Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Misfit Talks to Tucker

Last week I featured on a Twitter friend’s blog (@icetuckerV2) and answered questions he posed for me.  You can read that interview here.  Some great questions!

So this week, the shoe is on the other foot and he guests here as I delve into his mind.

I kicked it off with:

What's your most guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure would probably be that I'm an Abba fan. I grew up listening to them because my mum was a big fan. I have Abba Gold on CD and I freely admit to liking the movie Mamma Mia. I remember getting some questionable looks when someone at work had a loan of my company car at a previous place of employment. That resulted in some piss-taking from other workmates. I think more guys like ABBA than freely admit to though.

If you could only listen to one CD for the rest of your life what would it be?

That's easy actually. It would be The Adventures, Sea of Love. Ever since hearing Broken Land, their biggest and probably only known hit, I've been a big fan of this Irish group. It's by far the most played album on my iPod. And I'm actually glad I have it on my iPod because the old claim that CD's will play forever ... not true. I've worn the CD out with over-play. I can play this album as background music when writing. Play it on my iPod when I'm feeling down. Or have it full blast and sing along when no-one else is around.

Which celeb would you like to take on a date and what would you do?

There are a few and I thought long and hard about this. My celebrity crushes have included Caron Keating in my late teens. I actually got to meet her and still have the signed picture I got that day. Then there was Carol Smillie in my early 20's. Met her too. In 1995, The Corrs appeared on the scene and my new crush was lead singer Andrea. Other crushes have included Jessica Alba, Jennifer Love Hewitt and former Page 3 girl Keeley Hazell. My current crush is French singer Alizee. But the celebrity I'd take on a date would have to be actress Alyssa Milano. She would definitely be worth the divorce. As for what we'd do ... well other than the obvious (ahem!), we'd go to a baseball game. She has a passion for baseball and I'd love to go to a game.

What would your desert island luxury be?

My BlackBerry. Once upon a not so long ago, I mocked people who had these and did say to someone that they could slap me if I ever got one. Now, well it's an appendage of me. It's never far from reach and it even goes to bed with me. Only because it’s also my alarm clock though. My wife says it's the worst thing I ever got because she feels like a BlackBerry widow at times. I just love it though. Oh, that person did slap me by the way!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Are we talking physically or mentally?

Physically, well there are two things I'm very self-conscious of. My squinty teeth and my wonky left eye. My teeth being all squint are a result of a few things. Sucking my thumb till I was about 12. Having my mouth bashed against a wall when I was around 8 years old and a big fear of dentists. I'd change my wonky eye though. I was mocked about it as a kid. And in the last few months, I've become more and more conscious of the fact that it hardly turns at all now. I've actually started looking at people straight on when talking to them, so they don't notice.

Mentally, well one look through my blogs will easily point that out.

Name one thing you'd regret if you hadn't done it before you died

This was the hardest question to answer. It was easier answering the thing I didn't do that I've regretted ever since and that was joining the RAF when I had the chance. But thinking of the things I have done and would I really regret any of them if I hadn't done before I died, well the only thing that kept popping into my mind was becoming a dad. Despite all the stress and everything my two boys cause me and my wife, I think that in my later years and thinking back through my life and not having the boys in it. I'd regret that.

What would you like your epitaph to be?

"Here I lye, face to the earth so that all those I pissed off during my life, can kiss my arse!"

What's your ideal career?

My ideal career would be a perfect alternative to not having my fantasy career of being a Formula 1 race driver. I'd love to be a parts advisor for a Formula 1 team. Until last year, I worked in the motor trade pretty much since leaving school as a parts advisor. That's what I do ... or rather, did. It's what I know and what better way to do what you know than being in a Formula 1 team and getting to travel the world at the same time? 

Many thanks to Tucker for sharing his thoughts with us.  If you like his way of thinking, head off and read his blog and short stories here.

And the usual plug - buy the Mummy Misfit NOVELS at Amazon and Lulu.  Give yourself a laugh.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Knowing Your True Worth

When my husband and I went for our pre-wedding chats with the vicar, the one thing we were told that stuck in both of our minds was ‘to cherish’. 

I’ve just looked up the dictionary definition and it says:

To tend lovingly, keep in one’s heart.  To cling to.

I think it’s such a lovely word for any relationship but, in particular, a partnership.

