An extract from Who’s That Girl by Celia Hayes


There’s one thing I find really frustrating about blogging and that it that I simply don’t have time to read all the books I’d like to. Once again my 900+ TBR has prevented me reading Who’s That Girl by Celia Hayes and I think it looks such an entertaining read.

However, at least I can take part in the launch celebrations for Who’s That Girl. I am delighted to have an extract to share with you today.

Published by Aria on 1st February 2018, Who’s That Girl is available for purchase on Amazon, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks.

Who’s That Girl


Sam Preston appears to be living the glamorous life of a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle

If only that was the case… in reality, she’s frustratingly single, stuck living in her parents’ house, and oh yeah, in love with her boss, Dave, who barely knows that she exists…

Life seems like it will never change… until the day Sam is put on an assignment with Dave, reporting on the San Francisco Fashion Week. She hopes this might be a turning point in their relationship…

But things never go to plan and practically overnight, Sam becomes an accidental contestant in the Beautiful Curvy pageant and life suddenly becomes very complicated.

How will she manage her new rise to stardom, her job, and her sudden irresistibility to not only Dave, but a new man on the scene?

An Extract from Who’s That Girl

The handle turns, the hinges creak. Here we go.

I check the time: it’s half past ten. He’s punctual, as always.

I lean over the edge of my cubicle to see and almost stop breathing. If my hay fever doesn’t get me first, this unmanageable emotional incontinence of mine – the result of youthful overindulgence in Jane Austen and Lassie Come Homeis going to be the end of me.

In the meantime, I see him approaching from the opposite side of the newsroom office. It’s Dave, the walking proof of the existence of God – a God who loves ties with a Windsor knot.

He is thirty-six years old, has brown hair, green eyes and a smile that could give you a heart attack. He’s my personal standard when judging men, who I file under the categories ‘absolutely not Dave’, ‘a bit Dave’, ‘very Dave’ and ‘totally Dave’. Nobody reaches the standard of perfection of the original Dave Callaghan, though, and if there was any justice at all in the world, he would be the only possible father of my children.

Unaware of my slightly improper thoughts, The Chronicle’s vice editor takes his jacket off nonchalantly and asks Jane, the editorial secretary, to hand him his black planner. Jane has recently been upgraded to coffee bringer and chief excuse maker for any appointment he forgets.

They talk to each other for a while, mainly about work and his schedule, and she fills him in on the latest news from the Civic Centre and about the people he should talk to. Halfway through, though, their ability to co-exist in the same space runs out and they part ways. She goes back to organising the administrative office’s mail and Dave takes cover in his office, checking the notes about the meetings he has scheduled with an expression of concentration on his face.

As undignified as it is to admit it, I hold my breath until I hear him slamming the door behind me and only then, when I’m sure he can’t see me, do my cheeks regain some colour. All of which my nosy colleague seems to find absolutely hilarious.

“Not a word,” I say menacingly.

“Do you need a tissue?” she asks mockingly, perching on the edge of my desk. “You’ve got some drool dripping off your chin.”

“You’re not funny.”

“You do realise that you have no chance at all with him, right?”

“Yes, I’m perfectly aware of my situation,” I admit, “but I started hoping again after I saw Hugh Jackman’s wife. If a woman like her can net herself someone like the Wolverine, surely I can aim for a deputy editor from San Francisco.”

“Yeah, sure…” she replies sceptically.

I’m about to reply when Terry interrupts me abruptly, putting her hand over my mouth.

“Suspicious movements at twelve o’clock.”

“What?” I ask looking around.

“Shut up! He’s coming!” she warns me, picking up a random document from the pile on my desk to give the impression of being too busy to notice him.

“Who? What are you talking about?” I ask. I start hysterically fiddling with the folders too, almost sending the whole lot crashing to the floor. “You mean it’s him?”

“Yes, he’s here, hurry up!” she murmurs, pretending to read the file she’s holding.

“Oh, God, what should I do?”

