A Country Practice Blog Tour

A heart-warming, poignant and engaging tale about the doctors, nurses and patients of the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital, and their friends and neighbours.

A Country Practice follows the dramas, loves, secrets and dilemmas of the people in an Australian small country town. There is romance, humour and tragedy for the medical staff of the local hospital, and the rural community it serves.

A desperate woman arrives at the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital in the final stages of labour. Can Dr Terence Elliott overcome his demons to save both mother and baby?

Simon Bowen, the newest doctor in town, is frustrated at being seen as an outsider by the tight knit country people. Will he succeed in winning them around ‒ especially young vet Vicky Dean?

Vicky’s mum, Sister Shirley Dean, is courted by widowed police sergeant Frank Gilroy. But is he the man for her?

Young married couple, Brendan and Molly Jones arrive in Wandin Valley. Are they prepared for the realities of country life?

Meanwhile, a teenager in love clashes with her father and a serious car accident reveals a surprising secret about two of the town’s residents.

Based on the award-winning, international hit television serial A Country Practice, this new series of novels follows the lives and loves of the rural community of Wandin Valley, South-Eastern Australia. Set in the early 1980s it is a nostalgic look at country life, yet with all the same joys and problems we face today.
My Review:
I have not had enough time to read all the book because of a delay in dispatch but so far so good. It reminds me of 'The Flying Doctors' or any other hospital drama set in Australia in the way that there's a new doctor in town whom the residents dislike and refuse to see him.
There are several new residents who come into town for a variety of reasons and will no doubt, all convene in the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital with the new doctor!
There's a lady who crashed her car after getting impatient behind a flock of sheep who has gone into early labour, there's a teenage girl who wants to go on the pill, a teenage boy with constant headaches, two new arrivals and a possible love interest! Just what I need really!
I love the way Judith writes, the book flows along really nicely without anything to trip you up or get confused over. Everything is explained really well without it being overly mundane. I can see I am going to really enjoy reading the rest of this book and finding out what happens to all of the characters! xo
About the author: Judith Colquhoun was born in Queensland and grew up in Sydney. She studied production at the National Institute of Dramatic Art and soon after graduating, love and a job took her to Melbourne. Later, she lived in London for a time, spent many years in country Victoria and long enough in Italy to fall in love with the Mezzogiorno. She is now back in Melbourne and may even stay there.
She started writing when she was six and from the age of twenty-three has always earned her living from it in one way or another. She was a scriptwriter for far too long, writing countless hours of television for many of Australia’s most popular shows, including Neighbours and Home & Away. Her output included one hundred episodes of A Country Practice.
Judith has worked as an editor and script producer, and in Italy was a script consultant on the serial Un Posto Al Sole. She has won five Awgie Awards and in 2007 was made a Life Member of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

In 2009 she finally gave up scriptwriting to attempt a novel. Thicker Than Water, which is largely set in southern Italy, was published in 2014. It was Highly Commended in the Fellowship of Australian Writers 2014 National Literary Awards.

She has written three novels based on the stories and characters of A Country PracticeNew Beginnings, To Everything a Season and Silver Linings.

Judith is married with two children and three grandchildren.

10 Reasons Why You Should Plan a Winter Getaway - Guest Post.

It’s winter. There’s a chill in the air, the skies are grey, and your eyes are looking for the slightest hint of green. Think of it. You sit at your desk at work after a commute through traffic that drives you crazy and count down the hours until you are able to get outside – but going outside is a bit dreary these days. Pretty picture? Perhaps not.

Winter doesn’t have to feel like a run-on sentence that has no end. It can actually be one of the best times to take advantage of those vacation days you’ve been racking up and get away for a bit. Doesn’t a relaxing vacation – especially in the dead of winter – sound amazing?

There are a number of reasons why a vacation in winter is ideal. Here are 10 reasons that will help you decide to plan a winter getaway today:

1.    Lower Pricing
Sometimes your dream vacation is cost-prohibitive. When that happens, shift your strategy and bring on the off-season of that faraway land. Hitting your favorite vacation spots in the off-season can mean landing some great deals for hotels, airfares and event tickets, making it possible to finally get that stamp in your passport or fly through the air on that roller coaster.