We’ve been through tough times in our marriage - redundancy and financial hardship have hit us hard - but throughout it all I have been cherished and I have cherished.

My husband completes me - we are two halves of a whole and he supports me in everything I do.  He values me and my opinion.

Sadly, not all relationships are like this and today I hand my blog over to a Twitter friend, Ness, @baggiesbabe69 who felt it was time to talk honestly about her abusive marriage.

She tells the story in her own words.


'Do I know mine? I can't give a positive yes but I'm a hell of a lot better than I was.
When did it start? How did it start? Why did I let it happen? I can't answer any of these questions as it seemed to just manifest itself thanks to my ex husband.
People have said to me, since I left my ex, that they could see how unhappy I was, but no-one ever spoke to me about it.  I guess I wouldn't have told them the truth even if they did as I was in denial about everything for so long.

This is my story.                                                                                                                                       
I was only 17 when I met my ex & I felt flattered as he was 5 years older than me. Even looking back he started to control me then, not in a major way but just little things - checking on where I was, who I was with, when I'd be home.   I just thought it was him being concerned about me.
He’d had problems with his ex-girlfriend lying to him so I guess he would be cautious.
I'm sure it started from pretty early on but I didn't realise it, name calling, constantly putting me down, telling me I was worthless & if I ever left no-one would look twice at me.
Verbal abuse isn't widely recognised as a form of abuse & it certainly wasn't 20+ years ago when it all started, but it's actually worse than physical abuse as no-one can see the internal scars that are being caused by the constant put downs that are hurled at you. It's invisible to the naked eye but kills you from the inside.
You start to believe everything they tell you, you believe that you are worthless & useless. They manage to control you by getting in your head. I know it was a very lonely time ‘being me’.
I was responsible for 2 dogs & 2 employees & loved my family & couldn't bear the hurt, pain & shame I would cause by doing anything about it.
He was a drinker & eventually a drug user (only smoking stuff) but that didn't help with his bad side.
He would come home drunk & always wanted to pick a fight with me.  If I didn't respond he'd throw things, if I did respond he'd throw things so it was a no win situation. The walls & doors in my house were full of holes where ashtrays had been thrown at them. Even the dogs used to go & hide when he came home.
He stole from me constantly, from my purse from the till, even blowing nearly a £5000 home improvement loan in 2 months on drink, drugs & scratch-cards.
He had at least 2 affairs that I know of & in the 3 years before I left him I hadn't slept in the same room with him. We didn't have a marriage anymore. He'd seen to that.
But what could I do?   I was trapped. 
He had alienated me from my friends over the 13 years we were together & any I did speak to I had to do it secretly. I was timed when I went shopping. My mum ended up doing most of my clothes & food shopping for me, I just said I hadn't got time to go but it was because of him I couldn't .............. or should that be daren't?
We hadn't got children & I eventually went for tests, which even to this day I don't know why as we'd been apart for so long. Anyway I found out that I couldn't have children & that tipped him over the edge & 1 day I arrived home & he was waiting for me with a baseball bat, he was drunk & drugged.   He beat me up, smashed up the salon even his motorbike got trashed, he accused me of sleeping with all his friends as I knew I wouldn't get caught out by getting pregnant! ............. A friend of his was with me & even he couldn't control him, but told me I had to leave or my ex would kill me.
The police weren't interested, they did give me a number for victim support, which I rang & left a message.  They never called me back! I made a formal complaint about the attack & it took them 6 months to finally chase the case up! But then they couldn't promise my new address wouldn't be given out in court!
Even after I left him he kept ringing me, my parents & sister had to change their phone numbers to stop his calls. He would follow me.  He left messages at my parent’s house saying he hoped I'd had a good day the day before & would state the place I had been to. 
My dad picked me up the next day & took me straight to a solicitor at my request & I filed for a divorce. It was hard telling them all the things that had happened as it was the 1st time I had openly admitted to the size of the problem. The only thing my dad ever said to me & no it wasn't "I told you so" it was "I told you we could turn left" which is what he told me on the way to the church when we got married! 
Within a week he had been served the divorce papers.
These are the reasons listed for the divorce:-
1) Verbal & physical abuse resulting in police statements being taken. Kicking, pushing, punching, bruising & house smashed up.
2) Constant verbal abuse resulting in mental cruelty over numerous years.
3) Threatening myself & my family. Police called & took recordings of all the messages.
4) Threatening myself & my property 3 weeks before with a pickaxe handle.
5) Numerous dents & holes in walls & doors due to items  being thrown at them.
6) Constant jealousy & name calling regardless of being sober or drunk.
7) Damage to my car
8) Split personality.
He did stall in signing the papers but I was eventually divorced within 8 months & nearly 8 years to the day we got married!
My family were amazing & would never have got through it without them.
I lost everything, I had left with the clothes on my back & that was all I had. 
But that was the beginning of my new life.   I moved to a different city & began to re-build my life. Although on the outside I was ok on the inside I was still very insecure.   I'm a lot better now but  I still have the odd wobble &  tend to put myself down as I feel it's better for me to put myself down before anyone else does!
I am now married to a fantastic guy who treats me like a human being, he's shown me not all men are complete b****rds, that there are men who actually care about other people.'