“Dammit, Sam, just pick something up!” she mutters, sticking a memo into my hands. It’s the notice Jane sent me yesterday about the new time for this morning’s meeting. When Dave finally reaches my cubicle, Terry is completely absorbed in my shopping list and I am correcting imaginary mistakes on a memo I should have thrown away hours ago.

“Sam, may I have a word?” he asks, leaning over the dividing wall.

“Oh, good morning,” I greet him, pretending not to have noticed his arrival earlier. “Sure – what can I do for you?”

He gives me a smile which has an effect on me like hard drugs: it kills me very slowly and even though I am well aware of the damage it’s doing me, I don’t put up any resistance – I’m absolutely incapable of stopping my tormenter.

About Celia Hayes

Hayes_[Bertod Ramundo]

Celia Hayes works as a restorer and lives in Naples. Between one restoration and another, she loves to write. Her novel Don’t Marry Thomas Clark reached number one in the Amazon Italian Ebook chart.

There’s more with these other bloggers too:

Who's That Girl blog tour banner

Cover Reveal: Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood

Abel's Revenge - Ross Greenwood - Book Cover

I’m beginning to think I see more of Ross Greenwood than my own husband! As Ross lives in my nearest town we meet at bookish events and he’s been here on Linda’s Book Bag several times already. Consequently, I’m delighted to be helping reveal the latest of Ross’s books, Abel’s Revenge today. There is to be a tour for Abel’s Revenge later too so do please come back to read a cracking guest post from Ross on 27th March.

If you’d like to see what Ross and I have been getting up to you can read a Lazy Blood interview here, a guest post and my review of The Boy Inside here and my review of Fifty Years of Fear here.

Abel’s Revenge is available for pre-order here.

Abel’s Revenge

Abel's Revenge - Ross Greenwood - Book Cover

This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.

This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace.

An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in.

Will Abel’s reign of terror ever end?

Who will live and who will die?

About Ross Greenwood

Ross Greenwood Author Image

Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and now, Fifty Years of Fear, is out. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.

You can find Ross on Facebook page and visit his web site. You can also follow Ross on Twitter @greenwoodross.

Staying in with M. P. Tonnesen


Anyone who knows me also knows that I love travel as much as books and today it’s a welcome return to Linda’s Book Bag for M.P. Tonnesen who has previously provided a wonderful post on To Travel is to Live here on the blog to celebrate another of her books Desert Skies: Rebel Souls.

I’m hoping that today she’ll be taking me on more travels as we stay in together.

If you’re an author who’d also like to stay in with me to tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.

Staying in with M.P. Tonnesen

Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag Michelle.

Which of your books have you brought along to share with me and why have you chosen it?

I have brought my debut novel, The Cosmopolitan Islander, with me because this book was my maiden voyage into writing fiction. I learned so much from writing and publishing my first novel – about the craft, the industry and myself.

(I think many authors find that first book a steep learning curve!)

What can we expect from an evening with The Cosmopolitan Islander?

You can expect a colourful journey around the world – from the Irish Sea to Copenhagen, Brussels, Singapore, London and New York! – with Chloe on her search for happiness.

(Oo. Sounds great. Apart from Copenhagen I’ve been to all those places so it’d be good to return to them via the book.)

The Cosmopolitan Islander is about women’s roles in the 21st century; the juggling act many women face of having to be an executive in the boardroom, mother in the nursery, and domestic goddess in the kitchen – and bedroom.

But it’s also about the wider issue of identity in general – men’s too. How you and your perspectives and values develop through life and are influenced by who you meet, what you do, the choices you make, and even where you live.

It’s about love and sex and the balance between the two; about power and money, and how these impact our lives, careers, hopes, and dreams.

I hope you will enjoy reading this exciting story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

(I think The Cosmopolitan Islander sounds a corker of a read.)

What else have you brought along and why?

cover and tea

As a nod to my home country – and that of Chloe – I have also brought some Danish liquorice. I know salty liquorice is an acquired taste (kids in Denmark grow up eating it!), but these little beauties are covered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with liquorice dust which makes them divine and irresistible! I’m normally quite an anti-sugar Amazon, but I dare you to not enjoy them too 😉

They go perfectly with a cup of vanilla rooibos which I have brought along as well.

I hope you will enjoy this little trinity of delights. Happy reading!

I will indeed. A book, some food and tea – my idea of heaven! Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me about The Cosmopolitan Islander Michelle.

The Cosmopolitan Islander


What if life as you know it was turned upside down? Would you still be the same person?

When Chloe is forced to leave behind her cosmopolitan life in London to move to a small island in the Irish Sea, she is faced with a myriad of challenges.

How will she and her family adapt to island life? Will she find new friends? What about her career? Most importantly, will the love of Chloe and her husband survive their amorous adventures?

Join Chloe on her journey through her past and her present to make sense of her life, herself, her hopes, and dreams amid her personal upheaval.

The Cosmopolitan Islander is a thrilling novel about female roles and identity in the 21st century – and about how the journey of life can change your destination in the most unexpected way. It takes the reader from the Isle of Man and around the world, traversing the timeless themes of love, desire, family, friendship, power, and ambition.

The Cosmopolitan Islander is a must read for the modern woman – and man; for expats and others in cultural encounters; for islanders and globetrotters; and for anyone in-between.

The Cosmopolitan Islander is available for purchase here.

About M.P. Tonnesen


M.P. Tonnesen is an award-winning writer and businesswoman living on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. She authors contemporary fiction with an adventurous twist, writes business and lifestyle articles for magazines, as well as advises companies on change and communication.

She has a Master’s degree in International Business and Intercultural Communication. She has also studied Creative Writing at London School of Journalism, Faber Academy and Isle of Man College.

She is originally from Denmark, but grew up in a multicultural family and has lived in Brussels, the Middle East, and London before moving to the island with her family in 2011. Her novels are inspired by her experiences working, living and travelling around the world.

She enjoys reading and telling good stories, going on adventures and eating dark chocolate. She also dabbles in yoga, running and juggling two kids.

You can follow Michelle on Twitter @mptonnesen and visit her website. You’ll also find her on Facebook.

Menopause Matters by Shelley Chapman

menopause matters

My enormous thanks to the author Shelley Chapman for a copy of Menopause Matters – How To Master The Menopause: Survive, Thrive And Feel Alive in return for an honest review.

Menopause Matters – How To Master The Menopause: Survive, Thrive And Feel Alive is available for purchase here.

Menopause Matters 

How To Master The Menopause: Survive, Thrive And Feel Alive

menopause matters

This book has been written by Shelley Chapman, a wife and mother of 3 daughters, who lives in Derbyshire. It has been written as a result of her personal journey through the menopause, which she is now in her 15th year of, but due to what she does, she doesn’t suffer at all and lives life to the full. Because of this, she shares a lot of what she has done that’s made this menopausal stage of her life “uneventful”, in the form of a journal, so that you can benefit from a lot of the tips and advice to help you not only cope, but be able to “master the menopause”.

As she says “I’m here to help you because I understand a lot of what you’re going through and how important it is to get yourself back and become the woman you want to be now. These methods help and work, so please give them a try.”

My Review of Menopause Matters 

How To Master The Menopause: Survive, Thrive And Feel Alive

A self help book for women of a certain age heading through menopause and out the other side.

Initially I thought Menopause Matters might be a little late for me, especially as I seem to have had very few problems compared to some women, but its 28 chapters held surprises and useful information I still need and could have used years ago – not just during menopause.

Shelley Chapman writes with such positivity it’s impossible not to feel uplifted as a result of reading Menopause Matters. Speaking directly to the reader so that it’s like chatting with a friend, Shelley charts her own experiences and passes on the helpful things she’s tried that have helped her and might just help other women too. There’s enthusiasm and humour that helps elevate what could be a dry (in more ways than one!) subject. Shelley’s style is easy to read, engaging and very entertaining as well as providing hints and tips from everything from controlling cholesterol to whitening your teeth. I loved the chapter she made her husband write about the male perspective. Although I was sorry to hear of her husband’s health problems, I was delighted he was able to articulate, in a way men can relate to, just what menopause might be like for the women in their lives. Indeed, I think men as well as women could benefit from reading Menopause Matters – I could see many marriages being saved!

