Do you believe in time travel? If not, this may just change your mind.
James Cunnion’s peaceful existence as a librarian in the quiet county town of Bedford is shattered when he receives a mysterious message from the past that questions the reality of his life and his entire existence. Searching for answers from his own past, James suddenly finds himself back in war torn Britain in December 1944 facing a new and very dangerous reality.
James is enlisted as a member of an RAF bomber crew and is forced to face the horror of war in the skies over Nazi occupied Europe, an icy death in the English Channel and an execution at the hands of a crazed Gestapo officer.
He also finds love amidst the drama of war and finally discovers that the reality of life on our world isn’t quite what we think it is. Out of time follows on from the extraordinary success of The Angel of Time by Michael Stewart.
If you enjoy the thrill of historic war-time fiction coupled with a thought provoking twist, this one is a Must Read!
The second of my five rules for a happy and fulfilled life is closely entwined with the first. Awareness, or ‘Mindfulness’ (as it is often referred to in Eastern methodology) simply refers to the art of paying more attention to the present moment – to our own thoughts and feelings, and to the world about us. If practised regularly it can certainly improve our overall mental wellbeing, which has to be a good thing doesn’t it?
It can be so easy to rush through life without pausing to notice very much or really see what is going on around us. We get so caught up in our day-to-day pressures, worries and the thoughts that are racing around inside our heads that we often lose touch with the way we’re feeling, or stop to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.
When you break it right down, good mental wellbeing means feeling good about life and yourself, and being able to get on with your life in the way you want to. It’s as simple as that.
We so often mistakenly think about wellbeing in terms of what we have: our job, our income, our home or perhaps our new car, but all the evidence shows that what we do and the way we think has by far the biggest overall impact on our wellbeing.
Becoming more aware of the present moment means waking up to the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that we experience, as well as the thoughts and feelings that we have from one moment to the next. Put simply, it means understanding and being aware of what is going on both inside and outside of ourselves, moment by moment.
Let’s think about what so often happens to us in our every-day lives when we’re not being aware or mindful of each moment. For example: when we’re racing frantically to get to work, when we’re shouting at the kids trying to get them to school, rushing to get a job completed, worrying about that bill that hasn’t been paid, or paying for that holiday we really can’t afford. It consumes us and we stop being mindful of what is really going on around us.
Then we mislay our keys or leave our purse at home and make ourselves late for work. Perhaps someone gets in front of us on the road or takes our parking space and our frustration inevitably increases even more. These small events lead to a range of emotions within us that often run unchecked through our minds, allowing us to become angry at the most inconsequential things.
It is so often then, when we’re distracted by these negative emotions, that we cause the most damage by perhaps driving recklessly, angering others, not working effectively, making bad decisions, failing to notice the hurt on the face of a loved one, or perhaps spot a colleague who’s suffering. So, it is obvious that having a real awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment will put us more in control of our lives and would be a real advantage to each and every one of us.
Awareness of this kind isn’t about trying to change or fix anything; it’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment more clearly. Having a greater awareness of the present moment can help us to enjoy the world around us more, and understand ourselves better. When we become more aware of the present moment, we can begin to experience anew many things in the world that we may have perhaps been taking for granted for many years.
Being mindful also allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that constantly run through our heads and to see how we become wrapped up in those thoughts and emotions in ways that are often unhelpful and sometimes quite damaging.
Being aware lets us stand back and look objectively at our thoughts. After a while we will start to see patterns, and gradually, we should be able to train ourselves to spot when our thoughts are taking over and realise that those thoughts do not have to control us.
I’m sure that most of us have issues that we worry about and find hard to let go of. Being aware doesn’t necessarily stop the thoughts but it can help us deal with them far more productively. We aren’t trying to change the thoughts, or argue with them, or even judge them, we are simply being aware and observing them. Once we become aware that the thoughts themselves are affecting our emotions and driving our mood down, we can decide if this is helpful and consciously change the way we feel and react to it.