Sites like Groupon Getaways and Kayak can help you land winter deals quickly, so if you are ready to get out and get moving, hit them now. You could find yourself in a dream location in less than three weeks.

2.    Burn More Calories

Did you know that shivering in the cold can actually help you burn more calories? Research shows that people who keep their space at cooler temperatures actually see an increase in their metabolic rate – by as much as 30 percent.

So huddling up under blankets — though deliciously warm — is keeping you from enjoying the fat busting benefits of a few good shivers. Who knew, right? So head outside this winter, experience the brisk air, and find vacation spots that will allow you to explore the outdoors with renewed and cooled spirits.

3.    Fewer Crowds

If you’ve been dreaming of those Paris cafés but are balking at the price of airfare in June, you’re in luck! Travel costs go down in the cooler months. Along with the price drops, expect to see fewer crowds in some of the summer hot spots, as well.

Being by the water in the winter may not sound very bikini-friendly, but the beauty of winter water is one not to be missed. For theme parks, you can also expect to see less people, meaning less time in line and more time getting the most out of your money.

4.    Boost Your Mood

Getting out and getting moving – especially in the cold – can help boost your mood and brighten your day. Why? The power is in the happy hormones, also known as endorphins. Exercise can bring on a rush of endorphins, so rather than stay sedentary, put on some layers, pack your bags and head out to experience winter and a burst of happiness.

5.    Reconnect With Close Friends and Family

Life gets busy. Sometimes it feels like everything and everyone is whirring by you in a haze of activity. Going away for a long weekend this winter will allow you to hit the pause button – even if only for a few days. Getting this recharge opportunity can mean having time to reconnect with the friends and family who mean the most.

6.    Experience a Roaring Fireplace

This should be enough to send you packing your bags and closing up your house for vacation. A toasty fireplace is one of the supreme comforts of winter and something that can only be thoroughly enjoyed when there’s snow on the ground and the temperature is below freezing. If you’ve forgotten the sound of a fire crackling while playing a rousing game of checkers, book your spot now, because you’re missing out on winter’s greatest gift.          
7.    Use Paid Time Off

Americans have a great ability to get things done for the sake of progress. This crazy schedule – though great for commerce – means Americans tend to waste their vacation days. If you feel guilty about using up your vacation time, you shouldn’t. There’s a reason it’s given, and it’s meant to be taken. Paid time off exists to help employees achieve greater family/work balance, an essential part of maintaining positive rapport with your employer and your family. 

8.    Experience Seasonal Sporting Opportunities

There’s something to be said for what winter has to offer. It’s the only time to really get an opportunity to try out your favorite winter sports. Anything from tubing to sledding to skiing to ice skating is at the ready when there’s a chill in the air. The exhilaration of learning a new sport or kindling excitement for an old favorite will bring you closer to those around you, which will help you gain unforgettable memories.

9.    Sunny Weather

Sunshine is known to have numerous health benefits, including beating the winter blues. If the winter blues have got you down, go outside. Even if it’s a cloudy day, you’ll be seeing more of the sun’s glad rays than indoors.
If you’re lucky enough to land a deal that sends you to a warm and sunny location, expect to feel a lift in mood, energy and an increasing ability to get those sweet hours of sleep you need so much.

10.  See Something New

Regardless of the season, getting out and seeing something new can be good for you. Winter can produce a feeling of monotony if not embraced properly. If this is how you are starting to feel, it’s time for a break, and it’s time to see something new. You’ll feel reenergized and be able to see your world in a different context.
A winter getaway is a great way to make it through a season which doesn’t get enough credit for all it has to offer. Travel is a wonderful thing, and traveling in winter can be wonderful, too. As Saint Augustine put it, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Get out there. Get traveling. Book your winter getaway today. 

Jennifer Landis is a freelance writer and healthy living blogger. She drinks tea in excess, has a collection of peanut butters, and is a super nerd at heart. Find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

Creating Your Perfect Playlist With HMV*


Now that February's here, now's the time to start creating your perfect playlist to help you through the last of these dark, dull days. I thought I would tell you about a few of the songs I have been playing this month to help me through and perhaps give you an idea for a feel good and a happiness boosting playlist of your own! 

- "She's so lovely" Scouting For Girls 

- "Wasn't expecting that" by Jamie Lawson

- "Islands in the stream" The Shires

- "Halo" Beyonce 

-" WORK" Rhianna

- "4 Minutes" Justin Timberlake and Madonna

 -" Ignition Remix" R Kelly

- "Everglow" Coldplay

- "Walking on Sunshine" Katrina and the waves

- " Human" Rag'n'Bone Man

- " Winter of our youth" Bastille

-" Rockabye" (FT Sean Paul & Anne-Marie) 

- " Say You Won't Let Me Go" James Arthur

-" Stressed Out" Twenty One Pilots

- " The Sound" The 1975

- " 666" Bon Iver

-" Rings of Saturn" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

- " PillowTalk" Zyan 

- " PDA" Backstreet Boys

-" I'll Be There For You" The Rembrandts

- " Town Called Ugley" Ward Thomas

- " Guilty Flowers! Ward Thomas

-" Good Grief" Bastille

-" When We Were Young" Adele

-Rolling In The Deep" Adele

 - " I Will Wait" Mumford & Sons

- " Hair" Little Mix

- " 24K Magic" Bruno Mars 

- " Shoutout To My Ex!" Little Mix

- " Dancing On My Own" Calum Scott

These songs always make me feel good and put me in a positive mood whatever I'm doing. Mostly I play music when I'm at work, to help me through a shitty shift, or to give me something to listen to whilst doing extra jobs if it's a bit quiet. I've been without music for a while now and it wasn't until I got it back that I realised just how much I've missed it. It really can transport you to another place and make you feel things you didn't know possible. 

Certain songs will always remind you of a certain time in your life, for example whenever I hear anything by The BackStreet Boys, it instantly transports me back to when I was a teenager and was absolutely madly and deeply in love with them all. My cousin Amy shared this love and we would spend hours looking at their pictures, listening to their songs and watching them on TV. Their songs always make me smile and it's wonderful to have such a memory which will stay with me forever. xo


I know our lives are getting overly digitalised now, which is fine for some but how about you take a step away and go into a record shop to find vinyls can be an experience which cannot be beaten. Playing vinyls is like being your Dad, but way cooler! I'm sure this would be something you two could do together if he has a big collection. I know my Dad does and it would be really lovely to be able to share this with him. 

What better way to listen to your music and get the full benefit than on a turntable?! Become your own DJ on the comfort of your own house and experience music like never before. HMV have a vast collection and it could be something new for you to do this year, listen to your music and get the full benefit than on a turntable.

What do you think?!?! Would you consider buying a turntable to play vinyl records!? I certainly would. Do you like my choice of songs?? Would you add any others to my list? Any you'd take out?! I would love to know which songs you love to put on to create your own happiness playlist! Please let me know in the comments below! 

Love, Sarah

* This has been a collaborative post with HMV. All music related opinions are my own! 

Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies Blog Tour



Misnomer on purpose, this amazing debut rocks nine short and amusing stories - a Zombie Apocalypse without zombies; the Vatican announcing contact with Aliens; a heroin junkie that loves poetry; a timeless love, and much more.

Ordinary characters facing extraordinary situations, dry humor, philosophical musing dressed as whimsical, offhand commentary, and a fairy-tale like writing; those are the key elements of the style of this funny and thought-provoking collection.

The collection comprehends three previously published stories ("The Galway Review”, “Trigger Warning”, “Two Thousand Words” and “Chantwood Magazine"); five new unpublished pieces; and for the first time in English, the best-selling story “Impurità”, which was Selected Work in 2012 by Apple iBooks.

All The Small Things.....

I posted this on my Instagram this morning after reading a post about Valentine's Day in the Sunday Telegraph. It may be Valentine's tomorrow but it's all the small things which add up over the year which mean more to me than anything else. I'm not against V Day itself because I think it's lovely to mark time and show your other half how much they mean to you, but I'm talking about longevity in a relationship. How everything you do over the weeks, months, years and decades really can mean more than any big bunch of flowers. 

