Today I’m thrilled to have an interesting and funny guest post on How to be Happy from Alison Brodie, the author of the book below. I’ve also included the book blurb in case you are interested and there’s a giveaway link tucked in there too, for a $25 (or equivalent) Amazon giftcard, so go read and enjoy the post, buy the book and enter the giveaway, you know you want to!
Blurb: Brake Failure is a contemporary romance with humour, suspense and a kick-ass heroine. The story is set in one of the most fascinating periods of America’s history: the months leading up to Y2K “melt-down.”
“Is it too late to tell him you love him when you’re looking down the barrel of his gun?”
Ruby Mortimer-Smyth is an English debutante, destined for Ladies Day at Ascot and taking tea at The Savoy. She knows the etiquette for every occasion and her soufflés NEVER collapse.
She is in control of her life, tightly in control. Until fate dumps her down in … Kansas.
Ruby believes that life is like a car; common-sense keeps it on the road, passion sends it into a ditch. What she doesn’t know is, she’s on a collision course with Sheriff Hank Gephart.
Sheriff Hank Gephart can judge a person. Miss Mortimer-Smyth might act like the Duchess of England but just under the surface there’s something bubbling, ready to explode. She’s reckless, and she’s heading for brake failure. And he’s not thinking about her car.
With the Millennium approaching, Ruby gets caught up in the Y2K hysteria. She joins a group of Survivalists, who give her a gun and advise her to stockpile basic essentials, such as gasoline and water-purifying tablets. So she bulk-buys Perrier, Gentleman’s Relish and macaroons.
Ruby, far from home, is making Unsuitable Friends and “finding herself” for the first time. She falls in with a gang of Hells Angels and falls foul of the law. At every turn, she comes up hard against Sheriff Hank Gephart, whose blue eyes seem to look deep into her soul. She desperately wants him but knows she can never have him.
She’s angry at the emotions he arouses in her. Pushed to her limit, she bursts from her emotional straightjacket.
As the clock strikes midnight of the new Millennium, she’s on a freight train with three million dollars, a bottle of Wild Turkey and a smoking gun.
What happened to Miss Prim-and-Proper? And why did she shoot Mr Right?
Note: Alison Brodie wrote this story from first-hand experience. She lived in Kansas during this time and was stunned by the hysteria, unnerved that the US government was spending $150 billion preparing for Armageddon. As Lionel Shriver says in her novel, We Have To Talk About Kevin: “1999, a year widely mooted beforehand as the end of the world.”
Guest post: How to be Happy – or not.
I’ve been doing some in-depth research on how to be happy.
First off, you don’t run after it. Like Henry Thoreau said: “Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
OK, so let’s turn our attention to “other things” that have been scientifically proven to make you a happy bunny.
Meditate. Meditation is when turn your mind off. Have you ever tried turning your mind off?! I mean, empty it…TOTALLY! OK, so that didn’t work for me.
Listening to music. This doesn’t mean listening to Devil’s Breath or Whitesnake. It means all that Mozart stuff, slow and relaxing. So I tried a Piano Concert Opus. And what did I get? Two pianos playing so fast and frantic it was like they were competing for the finish line. So that didn’t work.
Spend time with friends and family. I don’t have family. Plus, I live in France and my friends are French and since my French is not so good, I can’t really have a conversation, unless I’m drunk and then, amazingly, all the words I didn’t know I knew come gushing forth. So do I end up being a lush cos I want to find happiness?
Go for a nature walk. Easy? Not for me. I go into any woodland right now, I will get my head blown off by hunters…unless of course I’m wearing an orange crash helmet and singing at the top of my voice: “Just a Spoonful of Sugar lets the Medicine go Down.” (Tip: If you’re in India and a pack of wild dogs look as if they’re about to attack, sing this song as you pass. The dogs might look confused but they won’t touch you).
Go for a massage. Go for a massage? Are you kidding? At 80 euros an hour! Way too expensive. So I tried DIY. I bought a metal-pronged, spider-looking thing you put on top of your head and push up and down to massage your scalp. Sometimes I just leave it on my head and forget about it so when I answer the door my visitor sees me looking like I’m trying to make radio connect with aliens.
Pray, or attend a religious service. I wish I believed in God, I really do. I understand how religion can help people. But I need a sign, God!
Reading. Ahha! Bingo!! This WORKS. Scientists say that reading reduces stress by 67% . Reading a good book helps you to de-stress better than any other activity, such as walking and listening to music This is because the mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a fictional world eases the tensions in the body and makes you feel happy.
So that’s it, folks! The secret to happiness is reading a good book…
About Alison Brodie: Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side. Alison was a photographic model for a wide range of products, such as Ducatti motorbikes and 7Up. She was also the vampire in the Schweppes commercial. A disastrous modelling assignment in the Scottish Highlands gave Alison an idea for her first romance novel, Face to Face. It was taken up by Dinah Wiener, the first agent Alison sent it to. Three weeks later, Alison signed a two-book deal with Hodder & Stoughton. Subsequently, Face to Face was published in English, German and Dutch. “Vain, but wildly funny leading lady.” -Scottish Daily Mail. It was also chosen as Good Housekeeping’s “Pick of the Paperbacks.”
Unfortunately, Alison then suffered from Second-Book Syndrome. The publisher’s deadline loomed but Alison couldn’t think of a story! She found the whole experience a nightmare; and this is why she cautions first-time authors not to sign a multi-book deal unless they are prepared! Alison lived in Kansas for two years. She loved the people, their friendliness, the history and the BBQs! Now, she lives in Biarritz, France with her rescue mutt, Bayley.
Alison’s previous release, THE DOUBLE, was published to rave reviews:
“Proof of her genius in writing fiction…Excellent.” –San Francisco Book Review.
Facebook PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonBrodieAuthor/