Tag Archives: Inspiration

Smells Like Teen Spirit

It’s Music Monday!


Now, I’m not normally a grunge kind of person. It’s not that I dislike it. It’s just that most of the time, I like other things better. But. Evidently grunge rock didn’t pass me by! And there are classics that you cannot fail to love.

Last week, while I was working fast and furiously on my mini-WiP, this particular song carried me through. It is perfect on so many levels… you’ll have to way until a little later in the year to fully understand, but let yourselves be intrigued by this notion. Why would Nirvana suddenly inspire Nicky Wells, rock star romance author extraordinaire?

Guesses welcome!

Broken Wings

It’s Music Monday!


This week’s song choice is an appropriate theme song for one of the subplots of my new WiP, aka Book 4. I  even have two interpretations for you! Here’s number one; it’s a classic and you’re bound to know it.


Aha, and here goes the second. You’ll need to click through but it’s well worth it. It’s hard and fast and lyrical and one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITES!


I’ve always adored the metaphors in these two songs; the idea of flying again, of starting afresh, of never giving up. The whole ‘broken wings’ idea just gets me, appeals to me and gets me writing.


So. Broken Wings ~ what do YOU with yours?
And how do you think these songs are inspiring my writing? What am I ‘on’ about?


CentreStage with Jo Lambert~Getting in the Groove with Plenty of Music and… E L James!

Welcome to CentreStage!


CentreStage showcases fabulous authors from around the world. These authors might tell you about their books, their lives, their pets, children or canal boats… or their inspiration. Inspiration is quite a popular theme, as it is one of the most frequently asked questions for any author. “What inspired you to write…”

Today, the fabulous Jo Lambert talks about an unexpected (by me, that is) combination of inspiration. Jo and I have known each other in Cyberspace for… oooh…. eons! It wasn’t until I moved to Lincoln that I discovered that Jo practically used to live round the corner from me (relatively speaking) down in Bath. We missed the chance to meet and rock out together to one of our joint favourite bands, so Jo is visiting virtually today to make up for lost time. Take it away, Jo!

Author pic (371x500)

Whatever captures my imagination…

Great to be here and many thanks for inviting me to join you on Centre Stage. As you know we have two big things in common – a trilogy (although I’ve already finished mine) and a love of modern music. So I thought while I’m here I’d chat about what have been for me two very important influences.

Whoop! I’m all ears.

WhenTomorroComes_Cover_AVATARI don’t think the Behind Blue Eyes trilogy could have been written without the aid of all the great music from that the sixties – a time I was also growing up in a provincial town much the same as Ella and Matt. A lot of the trilogy is therefore autobiographical and was easy to write. Of course it was an extra-ordinary decade too, a cultural revolution – the clothes, the new-found freedom young people were experiencing, not forgetting the music. Because one of the central scenes for theLoveLiesAndPromises_Cover_AVATARbooks is a club called The Mill, the trilogy is peppered with references to popular songs of the time and creating a playlist to use to accompany my writing also provided me with an instant personal connection.

TheGhostOfYouAndMe_Cover_AVATARFor instance, ‘Hello-Goodbye’ by the Beatles, brought back memories of a twenty-first birthday party I attended and ‘My Generation’ by The Who reminded me of my college days. With all this music going on in the club, it wasn’t surprising, therefore, that I soon decided to incorporate a rock band into the storyline. A natural development as it seemed to me that romance and music were beginning to go hand in hand.

BetweenTodayAndYesterday_Cover_AVATARBetween Today and Yesterday, the sequel to the Behind Blue Eyes trilogy, set in the late eighties, featured another rock band called Rosetti, but this time I kept song references to a minimum. If there were any, they were purely fictitious ones which were performed by the band. Somehow it seemed this story did not need the same treatment as the trilogy as all the principal characters were mature grownups. My playlists were there, of course, full of songs I had picked out which were relevant to the narrative, only now the music was purely for listening purposes. Once again romance and music were combined in this story, albeit in a slightly different way.

TheOtherSideOfMorning_SMALLFor my fifth novel – The Other Side of Morning – which I’m currently in the process of writing, I’m still in music mode – If I had to describe it I guess I would call it the sequel of the sequel. We’re now in the mid-nineties and this time Rosetti’s front man has become a big solo star with an ego to match. The music is still there but the story itself has been influenced by – you’ll never believe it – E L James! No, I’m not about to write a novel about BDSM, but I did read ’50 Shades’. It was Christian’s intense possessiveness with Ana that made me want to write a novel which dealt with obsession. And so the new book centres on a three-way love affair, one woman loved by two very different men and an obsession so strong that it ends in devastating consequences for all three of them. Once again music tracks get only a rare mention in the book, the playlists I listen to, as with Between Today and Yesterday, are the key to the writing and one of the main influences has been a band I know you’re a great fan of – Dare.

*Nicky cheers and dances* Indeed!!!

And the future? Well at present my energies are totally taken up with writing the current book. However, there will obviously be another book in the pipeline by this time next year. Whether it will be a continuation of the lives of the families who live in Little Court Manor or something completely different I’m not sure, but one thing I can guarantee is that it will definitely involve romance and music!

Excellent news! Just my cuppa, then. Rock on!

Once again thank you Nicky for having me here and good luck with Sophie’s Run.

Why, thank you, Jo, it was my pleasure having you here today. Thank your for a fabulous post and I adore all your covers, btw. You have such a strong brand: totally awesome.

Now tell us where we can find you…
Ok, then… I have a blog, of course, and a website. I’m on Twitter as @jolambertwriter and I’m on Facebook, too. You can find my books on Amazon!

About Jo Lambert
Jo Lambert lives in Bath, Somerset with her husband, small grey cat Mollie and Bridget, a white MG Midget affectionately known as her husband’s ‘other woman’.

So then: music and hot stuff…. what gets YOU in the mood for writing? And readers ~ can you tell what inspired an author when you read their books?

CentreStage with Carol E Wyer: Candide-style witty observation, humour and insight

The Summer Silence is over: I’m back! And I’m back with a bang: welcome to the latest edition of CentreStage.

CentreStage features fantastic authors from around the world. On CentreStage, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them.  Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, it is my great pleasure to bring you a fellow lovehappyending.com author, Carol E Wyer.

Welcome, Carol! It’s so lovely that you could visit here today. Let me ask you first of all… what’s your background? Did you always want to be a writer?

Although I only began writing full time two years ago, I have written for a long time. For many years I wrote short stories for children, none of which I took to press but which I read to my son or his friends when they were little.

For some time I ran a language company and at that time I progressed to writing stories that were educational. I wrote a series of books, highly illustrated by a good friend that were set in France and which, through the use of animal characters, taught basic French to children. I took the books into local schools where they were used as part of a curriculum to teach French to young children and were very much enjoyed.

That’s amazing, I’m going to have to look out for those: what a wonderful idea. But this love for writing… does it maybe echo a love for reading, too?

Writing has always been a pleasure for me. It is on a par with reading which I absolutely love. Being a speed reader I can race through books at a terrific speed (if only I could type that quickly) and I love all genres. Reading allows you to have ‘time out’ for you. It allows you escape from your world for a while. Sometimes I enjoy being transported to an earlier time, or abroad. Other times I’ll get to grips with a mystery and quite often I just want to read something light and cheerful that leaves me with a feel good factor.

Having been asked the question a few times now and having given different answers depending on my mood, I sat back and worked out just what is my favourite book of all time. That is such a difficult question when I consider the number and variety of books I have read over the years. Being bed-bound for some considerable time in my youth meant I had read the entire contents of the local library from Enid Blyton through to Dennis Wheatley and Charles Dickens by the time I was eighteen.

Oooooh, a fellow kindred spirit! I can totally relate to your love for anything Enid Blyton and I am with you all the way. On Dickens, too. Great choices! But I gather there is one book, one author in particular who struck a note with you… and an unusual one at that?

Yes, indeed! I have, always loved humorous novels and enjoy Ben Elton’s novels or anything that is dry and amusing. But I suppose I have been most influenced by a novel I read at University: Candide by Voltaire. It is not the sort of book you would pick up in a bookshop and think what a great book –I’ll get this for my trip to Ibiza but it is undoubtedly the book that has influenced my approach to life and my writing.

Go on, tell us more!

Published way back in 1759 it is a French satire about a naive young man who lives in a sort of paradise at Chateau Thunder-Ten-Tronckh. The illegitimate nephew of the Baron, he is allowed to live at the chateau under the tutelage of Pangloss, who attempts to teach him that “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds” or as we know it ‘optimism’.

It consists of thirty chapters which are divided into three sections. At the beginning of each chapter is a summary of what to expect.

