Everything is Fine
By Gillian Harvey
Author and Freelance Writer
I’ve always wanted to write.
Back when I was five years old, I was already penning poems – one of my proudest moments was when, aged 7, my poem about the Arctic was shared with the whole school:
It’s big and cold
With snow and ice.
I wouldn’t think
It’s very nice.
Not much sun,
Too much snow,
I’m glad I’m not
In my late teens, I started and abandoned several novels, and then finally aged 24, I was able to write ‘the end’ on my first finished manuscript.
It hasn’t been plain sailing since. In fact, it took until I was 40 to finally sign with an agent, by which time I’d written a further 6 full-length works – mysteries, thrillers, rom-coms and even a real tear-jerker about a mother and daughter relationship.
None of these books were wasted. In that time, I developed my voice. I discovered that, no matter what genre I was writing in, humor would burst through my writing.
Although it’s been a long-wait, I believe the experiences I’ve gone through en route to publication have helped me develop more layers to my writing – humor can make a serious point as well as be trivial. I’ve had five children, PND, changed careers, moved to France and started a new life. I’ve got plenty of experience to draw on!
‘Everything is Fine’ was inspired during a conversation with my sister. I live in rural France, and it’s idyllic and blissful and… sometimes a bit too quiet.
I chatted to my sister about this, complaining (a little) about how much fun she seemed to be having. It was tongue-in-cheek, but on some level I did feel a bit envious of her nights out and parties. Then she stopped me in my tracks. “It’s just Facebook,” she said. “Everyone knows that’s not real.”
I mean, we all know that, right? Facebook is made up of snapshots, not real-time events. We share what we want to share, and keep other things private.
Her words made me think though: if it isn’t real, then why do we do it? What makes me share one photo over the other? What response am I trying to provoke in my online ‘friends’? Why am I presenting this version of myself?
In Everything is Fine, Jessica Bradley has fallen into the trap of presenting her life as perfect. She started a diet blog to keep her motivated when losing a few pounds, but has somehow netted thousands of followers. Now, because having followers has helped her PR business to thrive, she’s stuck in a world where she has to provide fitness inspiration to keep people’s interest.
This gets a lot harder when her ‘real life’ begins to spiral out of control. Jessica tries to keep up appearances, with hilarious results.
‘Everything is Fine’ was released by Orion Books in the UK in May 2020 in e-book, audio and paperback.
It is available in e-book and audiobook worldwide, and US paperback release is scheduled for 26 January 2021
Buying links: https://linktr.ee/gillianharveyauthor
Jessica Bradley has it all: the perfect boyfriend; influential healthy-eating blog; successful PR company and wonderful daughter, Anna. Or at least that is what her thousands of followers believe.
The truth is, her boyfriend just broke up with her in four words on a post-it; her zest for healthy-eating has all but disappeared; her PR success is all reliant on her now not-so-honest online-life and she just got caught eating her daughter’s Coco-Pops.
So as they say: fake it ’til you make it. A few little white lies and phoney smiling selfies and Jess can keep up appearances. But when her real-life starts to spiral out of control how can Jess tell the truth from the lies? And will she be able to seize real happiness when it is right in front of her?
Hilarious, heart-warming and oh-so relatable, Everything Is Fine is perfect for fans of Louise Pentland, Anna Bell and Lindsey Kelk.
‘Funny and uplifting’ BELLA
‘Hilarious, heartwarming and relatable’ NEW! Magazine
‘Made me laugh out loud so many times!’ Lucy Vine
‘Feel-good, funny, and very relatable’ Anna Bell
‘Funny and honest’ Elizabeth Buchan
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Before parenthood, I was an enthusiastic career woman, working as the Clinical Lead for Stroke for Speech and Language Therapy, at an inner-city hospital. I was used to a busy ward, an inbox full of work demands and a caseload as long as my arm.
When I had Isabelle, everything changed. I expected the overwhelm, the sleeplessness, the saggy belly and the Sudocrem stains, but I didn’t expect to feel underwhelmed by it all. I didn’t expect to feel bored. I guess nobody ever tells you that, sometimes, it’s dull as dish-water sitting at home all day with only a teeny person sucking on your nipples for company.
Now, I love my daughter, that’s never in doubt here. I just felt like I lost me. And I knew I wouldn’t be alone in feeling like that.
So, I started to write. I wrote my deepest thoughts; the ones that nobody says out loud. The ones that, sometimes, you wonder whether you should write at all. I wrote about the funny times too, of which there were many. I documented all the #mumfails and I ranted about the crazy things that nobody ever told me about. Like what bin you put the crusty belly-button worm into (NO. Keeping it is NOT an answer). Or the dance routine to wind the bobbin up. Or why you and your husband have to work so hard just to love one another some days.
It’s all in there. It’s funny. It’s real, and I hope it’s relatable to you. I hope you find comfort in knowing it’s not just you, and I hope that your pelvic floor can withstand all the laugh-out-loud moments.
We’re in this together Mamas.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Science is insane. Mothers have an innate fear for the lives of their children. I’m not talking hand-holding at the roadside or strapping them in on a rollercoaster (those these things are recommended) I’m talking a deep, keep-you-up-in-the-night-even-when-the-little-sod-is-fast-asleep fear of them stopping breathing at any given moment.
This is almost definitely exacerbated by midwives educating parents about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the sudden unexplained death of a child under one often in their sleep.
As a result, you spend half the night rocking them to sleep and the other half hovering dangerously close over them to make sure they’ll wake up. Inevitably, you accidentally rouse the little monster and have to start the performance all over again. No wonder we’re all knackered.
The reviews say it all: it’s rated 5* on Amazon, and they’re flying off the shelves. Grab yours while you can…
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I enjoyed this book so much I have recommended it to a number of friends.
The story is set during and just after the 2nd World War, following various people’s lives affected by The Huntress.
The hunt is on for Nazi criminals after the war. One such murderer killed the brother of one of the hunters. He makes it his mission to find her.
The story flicks between America in 1950, featuring the hunt, and the war years which sets out the series of events leading up to the murder of Sebastian.
Nina, a ‘nightwitch’ who flies Russian fighter planes. A fascinating insight into that part of the war which I hadn’t known about before. She starts her life in Siberia, growing up in a tough unforgiving environment.
Jordan, whose father, an antiques dealer, remarries years after the death of her mother. She finds it difficult to adjust to life with a new stepmother and step sister.
Ian and Tony, the Nazi hunters. Ian being the older brother of Sebastian and husband to Nina.
The Huntress, who is always on the run.
A very different take on World War II. I will definitely be looking at Kate Quinn’s other books.
I don’t even know where to start. The way Glennon tells her story the way she is so open and raw and unapologetic to her truth was so refreshing.
This beautiful powerful book made me see myself in an entire new way a way that made me feel free made me realized that I have choices. I get to choose if certain thoughts or believes no longer serve me. I have the choice to let go and free myself into becoming who I was born to be.
We don’t need to live in the cages of our own thoughts all it takes is the willing and the awareness to know we have a choice to become untamed.