So do come and see us - tickets from Sheepwash shop or from Rod Bridges on

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

If you come along in the afternoon, we can offer you tea as that's the day our tearooms is open and if you're lucky there might be a room for an overnight in the pub opposite! (Half Moon Inn). Make a day of it! We are singing mostly songs from the shows and I'm really looking forward to it. It's in the St Lawrence's church just up the road so join us if you can!

 

Anyway have a fab week! Don't forget to follow my social media and you'll see the updates first!

best wishes

debs

x

ps My guest house in North Devon has spaces for non-writers (and writers in July. We are mainly a writing retreat but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally have non-writers. I have two full weeks booked of non writers, actually, including some spaces for July 23rd Mon-Fri (£95pppn inc full board and wine at dinner!) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about dates, and have a little look here - by the way - we have spaces currently on our yoga week on August 13th if you fancy doing one or two classes each day!

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

 

 

It's that season again here in Devon! And they do this 'scarecrow' competition type thing, creating characters to sit out the front of houses and hopefully win a competition. This one's got to stand a chance hasn't it?! Talk about Yabba-dabba-doooo!! Very well made and still there weeks later, even after heavy rain!

And what rain we had, didn't we?! As usual I was in the 'other place' when the worst of the weather and storms and lightening was taking place - Devon got it when I was in London etc. But during one particular hour on air at QVC in Chiswick the rain was so hard it could be heard through the studio mikes. Still the hot weather's returned with a vengeance and I'm loving being in Devon when it's super hot in London! lol.

Had a great trip to the cinema recently, loved the Devon posse coming with me to see Mamma Mia!

Then went to the quirky Everyman Theatre in Oxted with sis in law Boki to see Mission Impossible and had a nice meal too. You can even get served drinks at your seat - it's one of those. THink I'll be going there again soon!

All this and more has been on my Facebook page, where I regularly do Vlogs of my day - a post with a video to show you what I'm up to. So do go there and follow me! click here.

Finally here's an interesting blog about how writing can help your mental health - it's certainly been therapeutic for me over the years, that's for sure! 

https://www.debbieflint.com/read-it-write-it-sell-it/item/883-writing-as-therapy

 

luv

debs

x

Writing For Therapy

 

Many of us have dreamed of taking time out to write our memoirs, our first novel or a book of poetry. Perhaps we regularly fill in a journal. Somehow, the very act of writing makes us feel better. Well many health professionals are now taking that a step further and demonstrating that writing is a therapy perhaps more powerful than we might imagine. By exploring our concerns, it can help provide relief. Whether for reducing stress, helping deal with physical symptoms eg depression or merely for escapism through creative expression, we feel better after committing our gripes or innermost thoughts to paper or keyboard. Sue Reynolds in her 18 minute TEDx talk ‘Writing your way out of Trouble’ says that writing down what distresses and dismays us not only makes us feel better - it improves our resistance to physical illness, decreases the symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves our sleep patterns,.

 

For some, it’s a relaxing pastime. For others it is a treatment within itself. Olivia Dungee knows the value of writing therapy and how it’s helped many sufferers. “Addressing their innermost thoughts and concerns thereby dealing with someone’s mental, emotional, and social health is surprisingly effective and can promote healing and overall well-being,” she says. And studies back her up * Research has shown that writing in a therapeutic way is not just good for mental health; it may even improve physical health, boost the effectiveness of the immune system, and promote healing.

 

 

  1. Reducing stress and symptoms of depression, fear and anxiety.

Deepak Chopra, self-help guru often says ‘we have sixty thousand thoughts a day, and 95% of them are the same as yesterday.’ Exploring different thoughts, eg immersing ourselves in a wonderfully self-indulgent twenty minutes of writing me-time, can spur on different thought patterns. It can help change thoughts about illness, meaning a more positive outlook. Try this one: ‘In your writing, let go and explore your deepest thoughts and feelings about the issues that you feel are most important to you right now.’

 

 

  1. Overcoming trauma and events causing psychological harm

There is evidence that writing therapeutically about difficult experiences can help people learn to cope with them. “Writing helps me stand back and reflect on what has happened” said over half of the participants in one study. Our memories are subjective. How often has a dream seemed as real as a memory? We can try re-writing the events in an awful memory, or lessen the impact it has when we re-live it in our mind. For instance, by imagining an aggressor with no clothes on and re-writing a bullying episode thereby making the foe a comical figure, the act of writing it down can often make it more real, and help rival the original memory. Rather than bottling it up, especially if someone refuses to talk about it, getting it out by writing it down can help.

 

 

  1. Writing for physical health

Research has also found intense, regular writing sessions can have benefits including physical changes eg even boosting the activity of the immune system. If we laugh it affects our bodies positively. Similarly if we write about the most amazing moments of our lives, it can leave us feeling far more elated, and have tangible effects on our physiology. Patients were asked to write about stressful life events for 20 minutes per day for several days. As compared to a control group, these patients had better physical outcomes related to their illnesses. /even if experts disagree as to why, it’s worth a try.