So, when we’re going about our daily lives, we need to wake up to the world about us and notice the small things. That may seem inconsequential at first, but forcing ourselves to be mindful of all the little sights, sounds and sensations that we experience, and then being aware of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that are running through our minds will help us to interrupt that ‘auto-pilot’ mode most of us settle into every day.
So, stop re-running past events and pre-living future worries, stop being distracted, turn off that ‘auto-pilot’, become ‘Aware’ and free up your mind.
Savour the small things in your life: a kiss from your husband, your wife or your children, a bike ride, a cup of tea or coffee, a meal, the fresh air in the morning when you first step outside, the wind rustling through the trees while you make your way to work.
Don’t rush it; consciously let yourself truly enjoy each moment.
If you take true and genuine enjoyment from the little things in your life you will begin to see more and more things to enjoy. Every day life will present to you endless things for you to appreciate, more than you ever dreamed possible, if only you take the time to make yourself aware of your surroundings and savour every second you can.
Remember, we are the lucky ones. Out of all the trillions of potential people who were never born, never got to experience the things we can experience, never even breathed that morning cool air, tasted that aromatic coffee or kissed their loved ones, we made it, against some amazing odds, we are here.
Don’t waste a moment of that luck!
Out Of Time follows on from the success of The Angel of Time. The story follows our librarian hero who mysteriously slips back in time to December 1944 to find himself part of a Lancaster bomber crew on a dangerous mission over Nazi occupied Holland. After baling out of his burning aircraft, he succeeds in rescuing an American celebrity from a watery grave, escapes from the Gestapo with the assistance of a beautiful SOE agent, discovers the truth about his own mysterious past and eventually finds love in an unexpected place. If you enjoyed The Angel of Time, you’ll love this one!
Coming soon on Amazon!
She tries to get through life as best she can, although it’s not always easy when you’re a geek and a loner. If you’re regularly tormented and bullied as Lexi is, every day can be tough; but what happens when you’ve finally had enough?
One day Lexi is pushed too far and she snaps!
That’s the day Lexi realises she has hidden powers. Powers that can and will change the world.
Not only does Lexi find out she’s a wizard, she soon discovers she is one of the most powerful wizards on earth. However, the discovery also uncovers a dark and sinister secret about her past.
Join Lexi in her adventures as she befriends another young wizard – Gregor McGregor – and is helped by a mysterious old man who lives in a remote Scottish castle. Together they explore their new magical world, battle with ghostly sea serpents, travel in time to witness the assasination of JFK, rescue Gregor’s mother from a sinister zombie inhabited castle in Svalbard and finally face a chilling death at the bottom of an icy sea
Along the way Lexi discovers that she is linked to legendary figures from the past and is the subject of an ancient prophecy; but there are others who want Lexi’s new powers and they will stop at nothing to get them.
Lexi Smith and the Search For Excalibur is the second novel by author Michael Stewart and is now available in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon.
Never having read any of Jack Finney’s work before, I decided to give Time and Again a go after reading a review by the great Stephen King; who stated that this was ‘THE Great Time Travel Story’. I wasn’t disappointed and I agree 100% with Stephen King (I bet he’s pleased about that!). Jack Finney wrote Time and Again in 1970 but apart from the lack of any mobile phones or computers in the story, it didn’t feel dated in any way. I was hooked from the first page. The story involves our time traveller – Simon Morley – switching backwards and forwards in time between 1970s New York and 1880s New York. Jack Finney describes New York of the 1880s so well you’d think he must have been there himself. He makes use of many illustrations from the time which really added to the atmosphere and brought the story to life for me.
I was so hooked on the story I had to rush straight out and buy the sequel which was published in 1995, the year of Jack Finney’s death. I always worry when I’ve enjoyed a book so much that I will be disappointed by the sequel. I needn’t have worried; From Time To Time, which starts out with our hero Simon Morley back in New York in 1911 and ends dramatically on the Titanic in 1912 again captures perfectly the atmosphere of the time, and Jack Finney’s clever use of photo images from the time puts you right in the scene.
Of course, these books are both old classics now, but if you are into the time travel genre they are an absolute must-read.