Archive for January 2014

Debbie Huxton's Little Book of Big Wisdom

Midlands mum shares ‘big wisdom’ to inspire others

A Midlands mum and businesswoman is sharing some hard-earned words of wisdom in a new book, after her son’s attempted suicide spurred her into turning her life around.

Former nurse Debbie Huxton saved her son, Matthew now 25, after finding him semi-conscious from a drugs overdose eight years ago – a shocking moment that made her re-evaluate her whole life.

In that instant, Debbie, 45, of Walsall Wood, resolved to be a better mum to Matthew, and her other children Saranne, now 17 and Jemma, 22.

With dad Simon, 52, serving all over the world as a sergeant in the British Army’s Catering Corps, and Debbie working all hours as a nurse in Accident and Emergency at Sutton Coldfield’s Good Hope hospital, she realised her children, and their emotional well-being as a family, had been neglected.

Debbie vowed to start living for what’s important, changing herself, her career and her family life for the better and just 12 months after finding Matthew, Debbie had shed six stone and a year later she quit nursing.

She says: “It took Matthew’s attempted suicide to make me realise how unhappy we all were with life in general. 

“It was an enormous shock as Matthew hadn’t shown any signs of depression, and I hadn’t picked up on any signs that he was even unhappy.  He was a high-achiever at school, getting good grades, and he seemed to have a good group of friends.

“What I didn’t realise was he was feeling immense pressure to excel, he had an intense fear of failure and he didn’t know how to talk to me about it.”

The experience spurred Debbie, Simon and all three children on to sign up to courses learning about the human mind and emotions. 

“The courses did more for us than being counselled, because learning about different personalities helped us understand each other better – what made us all tick.

“It also made me realise there were better ways to help others than nursing, that people often need healing from the inside.”

It took a second big wake-up call from a very unlikely source, however – in a promise to a dying patient – to give Debbie the final push to change her career. 

Whilst still working in the emergency room, Debbie befriended an alcoholic.  This friendship led her to make a life-changing pact over his death-bed to leave nursing and do something that makes her happy. 

Her path has still not been easy. Her first attempt at building her own business as a weight loss coach resulted in her facing bankruptcy.  She lost her investment of around £30,000 savings when she was sold a business that didn’t exist.

Through the process of trying to start a business, however, Debbie talked to a lot of established businesspeople who were trying to change their lives for the better, but had something holding them back.

She changed direction, moving from weight-loss counselling to forge a career as an established and respected confidante and coach for business people across the UK.   She now works with clients including Brad Burton, the millionaire founder of 4Networking Group and entrepreneurs including an award-winning Midlands restauranteur, and is in-demand as an inspirational and motivational speaker.

Her career, and new book, have been borne from helping clients and friends deal with ‘their thing’.

The first quote in her book is, “You know that thing . . . it’s time to deal with it.”

“The thing is different for everyone,” says Debbie. “Matthew helped me to see that although we may look the picture of health and happiness on the outside, inside there is something eating away at us.”

Debbie’s quotes, which she dubs ‘Huxisms’ – are all her own motivational sayings that have seen her through the bad times and have gone down a storm with her clients.

The resulting ‘Debbie Huxton’s Little Book of BIG WISDOM’ (RRP £5.99) gives people food for thought in Debbie’s unique, straight-talking way.

The book will go on general sale after the official launch event, being held on 27th January at the studio, 7 Cannon Street, Birmingham.

Debbie is also planning a series of podcasts throughout the year, to share in her own words the reasons behind her quotes and how they have helped her.  The first of these will be released in February.

 “Above all I hope people take away from my story and my book that - no matter how low you go, there’s always a way up,” says Debbie.

Debbie’s book can be purchased through her website at

For more information, please contact Debbie Huxton on 0808 108 0754.

 My Review

When I was asked to review this book I was thrilled. This book is right up my street. Like lots of people I sometimes need a bit of a positive kick up the backside. This little pocket sized book is great for giving words of encouragement and dragging you out of the negativity we all feel at one time or another. I found one or two little mantras in the book that I will be using to help bring some positivity into my life and use the power of positive thought to influence my day. Its a teeny little book that is easily carried around and read at those times when the power of positive thought is needed. Smaller than your mobile phone, its easily slipped into your handbag, back pocket of your jeans or just carried around, its a fab gift for someone.

You can learn more about Debbie at her website at

You can buy the book by clicking here.

Promo Tour - Cyber Stalker by Jens Hildebrand

A gripping YA novel for the Facebook generation.