Although written a long time ago it is actually a tremendous novel, fast moving, fantastical, erratic but above all I appreciated and enjoyed the sarcastic tone of the novel. The plot parodies many adventure and romance clichés and the tone is mordantly matter of fact.

Events that Candide witnesses were based on historical happenings for example the Seven Year War, and the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, Tsunami and fires. The novel humorously and directly contends the problem of evil as did the philosophers of Voltaire’s day.

After many adventures, almost dying, finding love and losing it again, the resurrection of Pangloss and other characters, Candide meets a farmer who lives a simple life, works hard, and avoids vice and leisure. Inspired, Candide and his friends take to cultivating a garden in earnest. All their time and energy goes into the work, and none is left over for philosophical speculation. At last everyone is fulfilled and happy. Candide decides to turn his back on optimism and cultivate his garden.

The book applies to modern times as much as its own and is definitely my favourite read – just as it was Frederick the Great’s, King of Prussia, who said that it was the only book he knew that one could read and re-read and never become bored of it.

I checked it out on Amazon before I wrote this post and was surprised at how popular it still is. You can download it for free so why not check it out? I am not alone in enjoying it one review I found said it was:

“A must read for any fan of classical European literature it reads as an escalating, buccaneering romp through exotic lands with a firm tongue in cheek and a book long maxim of the thrill of the chase surpassing the kill.”

Well, I can’t beat that, can I?

Now, now, don’t put your light under that bushel. I’ll have to check out Candide first of all and then, when I’ve closed that glaring gap in my education, I shall get back to you… But tell me more, first of all, about your own novels.

My novels are humorous. They look at life and problems facing all of us who are getting older but feeling just as young as we did ten years ago. My first novel, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, written through the eyes of a woman who is facing the dreaded ‘five-oh’, smacks slightly of Candide. Amanda Wilson doesn’t go on any great journey and meet Jesuits, become mega wealthy or get cooked by cannibals but she blunders through mishaps and hugely entertaining episodes to eventually learn to appreciate what is around her. She finally recognises that the grass is not always greener on the other side and that if she wants to enjoy her life and her relationships then she has to work at them.

I suppose deep down the message I took from reading Candide stayed with me and I hope that in years to come people will say how much they enjoyed my acerbic witty observations and how it is as relevant in the future as it is today.

That sounds fantastic. Who wouldn’t be tempted to go and get a copy now? Speaking of, here’s where you can find Carol’s books:

Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines is available on FeedARead and amazon.co.uk as well as amazon.comSurfing in Stilettos is available on FeedARead and amazon.co.uk as well as amazon.com.

And you can find out more about Carol at her website. Carol is also on Facebook and Twitter.

PS: Owing to a small scheduling delay (from my end, mea culpa) this post now coincides with Carol’s official launch of Surfing in Stilettos. How cool is that? I am so honoured to feature Carol on her launch day. HUGE congratulations, Carol, and I hope it goes fantastically well. Rock on! 🙂 xx

As always, over to you, dear reader. Have you read Candide? Is it a hard act to follow? And do you have an author or book that’s inspired you in the way that Voltaire inspired Carol? We’d love to hear about it…

CentreStage with Richard Holmes: Inspired!

Welcome again to CentreStageCentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world, often introducing fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com as well as my fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family.  On CentreStage, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them.  Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, it is my great pleasure to welcome a loveahappyending.com featured author…  Introducing: the amazing Richard Holmes!

Richard says:  “You Can’t Beat A Bit Of Inspiration”

First of all I would like to thank the wonderful Nicky Wells for having me as a guest on her blog.  I know that she has had a number of amazing authors as guests and it’s an honour for me to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before.

**Nicky blushes** Thank you for your kind words, Richard, it’s lovely to have you visit today. 🙂  Sorry to interrupt, please continue….

I have chosen as a theme for this short post, “inspirational quotes”.  I don’t know about you, but I love a bit of inspiration and I do get fired up by the thoughts and musings of the world’s great “quoters” both past and present.  Some pieces of inspiration are self-explanatory, such as this masterpiece from Marie Curie:

Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood

But there are other gems of wisdom that are open to interpretation and may need a bit of pondering before the meaning becomes apparent, such as this piece from Charles Dickens:

Have a heart that never hardens; a temper that never tires; a touch that never hurts

On the surface he appears to be contradicting himself with his talk of a temper that never tires, but if you think about it, it seems that he is actually talking about desire and enthusiasm; the fire one gets in the belly when one gets their teeth into a project.  The drive to keep going right to the end.

