Guest Post with Ella Cook
Today I'm joined by fellow Joffe author, Ella Cook. Her latest novel, Healing Hearts in the Litlle Village, was published on July 25th and is described as '...a heartwarming romance about second chances.'
Welcome to the blog, Ella. I think you're going to talk to us about confidence and mental health. It's over to you!
I got my first negative reviews as an author: it’s actually about this new book (be warned!)
Bad reviews? Just another, albeit less-than-pleasant part of being an author, right? Well, actually, no. It was a total meltdown that sent me into a depressive spiral – probably one of the worst this year (I’m writing this in July, by the way). I’m only just starting to pull myself together now – after a lot of tears, quite a lot of swearing, and huge amounts of love, support and reassurance.
And I’m really grateful to Jan today, because I promised her this blog before the miserable-making reviews – and in nearly fifteen years of business writing I’ve learned to write even when I’m feeling dreadful, and never missed a deadline (and I’m not planning on starting now!). So it’s forced me to shine a light on the shadows that a not nice review has brought back out to the surface. Much like the shadowy monsters of some of the best fairy tales and fantasy stories, the creeping darkness that unkind review brought into my world didn’t come alone – instead it opened the door for years of self-doubt to return, bringing with it the misery caused by years of that dreaded imposter syndrome, and memories of all the times I – or someone else – told me I wasn’t good enough.
Fortunately, the rotten author who gave her such a dark back story (me again!) isn’t really that mean, and wrote in a hero – and a glittery little fairy princess – who are going to do their best to help Liv find some self-confidence again, to remind her how to be kind to herself – and hopefully love herself again. This leads me nicely to one of my favourite lines in this book, which I liked so much that I had it printed on a mug!
And to everyone else: make sure that the voices you pick to listen to, the
ones that influence your behaviour and how you feel about yourself, are kind ones. Maybe when you’re next having a bit of a wobble, or a hard time, change the message and story you are telling yourself… speak to yourself the way your friends would talk to you. Or how you would talk to them. Instead of being your own harshest critic – just for a few minutes try being your own, biggest cheerleader. Because you are awesome, you are unique and you are worth it.
And now that I’m feeling a bit less sorry for myself, I’m going to go and pull on one of my favourite happy dresses (made by Popsy, by the way – you cannot beat them for feel-good, confidence-inspiring dressing!) – maybe skip around in some flowers, and try to practice my own advice and be a little bit nicer to me for a bit.
lovely comments and positive reviews you've had already for your new book instead:
Ella’s been obsessed with books since the moment she could reach to pull them off the shelf by herself, and has wanted to write for as long as she can remember.
She grew up in London where fairies lived at the bottom of her Grandma’s garden, and she still looks for magic – and often finds it – in everyday life.
She won the SWWJ Floella Benjamin Award in 2019, and published her debut, BEYOND GREY with Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction in 2021. Her books are now published by Joffe Books, who won the IPG Trade Publisher of the Year in 2023. She doesn't plan to stop writing any time soon.
When she emerges from her fictional worlds, she writes bids for children’s services and lives in Warwickshire (where there are probably more fairies) with her ever-loving husband who reads all her stories first and makes gallons of tea in magical cups that keep drinks warm for whole chapters.
broken-hearted city doctor. A countryside surgery in need of a new GP. The
perfect love story bound to get your pulse racing . . .
Dr Liv Emery is at her wits end. Her perfect life was within her grasp. Instead she’s dealing with the fallout of being dumped by her long-term boyfriend in the cruellest way possible.
Then on top of everything else, a patient goes berserk on her. It’s the final straw, and there’s only one thing for it . . . A new start.
So she jumps at the chance to cover her former professor’s GP surgery in the Cotswolds and waves goodbye to the city. And good-for-nothing men.
Life in the village of Broclington is a far cry from London — and her cottage is a welcome change from her old shoebox flat. But her relief is short-lived after meeting her prickly boss Callum.
But perhaps he has his reasons . . . It’s not easy juggling being a single parent to a fairy-obsessed six-year-old while staving off bosses breathing down his neck about funding cuts.
The more Liv gets to know Callum and his daughter, the more she realizes she may be able to help them — and the village practice — more than she could have imagined.
But will her time in Broclington be the healing experience she so desperately needs, or could she end up heartbroken once again?
Fans of Beth Moran, Alison Sherlock, Cathy Bramley, Heidi Swain, Marie Laval or Lisa Hobman will fall head over heels for this cozy romance full of heart.
READERS ADORE ELLA COOK’S FEEL-GOOD ROMANCE:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘A lovely feel-good book.’ Rosamond C.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Brilliant characters and a great insight into village life.’ Gill K.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘A sweet story.’ Evangelia M.
Thank you for reading. Writers, how do you deal with things when your confidence in your writing takes a knock?
To find out more about me and my books, please visit my AMAZON PAGE. Thanks.