Whilst Menopause Matters is, as the title says, about menopause, it’s also about feeling good as a person, about making the most of your appearance and health and it’s a book about celebrating the good aspects of life so that the reader can live a self-assured and motivated existence. There are blank spaces so that the reader can respond to different suggestions from Shelley that I think would actually make a smashing little self-help book in their own right.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s pragmatic, entertaining and encouraging. Shelley Chapman is right to tell us w are never too late or too old to live life to the full. As a result of reading Menopause Matters, I shall be writing some lists and standing on one leg for three minutes a day – but you’ll have to read it yourself to find out why!

About Shelley Chapman

shelley chapman

Shelley Chapman is a wife and mother of 3 daughters, who lives in Derbyshire. She is now in her 15th year of menopause, but due to what she does, she doesn’t suffer at all and lives life to the full. As she says “I’m here to help you because I understand a lot of what you’re going through and how important it is to get yourself back and become the woman you want to be now.”

You can find Shelley on Facebook at the following pages here to join the discussions or here and on Instagram.

An Extract from The Fire Pit by Chris Ould

Fire pit cover

It’s a welcome return to Linda’s Book Bag by Chris Ould to celebrate his latest novel The Fire Pit today. I previously was delighted to host a guest post from Chris when the first of Chris’ Faroes Series, The Blood Strand was published and you can read that post here.

Published by Titan on 20th February 2018 The Fire Pit is available for purchase here. I’m thrilled to have an extract to share with you today.

The Fire Pit

Fire pit cover

In the wake of a dying man’s apparent suicide, the skeleton of a young woman is discovered on a windswept hillside. Detective Hjalti Hentze suspects that it is the body of a Norwegian woman reported missing forty years earlier, while a commune occupied the land, and whose death may be linked to the abduction and rape of a local Faroese girl.
Meanwhile British DI Jan Reyna is pursuing his investigation into his mother’s suicide. But as he learns more about her final days, links between the two cases start to appear: a conspiracy of murder and abuse spanning four decades. And as Hentze puts the same pieces together, he realizes that Reyna is willing to go further than ever before to learn the truth…

An Extract from The Fire Pit

UNDER THE STARK MORTUARY LIGHTS ELISABET HOVGAARD surveyed the bones from the sheepfold at Múli, now laid out in skeletal order. They had been cleaned and the accreted dirt had been collected, filtered and sampled for lab analysis in Denmark. What was left was only human, and all the more naked for that, Hentze thought.

“It’s a long time since I had to do this,” Elisabet said, assessing the layout of the bones as if Hentze was responsible for setting her an unwelcome test of anatomical knowledge. “But for our purposes I don’t suppose it matters so much whether I’ve got metacarpals and metatarsals in the wrong place. What’s most to the point is that we seem to have everything accounted for.” She looked towards Sophie. “You did a good job.”

At the end of the stainless-steel table Sophie Krogh took a final photograph of the skeleton’s clavicle, then lowered the camera to look at its screen.

“It was easier because she hadn’t been buried,” Sophie said. “At least not by much; the ground’s pretty stony. My guess is they tried to dig a grave but then thought it would be easier – maybe quicker – just to dump rocks on top.”

”And then build a sheep shelter?” Hentze asked, with only the slightest hint of scepticism.

“Well, it would be one way to make it less obvious that it was a grave site,” Sophie said. “Also less chance of it being disturbed later on.”

“True,” Hentze agreed. “So, what do we know?”

Elisabet peeled off her gloves and crossed to a worktop where she picked up an iPad and an e-cigarette. She tapped the first and sucked on the other, making the light in the end of it glow.

“I’m trying to quit,” she said when she saw Hentze’s vaguely quizzical look. She exhaled vapour. “Don’t say anything, all right?”

“Not a word,” Hentze agreed.