I’d like to thank my friend for offering to talk so openly.  Her blog can be found here and she would be happy to talk to any other women in similar situations - anonymously, of course.   I get the feeling she now knows what it’s like to be cherished.  I truly hope she does.

The usual plug, and on a lighter note, my books are available at Amazon and Lulu.  A grown up Bridget Jones!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

When Mummies and Daddies Misfit

I’m blogging today in support of a Twitter friend, Colin Riches (@Riches_C).  He’s currently urging people to sign a petition to advocate shared parenting and I want to give him all the help I can.  I hope, after reading this, you’ll head straight over and add your name to the list too.

I lost my dad at eighteen.  That was way too early for a ‘Daddy’s Girl’ and it’s affected me in more ways than I could even begin to list.

But I DID have my dad for those eighteen years.  Many children are being denied access to a parent and, in effect, suffer a living bereavement.

If a parent is of sound mind, not abusive or reliant on alcohol or drugs why should they not be allowed to share the parenting?  As the petition states, it takes two to make a child and, wherever possible, it should take two to raise one.

A fellow Twitterer raised a point that I know many will be thinking.  ‘Isn’t that just the norm?  The parents agree and do what’s best for the child.’

Sadly, no.  The law is more often on the side of the mother and there are many women who use their children as a bartering tool.  Rather than do what’s best for their children they see them as a weapon to hit out with cruelty at the partner.  This needs to be stopped.

I’m not just supporting Colin and his mission on a whim - I’ve lived through this.  I’ve seen how it can affect a man.  Seen the torture and the unnecessary heart-ache it causes to both the father and the child(ren).

As a mother, I know how we are prepared to fight and do battle for our kids.  It’s in our make-up to do everything in our power to protect them - we’d kill for them, if it came to it.  But mothers who deliberately become obstructive and manipulative to stop a child seeing a decent, honest father who wants to build a solid relationship with his off-spring, are not acting in the interests of the child they profess to love and more needs to be done to raise awareness of this.

Wherever possible, and if it causes no upheaval to the children, shared parenting or equal access should become the norm.

How many more fathers do we need to see either broken or taking their own lives because of the inequality in the law?

Ask yourself the question:  What’s best for the children?  And if your answer is to know the feeling of love from both parents, you need to head on over RIGHT NOW and sign this petition.  Please don’t think that you’ll do it later.  Do it now and help make changes.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Less Calories Than An Egg!

I’m celebrating 'myself' on the blog this week!

I’ve had a pretty miserable few days (back problems, family dramas and difficulties with friends) so I decided to cheer myself up and have a read of my latest reviews for ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’.

Within seconds, I was smiling!  I’ve been so fortunate with my reviews and I cherish every single one of them.  I’m never sure if readers know how much their thoughts mean to writers but they truly make us feel like we’ve done something right - our stories and our characters are being enjoyed.  I always say to reviewers, ‘Your words help to sell mine’ and it is SO true.

A good review is priceless.  So today I will share with you my latest.  If you’ve not read a Misfit book yet, maybe these can convince you that your £1.91/$2.99 will be well spent.  Treat yourself for Easter and enjoy some calorie free fun!


