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Merry Christmas From Handwritten Girl

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas is nearly upon us and I’ve found myself writing my annual sign off instead of wrapping presents that are still in their bags. Last minute as always!

This year was a great year for books and I’ve even listed my top ten books for 2017, just incase you are looking for a few last minute stocking fillers.

It was also a great year for Handwritten Girl, as I attended the Bord Gais Energy Book Awards for the first time and had an amazing time meeting some of Ireland’s finest literary talent ans well as spending Halloween weekend learning about the dark and interesting world of crime writing.

Before I sign off, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the lovely publishers and authors who introduced me to some of the most wonderful books this year, from intense thrillers to happy romances, there’s something for everyone to curl up with during the cold winter nights.

Most importantly, thank you to the readers of the website for taking the time to read a review, tweet, Favourite or Like a post, your support is appreciated tremendously. I hope you all have a safe and relaxing Christmas and receive loads of treats from Santa Claus, especially books as there are some great ones out there.

Have a Happy New Year and I shall see you in 2018.

Handwritten Girl’s Favourite Books of 2017.

1. The Break by Marian Keyes
2. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
3. Final Girls By Riley Sager
4. Bring Me Back By BA Paris
5. You, Me, Everything by Catherine Issac
6. The Summer of Impossible Things By Rowan Coleman
7. The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon
8. Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
9. A Song For Tomorrow By Alice Peterson
10. The One By John Marrs

A Song For Tomorrow By Alice Peterson

A Song For Tomorrow‘A Song For Tomorrow’ is the latest book by Alice Peterson.

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing. Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

This book is Alice’s first book with Simon and Schuster and it’s a breathtakingly beautiful start with her new publishers. The story is about Alice Martineau, a young woman who suffers from cystic fibrosis and follows on her journey as she intends to follow her dream of becoming an established musician as well as fall in love. The story flows over a period of years, from Alice’s birth to all the monumental moments of her life, sickness, relationships and the times that she got to perform.

Like Alice’s previous books, this book is an emotional rollercoaster, the story is true and for this reason, makes the tale particularly poignant. Alice is a beautiful character, she’s wise beyond her years, having lived a difficult life, in and out of hospital, she tries to see the bright side of life and refuses to let her illness define her. The story is primarily seen through the eyes of Alice but there are chapters seen through the narrative of Tom, Alice’s boyfriend as he also deals with Alice’s illness and the uncertainty of their future together. An interesting addition to the story, is diary entries from Mary, Alice’s mother, who gives a mothers perspective on the daily struggles, the fear of outliving her child as well as the proudness of watching her daughter overcome Cystic Fibrosis to achieve her life long dream.

This story is about determination, that if you battle and work hard, you will get the results you wish for. It’s an aspirational story that is truly an inspirational and motivating and was impossible to put down. With every tear jerking moment, there is a lighter scene that made me smile, even though the story did break my heart.

As the story is completely true, it makes for terribly sad and gripping reading, to read about such a vibrant young woman who is powerless to this awful illness, that there is still no proper cure for and try to lead a normal and fun life, be limited to in her life.

‘A Song For Tomorrow’ is a tremendously inspiring story about a remarkable woman who refuses to be defined by her illness, courageous and witty from the beginning, this book is truly Alice at her finest, telling a wonderful story about an inspirational figure and highlights the importance of organ donation and making the most of every day. I loved it, but be warned, have the tissues close to hand.

For more information about Alice Martineau and her Trust, check out

You can pre-order A Song for Tomorrow from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th February 2017.

The Things We Do For Love By Alice Peterson

The Things We Do For Love‘The Things We Do For Love’ is the latest book by Alice Peterson.

January Wild loves her daughter, her dog Spud and her childhood home by the sea. Single parenting is tough, but January has no regrets. She has a job she loves, a happy home, and the support of her beloved grandfather. The arrival of a new boss, however, threatens to shake up January’s safe world. Ward Metcalfe loves great sales results and a well-run office. Everyone at her office agrees: Ward is a soulless, corporate slave driver. Even Spud, the company mascot, dislikes him. A secret stands between them. Yet over time January realises first impressions aren’t always right. Slowly she unravels more and more about her new boss, things she couldn’t possibly have imagined, nor expected…

Alice Peterson has become an author that I am beginning to dread to read, not that I don’t enjoy her books, but they always leave me in a bawling mess, scrambling frantically for the tissue in the pits of bag and ‘The Things We Do For Love’ was certainly no different, it was an emotional roller coaster of a story, that barely let me catch my breath.

The story is told solely through the eyes of uniquely named January Wild, a young woman who has suffered a lot of sadness her life. When her parents are tragically killed in an accident, herself and her older brother Lucas are left in the care of their grandparents who provided the children with all the love and support that they could ever wish for. The story flashes through present and times in January’s life, when moments are particularly hard when she meets the love of the her life who breaks her heart, when she discovers that that she is going to be a single parent and that heartbreaking moment when she is eventually told that her little girl Isla, has Cerebral Palsy. The one thing in her life that is going well is her job as a PA in a well known estate agent until her boss retires bringing in a new manager called Ward Metcalfe, a cold and driven man who riles January up the wrong way, yet as the pair begin to work closer together, January begins to see a different side to her boss, a side that he keeps hidden from everyone else.

January was a beautiful lead, struck down so many times so unfortunate incidents, she stays strong for her little girl and longs for nothing more than her daughter to have a normal life and not to looked at with pity or sympathy. There are heartbreaking moments in the story when January talks of her fear for daughters well-being, how she wishes her life was different and these tender and open scenes make for tearful reading. She is a strong and independent woman who has been through so much but always comes out fighting. Her daughter, Isla is a bright and bubbly girl and tries not to let her illness consume her life, she witty and creative and the scenes with her and January are also sweet moments. January’s grandparents also made for interesting, significant roles in the story, despite their age, they were always there for the children and never judged January when she realised that she was pregnant and single. instead they were there for her every step of the way.