“Good.” Elisabet glanced at the iPad. “What I can tell you is that she was female, as we already thought. Approximately 170 centimetres tall, aged between thirty and forty. As far as it’s possible to tell I’d say she was in good general health – no signs of osteoporosis, arthritis or disease, although she had an ante mortem break to the right-hand side of her clavicle: her collarbone. It was healing, though,” she added, anticipating Hentze’s question. “I’d say it happened between a month and six weeks before she died.”

“Is it suspicious?” Hentze asked.

“No, not in my book,” Elisabet said. “It could easily have been caused by a fall. Most are, unless you count contact sports. She’d probably have been wearing a sling, but maybe not.”

“Could it help to identify her?”

“It’s possible. If it happened here and if she was treated in the hospital there might be a record. The problem is, we don’t know how far back to go.”

“Between 1973 and 1975 might be a good starting point,” Hentze said. “That’s when the commune was active.”

“I’ll get someone to take a look,” Elisabet said. “We have a new intern who shouldn’t be let loose on the living or the dead yet.”

“Thanks.” Hentze looked back at the skeleton. “So is there anything to say how she might have died?”

Elisabet took another pull on her e-cigarette. “There’s nothing as obvious as a fractured skull or multiple unhealed breaks, if that’s what you mean. But Sophie thinks she may have found something else.”

“It was only because I was cleaning the bones,” Sophie said, as if she didn’t want to accept any credit for extraordinary perception. She picked up one of the higher vertebrae and Hentze followed her across to an illuminated magnifier on the worktop. Holding the bone under the lens, Sophie turned it and then used the end of a wooden spatula to point out a thin mark about a centimetre long.

“Can you see it?” she asked.

Hentze squinted and leaned in closer to the lens. “I think so. The straight line?”

“Yeh. Nothing in nature is straight. I think it may be some kind of tool mark.”

“What kind of tool?”

“My guess is a knife or blade,” Sophie said. “It needs to be properly examined, though. I’m not an expert, but Per Olesen and his team at Roskilde could tell you.”

Hentze stood back. “And if it is a cut mark, what would that say? What would it mean?”

“It’s on C4, a cervical vertebra, here,” Elisabet said. She pointed to her neck just to the rear of her jaw. “Which could be consistent with her throat being cut, the same way you can kill a sheep.”

For a second Hentze had to remind himself that the dumpy, often good-hearted woman before him was as unfazed by discussions of death and its causes as he was by a break-in or a domestic dispute.

“So we must suspect murder,” he said. “Not just from the possible cut mark, but also from the way she was buried.”

“Sorry, Hjalti,” Elisabet said.

Hentze gave a resigned shrug. “Never mind. I’m sure one day I’ll ask a question and someone will tell me I don’t need to worry, everything’s fine.”

Sophie laughed drily. “You’d better not come and work in Denmark,” she said.

(And now I really want to read on!)

About Chris Ould

chris ould

After working at a wide variety of jobs, from ice-cream man to labourer, Chris Ould was first published as a novelist in the 1980s. He then spent many years working as a television scriptwriter, during which time he wrote more than eighty hours of drama and documentary programmes, including numerous episodes of the crime series The Bill, one of which won a BAFTA award.

Chris returned to novel writing with two YA books, before embarking on the Faroes trilogy of crime novels. He lives in Dorset with his wife and son. He also keeps sheep.

You can follow Chris on Twitter @WriterChrisOuld.

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Fire Pit blog tour

Fire on the Mountain by Jean McNeil

Fire on the Mountain New Cover

I absolutely adore Africa and so it gives me enormous pleasure to have been asked by Imogen Harris at Legend Press to be part of the launch celebrations for Fire on the Mountain by Jean McNeil. I have a guest post from Jean all about the inspiration of Africa as well as my review to share today.

Fire on the Mountain was published by Legend Press on 15th February 2018 and is available for purchase here.