I would like to share with you a couple of my personal favourites, and also my own slant on them.  Firstly, this wonderful quote from Sri Sathya Sai Baba; I will never forget the feeling I had when I first came across this because it is so true and apt:“In your heart you will find peace, everywhere else you will find only pieces

These words are just so true.  If you think about it, when we take the time to find a quiet space and sit with our own reflections, we can and do find that inner peace that passes all understanding.  But in the helter-skelter of the outer world everything seems so disjointed.  We are always running here, there and everywhere; sometimes achieving nothing in the process, and the noise can sometimes be deafening.  Life really can seem like a 1000 piece jig-saw at times with the pieces scattered all over the place.  But when we find that inner peace nothing else seems to matter and we can experience that blissful feeling of being an impartial and silent observer, unruffled by all the chaos in the world.

Pesky me, interrupting again: so sorry! Just had to say how much I adore that quote. It’s beautiful, and I am happy that you’re sharing it here today.  End of interruption, I promise!

Another quote that really inspires me is this one from Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Someone gave me a picture as a gift back in 2003, when I was moving to Wales, and this quote was on it:

Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

I only recently found out it was one of Ralph’s and it really makes me think whenever I’m having one of my “woe is me” phases.

Lastly, I very recently saw an American female singer being interviewed on TV.  Her name is Melody Gardot, and she had been involved in a terrible car crash. She used her time recovering in a hospital bed to learn to play the guitar.  Although she recovered she was left very sensitive to light and sound, but when the interviewer asked her about her ordeal she said the most wonderful thing.  She described the whole experience as the universe “opening its arms” and giving her the most amazing opportunity which she grasped with both hands.  It made me think of that quote and how she was a classic example of someone who dared to tread where most people would not and because of this she became a shining example for others to follow.

That’s just such an amazing story!  Anyone interested in finding out more about Melody’s story can visit her website here or take a peek at her potted history on Wikipedia.

Well, all that remains now is for me to say thanks again to Nicky Wells for having me as a guest on her blog……. Thanks Nicky!

The pleasure is all mine, Richard. I am humbled and delighted by the quotes and thoughts you are sharing today. Thank you!  Now, I believe there’s a book you’d like to tell us about at this point?

I do indeed!  I’d like to introduce the  first book in the Fragments Of Divinity series. This is an innovative publication of  blog style articles that deal with potentially complicated spiritual subjects in  an easy to read and understand way.  Based mainly on my own actual  experiences, these delightful articles will provide both inspiration and insight  to the reader, and will also answer many of those nagging questions that you  thought you would never receive answers to. A truly inspirational read.

And here’s Richard’s bio and amazing life story:

Richard was born in London in 1955 and has lived a very topsy turvey life that hit rock bottom as we entered the new millennium.  “I always felt like a bit of a misfit, not really belonging anywhere. This is illustrated by the fact that I left school at 15 with no qualifications and would have been asked to leave had I not done so voluntarily. By the time I was 17 I’d had 24 jobs and was just not able to settle anywhere.”

Out of frustration and boredom Richard joined the army in 1976, but this did not work out either and he left at the end of 1979.  After a three-month interim period Richard went off to Germany to work and remained abroad for six years. It was during his time in the army and in Germany that he succumbed excessively to the temptations of alcohol.

Richard returned to the UK in 1986 and by the mid 1990’s found himself in a pretty sorry state. Things came to a head during the latter part of 2000 when Richard’s life seemed to sink down to an all-time low.  “Finally, out of the darkness there came a light and in 2001 I found my spiritual pathway giving me a purpose in life“.

These days Richard lives in Tetbury, Gloucestershire and has been working as a medium for over ten years. He runs workshops in various spiritual topics, gives private consultations for guidance along life’s pathway and also tutors on a one-to-one basis in meditation and spiritual awareness. He is a Reiki healer, psychic surgeon, spiritually inspired artist and gives profound interpretations of dreams.

Visit Richard on his website or at loveahappyending.com, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

You can buy Richard’s books on amazon.co.uk,  amazon.com and smashwords.

Well, I have to say I am positively reeling from all these insights (in a good way, of course!). Wow!  Over to you, dear reader.  Which quote speaks to you loudest?  Do you have a favourite inspirational saying or quote? We’d love you to share!