 

  1. Writing as therapy using a guided session eg with a trained therapist or online video, may make the most of the creative process.

To explore emotions and cope with negative feelings and experiences, some people work best with a guide.

 “I felt a lot calmer and more able to move on after writing about it and being forced to think about it. I loved writing about my experience.” Said one subject in writing therapy. For illnesses like cancer it can be very useful to help deal with the feelings of fear and being powerless.  At the 3-week follow-up, over half reported that writing changed their thoughts and over a third reported that writing changed their feelings about their illness. Olivia Dungee writes on Mesothelioma website, ‘Writing as therapy is not a new idea, but it is gaining more followers as evidence continues to accumulate to prove that it can have so many positive benefits for such a wide range of patients.’

 

There are so many potential benefits of writing, and there are no reasons not to try it. Some specialists offer writing as therapy sessions. But even getting a journal and sitting for 20 minutes a day can perhaps make a therapeutic difference.

 

One of the best ways to create a window to change your writing habits is a writing retreat. Many are available where you can just escape from your surroundings and everyday life and have some concerted me-time. As they say – a change is as good as a rest and for many, often with yoga included, country walks, healthy food and other writers who may be working on novels or poetry, that change could be the start of a whole new era in dealing with stress in your life.

*Sources

 

 

 

 

 

It’s an unusual one this week, and it’s my choice because of a tweet that I received. ‘Reasons for Staying Alive’ by top author Matt Haig (‘How to Stop Time’ was his previous hit) has been a bestseller and a key recommendation for many people in dire straits and suffering from depression. Lots of info on the reviews about how this fascinating book has inspired so many people who are feeling down. Worth a read, or worth recommending to someone you know who needs it. It's been called 'a modern classic' and it really is - still in the top 500 kindle books, number one in niche mental health charts, and all that after being launched in March 2015. 

reviews on Amazon - 

'Having struggled to explain how I feel to friends and family - especially to those who say that they don't know how to help - I will be buying more copies and distributing them...Foolishly, I thought how I am / feel is unique to me. The Author has made me feel far less isolated: this in itself has helped me through a dark time. Without doubt it won't last, but I found the book has given me some hope for my future. And more of an understanding as to the storm clouds of life...Frankly, just buy it. It's well written and on that basis that other peoples' suffering makes us feel better, perhaps it'll cheer you up!'

'If you or anyone you know suffers from depression, read this book; it will help you realise that you really aren’t alone. If you know someone who clearly doesn’t understand depression, give them this book; it will help them relate and comprehend some fraction of the suffering endured by those who live with the illness. I heard on the radio today about the rise in mental illness among young people. Maybe this should be required reading in schools.'

This is possibly the most important book I ever had or ever will read (and I read a lot!). When I went through my recent spell of acute anxiety and depression I was terrified of dying but I was also living in constant fear of myself and the world around me- I think 2016 has done that to many people. Before this book I would research depression and always conclude that nobody really understood how I felt and felt frightened that nobody could possibly feel as bad as I did. I was wrong and reading this book has shown me that. Matt Haig is so good at articulating these feelings and thoughts and I related to so much of it. But most of all, he gave me hope. '

btw his follow up to Reasons..., is called NOTES ON A NERVOUS PLANET. It was launched in London on July 3rd (his birthday). Am sure it's another success, so be prepared to become a Haig convert.

 

THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARD FOR NON-FICTION

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEEL TRULY ALIVE?

Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.

A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

"I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven't been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free."

 

More here on Amazon or in all good book shops

 

Other news

Would you like to come to a writing retreat in North Devon? Full board, be looked after and just write? or maybe just relax? Go see our thatched 1600s place on retreatsforyou.co.uk and email us for info - many themed weeks and workshops, many other editor led weeks plus several weeks where you can just come to write and also do a yoga class to stretch out each day. Prices from just £95 per person per night - full board including hot drinks and snacks, all food and wine at dinner. email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 - plus Julie Cohen's date - November 28th. Here's the link to Julie Cohen's workshop to find out more about this amazing mentor's week at Retreats for You in Devon - do contact her direct or just email us for more info This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- as far as our own retreats go, we have three other yoga weeks this year so far booked - July 2nd, August 13th, and October 22nd - how great to be able to stretch your stiff muscles before and after a full day's writing, be looked after with tasty home-cooked meals and wine at dinner, plus no chores, only me-time to get your work done! Go here to find out more about this date and others, but email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book or enquire, these weeks book up fast!!