Fire on the Mountain

When NGO worker Nick drops unexpectedly into the lives of Pieter and Sara Lisson, he feels he has found the parents he never had. Nick is enraptured by their lives of splendour and acclaim as much as the stirring setting of the African city where they live, but he soon senses a secret at the heart of his new family.
Nick then meets Riaan, the Lissons’ son, and so begins an intense connection that threatens to erupt into a relationship neither had ever considered. In the shadow of the Brandberg, the glowing mountain that stands at the heart of the desert, Nick will discover that his passion for Riaan is not the only fire which threatens his newfound home.

African Inspiration

A Guest Post by Jean McNeil

“what it is about Africa that inspires a writer to explore themes of identity (is it the vastness of the open spaces perhaps, or the fact that we seem to have all emerged from Africa) and how the scents, sights and sounds of Africa lend themselves to painting the most vivid settings through words”.

I am definitely inspired by landscape, in that some stories seem possible only in certain places. In some cases the place, landscape or setting supercedes character, and even becomes the story itself. ‘Africa’ is too generalised a term to describe a continent of 55 vastly different countries, but it’s true that my ten years spent on and off in southern and eastern Africa have been a great inspiration to me.

Fire on the Mountain is set in an unspecified country, but at its centre is a landscape informed by Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town, two spectacular cities where I have been fortunate to live, and which are both wild at heart, and on the other the aridity of the northern part of South Africa and Namibia, in particular the compellingly Spartan beauty of the Kalahari and Namib deserts and Namaqualand.  Such places are difficult to describe because of the sheer scale and relative (to a European eye) emptiness. They are thrillingly empty. This presents a challenge to a writer. Also as a novelist I’m interested in how people are defined by place, and how they absorb and respond to the wilderness. Some people I know who have been brought up in such places seem to have a moral and physical freedom which is almost impossible in Europe. In Fire on the Mountain the physical danger and freedom the characters encounter in the land through which they move open up emotional spaces within them which they did not know existed.

(You’re absolutely right about that indefinable quality of Africa Jean.)

My Review of Fire on the Mountain

Nick’s arrival at Pieter and Sara Lissen’s will leads to truths too difficult for some to bear.

Fire on the Mountain is a complex, mesmerising read that doesn’t fully uncover itself until the very last word. The structure, themes and the extremes of emotion are as intricate as the political Africa of its setting.

There’s fear, violence and threat as well as passion, obsession and true friendship woven throughout so that reading Fire on the Mountain is actually quite a draining experience. This is not a negativity, but rather that Jean Mc Neil has created so authentic a narrative that the reader becomes utterly immersed.

There are undercurrents of evil, foretelling portents and second sight so that, regardless of the reader’s opinion of such beliefs, the potentially devastating signs are there. I loved the literal and metaphorical fire on the mountain for example that gives a hellish feel to the story so that I kept wondering just who might burn in hell.

I found the structure to the novel mirrored its contents very cleverly. Jean McNeil’s use of tenses is quite fluid and past and present tenses merge into one another in the same way past and present actions overlap and are gradually revealed. I found this very skilful writing that added to a sense of both mystery and unease.

The three men Nick, Pieter and Riaan are striking characters. The reader’s experiences their flaws and extremes first hand, making them fascinating and spellbinding.

Fire on the Mountain can be read as a straightforward narrative ostensibly about love, but it is so much more besides. I feel it needs re-reading several times to uncover all its nuances and meanings. It’s a triumph of a book. I really enjoyed it.

About Jean McNeil

Jean McNeil

Jean McNeil is a prolific fiction and non-fiction author whose work has been nominated for and won several major international awards. She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia. Her first novel with Legend Press, seventh overall publication was The Dhow House (2016).

You an follow Jean on Twitter @jeanmcneilwrite and visit her blog.

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Staying in with Kio Briggs

Living Free The High Philosophy Front Cover

When I was a consultant working all over the place I never found any difficulty making a decision. Nowadays I’m a real ditherer! Consequently, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Kio Briggs to stay in with me today to discuss a decision or two that led to his book!

If you’re an author who’d also like to stay in with me to tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.

Staying in with Kio Briggs

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Kio. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Hi Linda, thanks for inviting me!

