We’ve gone all romantic at writing.ie and thought we’d bring you a mixture of the fiction, non fiction and poetry that might make that great Valentine’s gift, or at least hold you in good stead for next Valentine’s day…
So first, poetry…
And Guess Who He Was With? by Liz Cowley
Liz Crowley has had a long career as an advertising copywriter, mostly writing on women’s products –as she says, ‘a terrific opportunity to listen to women talk about their lives’. Her first book of humorous poetry, A Red Dress, came out in 2008 and took the top spot on Amazon, and was turned into a stage show in Dublin. What am I doing here? followed in 2010, and a selection from both books was featured as the finale of the West Cork Literary Festival the same year, starring the acclaimed Irish actress Cyrena Hayes Byrne. In this collection, And Guess Who He Was With? published by Liberties Press, Liz looks at the roller-coaster journey of women’s lives – and the lovers and liars, friends and enemies, joys and disappointments, frustrations and betrayals along the way.
Wry, bittersweet, often hilarious and with a characteristic sting in the tail, Liz brings a unique and often wicked wit to the pitfalls, perils and pleasures of love in a heady mix of laughter and tears.
Highly readable, utterly approachable, this is a book for those who love poetry – and for those who normally don’t.
Published in time for Valentine’s Day, ‘And Guess Who He Was With?’ is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry and always say the right thing. Here’s a sample from Valentine’s Day:
A great big box, in fact gigantic –
I thought, how lovely, so romantic!
Until I started to undo it,
and then discovered that you blew it…
And next non-fiction:
Billed as ‘the world’s leading relationship coach’ Mathew Hussey is a performance coach who has studied over 10,000 men and analysed 5000 dates to produce a book that advices women who have been unsuccessful in their quest for a lasting relationship with the right man, just how to make things better. Over 50,000 women have attended his Get the Guy events across the globe, and glowing testimonials would suggest that his advice really does work.
In Get the Guy (Bantam Press), Hussey shares his dating secrets and advice, providing women with ‘the toolkit they need to approach men and to create and maintain relationships.’ Along the way he explodes some commonly held myths about what it is guys really want, shares strategies on how women can take control of their dating destinies and empowers them to find and keep their man.
Despite the hype, this is actually is a book about empowering women, about giving them confidence, about positive thinking and gives some down-to-earth good advice. Divided into three sections, Find the Guy, Get the Guy and Keep the Guy, it covers everything from how to engage a guy in conversation to online dating. I love the section on ‘the power of a small favour’; it’s the most obvious stuff that always works the best.
Hussey has a You Tube Channel packed full of tips, we thought you’d like to see his advice on where to find the best men…and it’s all about the story…
And the best bit? The books dedicated to ‘the ultimate high-value woman, my mum’. We like.
‘One of the biggest mistakes we make,’ Trevor Silvester says, ‘is to treat other people as if they are just like us. I’m a Harley Street therapist, and over nearly twenty years I’ve been helping couples improve their lives together, and one thing is clear to me: most couples don’t flounder through lack of love, but through a lack of understanding.’
In Lovebirds (Coronet), Silvester has devised eight personality types, named after different birds, and anyalyes in depth every possible combination of these types. He explores why some people find relationships so hard, and how, through recognising each others differences, ‘we can turn the stumbling blocks we think we face into the foundations of a happy relationship’.
The book begins with a multiple choice test so that you can discover which type you – and your partner – belong to. Then there is a description of each type – what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes, how they tend to behave, their body language, what they tend to look like, the line of work and hobbies they are likely to choose, their hopes and fears. So in this section you can read about yourself – and your partner.
The final section looks at all the different possible compatibility combinations between the types, showing how misunderstandings can arise and giving advice on how to keep love between the different types of birds going and growing.
Silvester is the founder of Cognitive Hypnotherapy and the Training Director of The Quest Institute. He is a practising Hypnotherapist with over twenty years experience and was the editor of the Hypnotherapy Journal of the National Council for Hypnotherapy for nine years. He has gained a reputation as one of the leading experts in the theory and practice of hypnotic language, and his integration of modern scientific discoveries into the practical aspects of therapy has made him one of the key figures in the modern therapy field.
Silvester is definitely onto something with personality types, as business gurus have proved before him, so whether you are an owl or a peacock, you will find elements that you can relate to in this book.
So heartbreak might not be the best subject for Valentine’s Day, but whatever our circumstances, we all need a good laugh, and this book turns heartbreak on its head in a rip roaring read. And with a Deborah Moggach book, we are assured of a good read. Debby Moggach is the author of seventeen successful novels including the bestselling Tulip Fever and most recently In The Dark (Chatto & Windus, 2008). Her screenplay for the film of Pride and Prejudice was nominated for a BAFTA, and her TV screenplays include the acclaimed Love in a Cold Climate and award-winning adaptations of her own novels Close Relations and Final Demand. In 2012, These Foolish Things was adapted for the screen under the title The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and stars Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith.
Heartbreak Hotel (Chatto & Windus) tells the story of retired actor Russell “Buffy” Buffery, who inherits a guesthouse in Wales from an old friend, and decides to rise to the challenge. He rather likes the idea of being an innkeeper and besides, London has lost its charm. Moving out of his damp, cramped flat to the rambling B&B in Knockton, Buffy soon realizes that he’s taken on more than he bargained for and – if he’s going to make any sort of profit – he’ll have to do a bit more than plonk a bucket under the leak in the roof and hope the guests turn up.
After hearing yet another lovelorn guest pour her heart out over a glass or three of wine, Buffy has an idea. What if his guesthouse offered something more than a warm, welcoming host and a neverending supply of booze? What if it offered help and advice to the newly-single? After all, he’s survived three marriages and many children himself, so he must have learned a thing or two along the way. With that in mind, Buffy founds a school for the broken-hearted. Mechanics, Cookery, Household Finances, Talking to Women – anything that might help a recent divorcee find his or her feet.
Buffy’s idea turns out to be more than just a money-maker. Soon, guests who flocked to Knockton looking for a helping hand are finding a new lease on life. As old relationships are rekindled and new love blooms, there might just be one last chance at love for the master of the house, too.
We love a happy ending!