-  looking ahead to Amanda Saint from Retreat West's third workshop with us in November, how about being part of a flash fiction workshop where your story ends up in a paperback? More info here. She's also running a scriptwriting retreat in June too.

 best wishes

 debs

x

TIPS AND MY OWN FICTION - 

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, which is also a fabulous resource for beginners. And advanced writers!  Go here to read more.

Also - launched  in 2018, Jericho press is the new name for Writers' Workshop - and their £30 a month subs will get you all sorts of free info about how to write a novel and how to self publish. MORE HERE.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

 

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

  

FICTION

 HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

 Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback.

 Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback can be ordered from almost all bookshops. Reached no 79 in WHSmithsTravel charts.

 Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

 

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

 The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

 

NON-FICTION

 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – originally published in 2000. It was updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do and published on Amazon as TTFLS 2.0

It was followed a year later by Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon which introduced new concepts and latest theories on gut bacteria and the inner chimp plus six guises of Freedom Eater.

 Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Choc-Lit, UK independent publisher, gave it a revamp and put it on order in Bookshops early 2017 - published just as 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' and with a black silhouette cover, it pulls together elements of all the predecessors, and is a good place to begin if you haven't read any of it yet. Go here to get the Choc Lit 2017 Till the Fat lady Slims on Amazon or order in bookshops.

Amazon review - January 2018 - 

This is a great book and so easy to identify with the author. I have been there and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. I took on board what was written and lost 3 pounds in the first week. I am still losing but I don't dwell on food or think about it all day which is brilliant. I feel I can get on with my life and food is in its proper place. I eat when I'm hungry and because I am hungry, I enjoy the food all the more. If you are struggling and have tried every diet known to woman - like I have - buy this book. You will not regret it. It is turning my life around and I feel so much more positive than I did.

 

 


What an amazing new place my lovely daughter will be bringing up her first baby in. My second grandchild will be in a countryside home, on a smallholding with 22 acres, where Nick / daddy will be building yurts and treehouses for rental. His parents share the place and it was a smashing trip to see it for me last week. I loved seeing my grandpogs and am very happy there's a grandsprog being brewed too!

 

They have several fields, one of which houses lovely horses - one of them decided to do a quick bum-scratch-dance for us which was very funny! see it on my vlog here on Facebook (do 'like' the page to see the updates!) They have hay ready to bale in other fields too, but the multitudes of blackberries in the hedgerows will all be theirs - er… mine! … lol. Already planning the jam-making trip this autumn! A spectacular bird was circling above too - a little Kite but also a buzzard, they thought.

 

A tasty BBQ ended the evening, and the next day after Lolly's new midwife had visited, we went into Carmarthen, her new local shopping centre, where we had a nice shopping trip and she dropped off her bloods to the hospital and got an Anti-D (?) injection before they headed back to continue packing up their Farnham home and I braved the traffic back to Devon.

First Wednesday Tea Rooms 

It was my great pleasure to hold another tea rooms day this week. We got a lot of passing trade, many cyclists - as you can imagine in this weather! And some lovely locals and friends of mine from Facebook. Julia met up with Sheila and Bernadette and others, who chatted to her about QVC whilst she was here visiting, writing her book. More about that on my QVC blog this week - see below. it was all thanks to my new lady Nicola who makes the most amazing cakes and brownies and sausage rolls. She is working locally and able to be consistent throughout the summer doing the midweek opening for me. I'd love to do more days and if I was full time in Devon I would. But not for a few years yet!

 

 

Book of the Week - recommended to me on twitter by someone whose life had turned around as a result of reading it, Reasons to Stay Alive by bestseller Matt Haig. He writes very mixed types of books, and this is more of a modern classic self-help type. Many of the reviews talk about how this helped people feel they were  not alone and is a life-saver. Worth a read - more here on my RiWiSi blog on my website this week.

On my QVC blog - great news! If you LOVE Elemis, go here to read how to get tomorrow's (Sun 8th) Elemis pro-collagen set for over £100 off! Plus pics of Devon and when Julia came to stay - some cool pics! And of next week's sneaky peeks of course - do I ever let you down?!

We also watched the Colombia match, (yay) so I have just watched the quarter final Sweden match too - on my own! (Even bigger YAY for the result of that one!) So good luck England for Wednesday! I'm not on air, I'm going for a yearly medical so I'll be able to watch it in the evening!

Anyway I'm back on QVC after my Devon week, Sunday 8th at 3 with Elemis - and 5 with Radley. Looking forward to it!

Hope you're enjoying the weather!

best wishes

debs

ps Go here to see last week's blog  if you missed it!

ps My guest house in North Devon has spaces for non-writers (and writers in July. We are mainly a writing retreat but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally have non-writers. I have two full weeks booked of non writers, actually, including some spaces for July 23rd Mon-Fri (£95pppn inc full board and wine at dinner!) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about dates, and have a little look here - by the way - we have spaces currently on our yoga week on August 13th if you fancy doing one or two classes each day!

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here