"I love you."
Lilly's heart misses a beat when these words appear on her screen. Okay, she'd love to have a boyfriend, and when Ian sends her a friendship request, she eagerly accepts. He just looks so gorgeous in the pictures. But when she's about to meet him in person, things take a dramatic turn. Who is Ian really? And how far will he go to get what he wants?

3 Rules Against Cyberstalking:

1. Don't accept friendship requests from people you've never met.
2. Don't look at their photos.
3. Don't fall in love.

PRAISE for "Cyberstalker":

"Gripping and insidiously convincing, CYBERSTALKER will simultaneously thrill and appal readers, who may start to wonder who might really be on the other end of every Internet conversation." MG Harris, international best-selling author of "The Joshua Files"

About the Author

I’ve always read a lot and started writing when I was ten. Reading and writing have always helped me in my life, and I need both the same way that I need air to breathe. During my time at school I wrote a Sherlock Holmes novel, one horror and two adventure novels, and lots of short stories. My inspirations were Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen King and Ray Bradbury – quite a weird mixture, I know. My great mentor was my granddad, who was hilariously funny and inspiring. He read all my stuff and was happy for me, and he also found out that in the early 19th century one of our ancestors, Wilhelm Zahn, produced amazing books about the ancient murals in Pompeii and was friends with Goethe. This provided even more inspiration, as did all those late-night films I watched when I was home alone: mostly old B-monster-movies by Jack Arnold (“Tarantula”, “Creature from the Black Lagoon”), “The Thing from Another World”, and John Carpenter’s “The Fog”.Our old house always creaked and cracked, and that didn’t help. Well, it sure got my imagination going…
Later, while studying at uni I started producing computer software, for example the first language learning software on CD, and guidebooks for teachers about the new media, like the first didactical treatment of teaching film analysis.
On my way to school one morning I came up with the idea for “Granny Gertrude”, which then led to the stories about Tom and “TEAM 002″. I’ve always been a great fan of James Bond, and it’s kind of funny that there even is a Bond story titled “The Hildebrand-Rarity”, which was used as a source for the Bond film “Licence to kill” (1989). So it’s only logical for Tom, the hero of my secret agent thrillers, to admire James Bond. The idea for “Cyberstalker” came about during my work as leader of our team for crisis intervention. It’s more grounded in reality than you would like to know.
I love England, first and foremost our English friends and Dartmoor, where Sherlock Holmes chased the “Hound of the  Baskervilles”. The small village of Postbridge has become our second home, and we love exploring the area and sitting round the fireplace, chatting with friends.
At our school, I currently hold the post of Deputy Headmaster. I also coordinate our crisis & counseling team. We endeavour to help our pupils, mostly to make them resilient against bullying, cyberbullying, cyberstalking etc. What’s most important job is creating a good atmosphere at school. We also work within a great network of partners such as other schools and counseling centres.
Author Links

The overall tour giveaway will be a movie script with authenticated autographs.

Rafflecopter code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz - Lynda Renham

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to be part of the book blitz promo tour for Lynda Renham. Her book, The Valentine Present and other Diabolical Liberties has been renamed THE DOG'S BOLLOCKS and you can win a copy by clicking on the rafflcopter link at the end of this post. You can of course read my review for The Dog's Bollocks (The Valentine Present etc) HERE!             

On arriving home after a friend’s posh wedding, launderette worker Harriet finds her life irrevocably changed as she discovers her flat ransacked and her boyfriend missing. In a matter of hours she is harassed by East End gangsters and upper crust aristocrats. Accepting an offer she can’t refuse, Harriet, against her better judgement becomes the fiancée of the wealthy Hamilton Lancaster, with dire consequences. What she had not bargained on was meeting Doctor Brice Edmunds. 

The Dog’s Bollocks is Lynda Renham’s funniest novel so far. A cocktail of misunderstandings, three unlikely gangsters, a monkey and a demented cat make this novel a hysterical read. Follow Harriet’s adventure where every attempt to get out of trouble puts her deeper in it. 

Alice Lane has everything; a wonderful fiancé, a responsible job and a lovely flat in Chelsea, but after she has a bra fitting her life goes tits up. Homeless, and with just a sparkling engagement ring as a memory of her previous life Alice accepts a live-in farm manager s job and discovers that things actually can get worse. Come with Alice as she makes her hilarious career change and struggles to cope with her moody employer, Edward. But can Alice turn her back on romance and resist the dashing Dominic or will the past come back to surprise her?