Alice’s previous books have tackled sensitive issues such alcoholism and paralysis and this book was no different, tackling the disability Cerebral Palsy and the stigma that goes with it. One of the many things I loved about this book, was the timescale in which it was cleverly written. It would fleet between past and present moments, which had some important meaning in January’s life and this was always clearly marked, so you never got muddled up in the story.

A honest and eye-opening story from the very beginning, ’The Things We Do For Love’ is a compelling book that I found impossible to put down. Tearjerking and uplifting in equal measures, this tale is not a conventional love story, it’s an inspirational story about finding love for yourself and then letting yourself to be loved.

You can pre-order The Things We Do for Love from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 10th September 2015.

Alice Peterson Writer’s Tips

Alice Peterson
Don’t be put off by people saying how tough the market is and how difficult everything is – someone has to be published so why not you. Don’t give up, have faith in yourself.
Alice Peterson

Alice Peterson

Alice Peterson

Alice dreamt of being a winning Wimbledon, but sadly this wasn’t to be when she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis aged 18 and she hasn’t picked up a racket since. Lost and scared, a friend encouraged her to write about her personal experience and she did. Alice wrote her first book called ‘A Will To Win’ which has been republished as ‘Another Alice’ Alice has written eight books since both non-fiction and fiction. Alice’s most recent book ‘One Step Closer To You’ won Best Romantic Read 2014 at the RNA’s.

  1. For the readers of the website, who are unfamiliar with your books, can you tell us about yourself and how you got into writing.
    I never thought I’d be a writer. To my friends and family I was always ‘Alice, the tennis player’. Tennis had been my childhood passion, and aged 18 I was ranked amongst the top 10 juniors in the country. However, overnight, my dreams of winning Wimbledon were shattered when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I have never picked up a racket since, a sadness that will always be with me. In my early 20s I didn’t have a clue what my future held except for pain and grieving my old life. It wasn’t until a family friend suggested I write my story about my tennis and RA that I began to feel hope again. I loved writing; I’d always written a diary from the age of 10 and I’d written the drama plays at school, so just loved the creative side. It was also very therapeutic making sense as to why bad things in life happen. My autobiography, Another Alice, was published in 1999, and that was the beginning of a new career, a new path.
  2. Your books tackle quite sensitive issues such as abuse, disability and addictions. What’s been your hardest book to write?
    Yes, I love romance and comedy and all my books are love stories, but I am definitely drawn to writing about things I have experienced too, such as disability. I think drama is when challenging things happen to people, so I want to give my protagonist as many obstacles as possible! The hardest book to write – probably, By My Side. It took many drafts to get it right. It’s a tough book to sell too – I think that the subject of spinal cord injury, the idea that life can change in just one moment, is possibly frightening for many readers. Yet, it’s one of my most uplifting novels, which really celebrates triumph over adversity and how people can change direction even on the darkest path in life. It also has the cutest dog in it called Ticket.
  3. What authors do you admire?
    Jane Austen, David Nicholls, Khaled Hosseini and it’s the biggest compliment when people compare my work to Jojo Moyes.

  4. If you were starting your writing journey again, is there anything you would do differently?
    Yes, I’d be much more outspoken about the covers and not nearly so accepting of decisions that are made about my career. One or two of my covers have been truly awful and have made readers positively not want to buy the book. I would have liked the confidence I have now, back then, to challenge agents and publishers. It’s important to have faith in your own decisions and vision.
  5. Do you have favourite literary hero/heroine?
    Elizabeth Bennett – love her strength of character, her loyalty and courage.
  6. What book did you read that made to decide to become an author?
    There wasn’t really a book that made me decide to be an author – it was more my circumstances, as mentioned, but I do remember loving books as a child. My father used to read Daphne Du Maurier to me on holiday and I recall being completely entranced by ‘Rebecca’ and ‘My Cousin Rachel’.
  7. What’s been the highlight of your career?
    When my dog walking romantic comedy, ‘Monday to Friday Man’, inspired by my own dog, Mr Darcy, knocked ’50 Shades of Grey’ off the Kindle No.1 spot – so exciting, I couldn’t sleep…
  8. What piece of advice would you offer to aspiring writers?
    Don’t be put off by people saying how tough the market is and how difficult everything is – someone has to be published so why not you. Don’t give up, have faith in yourself.
  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three books would you bring with you to occupy your time?
    ‘Gone With The Wind’ (because I’ve never read it so it’s about time I did!), ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and ‘A Fine Balance’ by Rohinton Mistry. But, seriously, I hope I’d never be stranded on a desert island – I am completely unpractical, just like my father… I wouldn’t know how to survive.
  10. When sitting down to write, what one item do you need beside you?
    A cup of strong coffee (or a glass of wine in the evening).
  11. What is your favourite book of all time?
    I don’t think a book has ever moved me as much as ‘The Kite Runner’. I remember tears streaming down my face on the last page.
  12. And finally Alice, do you have any exciting new projects on the horizon?
    Yes, I have a novel coming out next summer with all the usual Alice Peterson themes of disability, love, romance – a story that will hopefully make the reader laugh and cry. It’s also half set in a beautiful location in Cornwall. So now I have to think up a new idea… any ideas welcome!

Follow Alice Peterson on Twitter Alice Peterson for updates or check out her website at Alice Peterson