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

Living Free The High Philosophy Paperback

I have brought my book Living Free: The High Philosophy to share this evening. It is also my debut book, my first attempt at writing that book I always knew I had in me. Basically, the book that’s taken me my whole life to write 🙂

(Oh – congratulations on your debut!)

What can we expect from an evening with Living Free: The High Philosophy?

You can expect an exhilarating true story of my journey in search of complete happiness!

(Sounds interesting – tell me more!)

It begins with a decision I made to leave my job in London and travel the world in search of a true happiness I believed I once had as a child, but had now lost as an adult. After eight months working at, what I thought at the time was my “dream job”; I realised how truly unhappy I was – living right on the cusp of depression. So I decided to take a huge leap not knowing what was on the other side, but feeling as though there was more happiness to life than what I was currently living.

The book takes you on my journey around the world and how the experiences in each place had a specific impact on me, from finding self acceptance in Port Harcourt, friendship and freedom in South Africa, spirituality in Chicago, dreaming and passion in Los Angeles and love in London.

It then continues on my journey, now on a quest to live free; by incorporating all these puzzle pieces I had learnt about myself along the way into my everyday life. While on my travels I had an idea of a philosophical concept and an approach on how I wanted to live my life, to see what the outcome could potentially be. The idea was to always and only choose to do the things that make me happy, and never accepting anything less than happiness into my life. As you would imagine this took me on a massive rollercoaster ride of some phenomenal downs, but also on the of the most amazing highs of my life!

(I imagine it did!)

As the story goes on I discuss each experience, and every moment I was faced with having to fight the logic of compromising on my happiness and accepting less than I truly believed would make me happy, in everything. Sticking to my philosophy of only choosing my happiness and accepting nothing less. At the end of each chapter I share those experiences and the lessons I learnt from them, and how we can all apply those lessons to our everyday lives and live completely happier lives. “Completely” being the key word.

In concluding the book I finally get to what Living Free is; my now developed Philosophy of life – the philosophy of being happy all the time, every time, always!

It’s a rollercoaster ride of a book, taking you through exactly what I experienced and how I experienced it. Definitely a book for all “dreamers”, for those who believe and seek a life of complete happiness and freedom.

(This sounds absolutely wonderful. I think we all need to get some perspective in our lives and focus on the positives.)

What else have you brought along and why?

Kio Briggs and Mother 1

I’ve brought some photos of my mother and I along with me!

I was raised by a single mother who I know did everything she could to provide my siblings and I with all we ever needed to grow in life. I dedicate this book to her first and foremost, because I have no other points of reference for success and hard work outside of my mother.

(I bet she is incredibly proud of you Kio.)

Kio Briggs and Mother 2

She has always lived life her way, and that was what influenced me to jump into the unknown and risk it all to do the same. From her I learnt strength and courage to go boldly in the direction of my dreams, and to work hard to make those dreams come true for myself; this book is in many ways my journey of living out all her advice by example.

Kio Briggs and Mother 3

Your mother looks like a truly inspirational person Kio. Thanks so much staying in with me and for sharing your stories about her and about your book Living Free: The High Philosophy.

Living Free: The High Philosophy

Living Free The High Philosophy Front Cover

A brilliant, true-story of bravery and taking steps into the unknown in search of genuine lifelong happiness. A story for dreamers – an adventure through many ups and downs; like a hero on a mission, persevering and conquering each unique battle through this whirlwind adventure; leading to the discovery of a philosophy of life.

Living Free: The High Philosophy is available for purchase here.

About Kio Briggs


Born in Nigeria, Kio Briggs spent his early childhood and teenage years between Nigeria, the UK and the United States.

After completing secondary school in Nigeria, Briggs spent his following years in England where he completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s education in Advertising and Marketing, after which he began working in the Financial industry; it was during this time he decided to leave his job and go in search of the happiness he believed he didn’t have anymore, but once had when he was a child in Nigeria.

On this adventure, he began asking himself questions about happiness, and how to live the ultimate happy life, which led to him discovering his Philosophy on life – Living Free: The High Philosophy.

You’ll find Kio on Instagram.