Annabel Lewis (Bels) has two days to get to her wedding in Rome but her journey is beset with one disaster after another as fate takes its turn. Will the stranger she meets on the way get her to her wedding on time or will he change her life forever? Come with Bels on her humorous romantic journey to see if she marries Mr Right or if destiny takes her in different direction.

Literary agent Libby Holmes is desperate for her boyfriend, Toby, to propose to her and will do anything for him and if that means dieting for England then she ll have a go. However, when Libby s boss introduces her to her new client, Alex Bryant, her life is turned upside down. Alex Bryant, ex-SAS officer and British hero, insists Libby accompany him to Cambodia for a book fair. What she hadn't bargained for was a country in revolt. Libby finds herself in the middle of an uprising with only Alex Bryant to protect her, that is, until Toby flies out to win back her affections. Come with Libby on her romantic comedy adventure to see if love blossoms in the warm Cambodian sunshine or if, in the heat of the day, emotions get just too hot to handle.

A collection of short funny tales and a unique insight into the world of chicklit royalty, aka Lynda Renham. A right comedy of errors if ever there was one. If you're looking for her beauty secrets and fashion ideas you've come to the right place. Read of her intimate sex life, her secrets for staying young and how she keeps her man - just. A fly-on-the wall true account of the life of a romantic comedy novelist, written in her own words. It's all here, the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 
Publisher Note: We are not responsible for any of the advice given in this book. If you do not look like Lynda after reading this we cannot be held accountable. 

Warning: Tena Pads recommended while reading

About the Author

Lynda Renham writes romantic comedy novels and has a growing fan base. She has been likened in style to Sophie Kinsella but writes with a down-to earth humour. Lynda’s novels are popular, refreshingly witty, fast paced, and with a strong romantic theme. Lynda lives in Oxford, UK. She has appeared on BBC radio discussion programs and when not writing Lynda can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.

"Lynda Renham is right up there with chick-lit royalty! I'm not talking princess either, for me, the Queen of Chick-lit". – Booketta Book Blog’


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author in the Spotlight - Joanna Lambert

Born and raised in rural Wiltshire, Jo Lambert has always been a country girl at heart.  Currently she lives on the eastern edge of Bath in a beautiful village set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Here she has the best of both worlds – there is Bath with its fabulous history and architecture, its cafes, restaurants, cinemas and theatre - and of course wonderful shopping! Then in complete contrast there is the village and open countryside with amazing views – a great inspiration for writing she says.

Jo is married, owns one small grey female feline called Mollie and shares her husband with Bridget - a 48 year old white MG Midget. ‘She keeps him occupied while I’m writing’ she tells us.

Author of four novels, her latest book, The Other Side of Morning will be available in February 2014    

The Other Side of Morning

Former model turned fashion designer Thérèse D’Alesandro has recently moved into Higher Padbury Manor with daughter Felica and stepson Marco. Joining forces with Ella Benedict’s exclusive functions venue ‘Lawns at Little Court’ she is about to open a bridal boutique.

Working in London where he manages his father’s European restaurant chain, Marco has both the looks and charm to guarantee him any woman; any woman, that is, except the one he wants: Ella’s niece Charlotte.  Already involved with rock star Christian Rosetti and the most rude and argumentative female he has ever encountered he knows he should walk away.  But Charlotte has sparked strong feelings within him; feelings which refuse to go away and which he senses, despite her attitude, she is also experiencing.

Recently returned from abroad and now working for her father’s record company Lucy Benedict has discovered Christian’s guilty secrets; ones he has been keeping safely hidden from her cousin .  Determined to cause mischief and at the same time settle her own score with the arrogant star she sets in motion a chain of events which create havoc for Christian and eventually bring Charlotte and Marco together.

Rossana Caravello, the D’Alessandro’s newly-arrived house guest, is due to inherit the famous Alba Dorata vineyards on her eighteenth birthday.   As one of Tuscany’s premier producers of Chianti, Thérèse is aware they would make an excellent addition to her husband Gianlucca’s international business portfolio. To bring them into his possession she sets about engineering a match between Rossana and Marco determined nothing is going to stand in her way…including Charlotte.

From rural West Somerset to the glorious rolling landscape of Tuscany and the Italian Lakes THE OTHER SIDE OF MORNING is a story of love, betrayal, deception and ultimate sacrifice.



Joanna Lambert,
A Writer Inspired by Music

twitter: @jolambertwriter

- Copyright © 2013-2014 Brook Cottage Books - Powered by Blogger - Graphics & Blog Customization by JellydogDesign