Libby Marchant wants to give her four year old son Max a good education so she is willing, along with husband Ned, to sacrifice luxuries and holidays so that they can pay for their son's education. When Max is accepted into the most sought after private school in their area, Manor House Prep School, Libby finds that not only is it difficult finding the school fees each term but that it is difficult for her to fit in with the other mums "The meemies" with their rich lifestyles and snobbish ways. The book is written in a fast pace and you really will want to read this book in one sitting. You just can not put it down. We are taken through Libby's diary for a full year as she not only struggles to get Max through his first school year, but finds herself struggling to fit in with the other mums due to the social class that they are projecting. This Chick Lit novel is well worth the read; it is an enjoyable and entertaining read that with its good humour and great characters will have you laughing out loud at times. I look forward to reading Amanda Egan's next book.
Nikki Bywater

As a true country bumpkin, I absolutely loved this book as I found myself sailing away on an ocean of "how the other half live"! It is an hilarious and fabulously written account of life as a busy mum, devoted wife, loyal friend and someone whom I would love to spend a week away with. I liked the character of Libby from the outset and could totally imagine her life as she tried to fit in with the elite and wealthy. I've just downloaded the sequel to this book, The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit, and I can't wait to open it up on my Kindle this evening. Brilliant piece of writing by Egan, well worthy of the five stars I have rated it.
Kathryn Brown

If you want a good easy read then this is the book for you. It's well written & I think we all at some point feel the same way Libby has done about Meemies, we all know a Meemie whoever we are. This is well written & so easy to read. I didn't want it to end. Amanda writes from the heart & has had me laughing & crying with her, she made me feel part of the book & not an outsider looking in. Mrs S & P are great people & wouldn't we all love a friend like F & her "out of date Moet, Sweedie"?  This would make a fantastic TV show. I'm halfway through The Darker Side & loving this just as much & can't wait for Amanda to write her next book.
I downloaded these so I could read them whilst on holiday but will have finished them before I go but will read them again whilst I'm away & sit chuckling whilst sipping my cocktails.
Thanks Amanda for your wonderful books.

I cannot begin to say how much I enjoyed this book. Maybe my un-vaccuumed floors, silent treadmill and unwatched programmes on my generic TV hard drive can indicate how long I have spent just sat reading it! I think all Mummies can identify with the issues Libby faces in this book, I know I certainly can!
Definitely worth buying!
Donna Trinder

A friend of mine recommended this book via Twitter and thought I'd give it a go. I thoroughly enjoyed it - a "ripping good yarn". I lived in the area in which the story is set in my single 20s and was something of a misfit myself so it was fun to see the principle character - Libby -  take on the whole "Fulham set" a bit further down the line. It's a fun read and I'd definitely recommend it.

I don't know what made me buy this, but I'm glad I did! I love the characters and I love the format of a diary - not my usual type of book at all. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down! The characters are well constructed and recognisable not just from the public school set, but at every school gate in the country. It’s crammed with giggles and fabulous lines that I'm determined to commit to memory to use as my own next time I meet 'that sort of person'. Brilliant book and I'd recommend it to any mum that has run the school gates gauntlet!

I positively devoured this book. It's a very easy read and one that can't be put down. It's for anyone that can relate to the high maintenance crowd at the school gate who judge every book by its cover. Their priorities are Botox, gossip and their husbands’ fat pay cheques - the misfits are the ones who live life rather than act it. At the end I grieved finishing and immediately bought the Darker Side!
Emma J Quarmby

I absolutely loved this book! Why? Well, firstly, it was really well written with characters that came to life and a story that kept you hooked right through to the end. The main character - Libby Marchant - was written in such a way that you really cared about her, and in Diary of a Mummy Misfit Amanda Egan has written a story which is not only laugh-out-loud funny, it's also touching, and I found myself eagerly willing Libby on with every turn of the page.
There are characters in this book that I absolutely fell in love with (I think I want to marry Libby's wonderful husband Ned!), and characters that I hated, and that was all down to the author's writing and her ability to create people that were fabulous (the fantastic Fenella being one of them!), and others that were just loathsome - and you'll know who THEY are when you read the book! ;-) If you love a good, well written slice of British Chick Lit, and a story that will entertain and touch you, then I strongly urge you to give Diary of a Mummy Misfit a go. I don't think you'll be disappointed! I myself can't wait to read the sequel. Amanda Egan is an author to watch, that's for sure.
Michelle Betham

You can check out all my other reviews at and also at Lulu.
So what have you got to lose?  Both books are available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback at Lulu.
Give yourself a giggle for Easter - less calories than an egg!