I look at my parent's relationship and always wonder what it is that has made them last for 45 years together (42 years married this August). It must be compromise. Mum does the shopping, cooking, washing etc and Dad cleans up after tea, sorts the dishwasher (he's the dishwasher king!), gives my Mum wine, works in the garden and makes my Mum coffee after tea! He knows which side his bread is buttered! The sweetest thing he did recently was for my Mum's Birthday, he went to a specialist flower shop in a little local village to buy her a big bunch of flowers. No supermarket flowers here! He hid them in the garage so see wouldn't see before the big day!! #Love #Romance #Allthesmallthings xo

Like I said, I am not against Valentine's Day itself, I guess what I'm trying to say is whenever I see on twitter someone saying " had a crap day but came home to my OH running me a bath and handing me a glass of wine.." it always makes me smile because to me, that's true romance. When your OH notices that you've had a shitty day and doing something to make you smile, or a friend sending you a card when you're down to cheer you up.

 I've asked my ladies onTwitter to tweet me the little things that are romantic to them:

@sunshinesarahxo when someone puts their arm around your waist and pulls you in 😘
— Em Sheldon (@emshelx) February 13, 2017
@sunshinesarahxo hahaknew it! Thank you 😊 I'm feeling rubbish today and it really cheered me up xxxx
— I s sy (@IssyBelleFox) February 13, 2017

You guys, my girlfriend is the cutest look at this message she sent me as I started my ballet class 💕 pic.twitter.com/ZLjLM1DcZh
— Danielle Jade ☁️🌏 (@DanielleJade___) February 13, 2017

I'm so in love. My girlfriend picked me from dance & when we got home had made dinner, bought me roses in newspaper and a bottle of red ❤️
— Danielle Jade ☁️🌏 (@DanielleJade___) February 13, 2017

Max carried me through the woods last night so my suede boots wouldn't get ruined and if that's not true love I don't know what is
— lauren(@loulabxlle) February 12, 2017

My mum has a teddy bear that has sat on her dashboard for years, but it's obvsgot dirty and matted over time, but it kindajust...

— Ashton Jade Gibbs 🌍 (@ashtongibbs) February 14, 2017

...stays sat there out of habit. As you know, today is Valentine's Day, and as a gift for my mum, my dad sneaked the teddy...

— Ashton Jade Gibbs 🌍 (@ashtongibbs) February 14, 2017

...from the car and gave it a proper wash making it fluffy and new again. He just presented it to her. What a cutie. 💘

— Ashton Jade Gibbs 🌍 (@ashtongibbs) February 14, 2017

So you see, all the small things really are the big things! Plus, the day before Valentine's Day (ie today!) is known as #GalentinesDay and is a time to share for you to share the love of your female friends/girlfriends!! I think this is brilliant because we all need to shout out about our #squads every now and again! I have tons of badass women on my Twitter feed who always inspire me and make me smile. I love these girls with all my heart and am so proud to be able to call them friends. Here's to #GalentinesDay and #GirlSquads ruling the day! xo


(Rosie, Kayleigh, Madeleine, Claire, Tina, Jasmine, Charlene, Bex and Issy!) 

Who is in your #GirlSquad?! Has your OH done something recently to make you smile a bit more!? Do you like to surprise them with anything!? Please let me know because I would love to know!!! 

Love, Sarah

Reaching Your Fitness Goals 2017


This year is going to be the year that you get the body you’ve always dreamed of. Instead of making excuses, you’re going to make fitness your priority and power through to reach your goals. By summer you’ll have abs like the chicks on Instagram, thighs of steel and arms so svelte you just can’t wait to show them off in a strapless dress. It won’t come easy, but it will be so worth it when you get there. Here are a few techniques you’ll need to help you on your way.

Valentine's Day With LoveBombCushions*

Lovebomb Cushions are the fun, novelty cushion company who make our favourite emojis into cushions, key rings, foot cushions and shelf buddies for us all to enjoy! What could be a better present for your Valentine?! Just as long as it's not the poo emoji ay?! 

#ACinderellaStory: If The Shoe Fits With Warner Brothers*!

Family friendly fun with Warner Brothers! Gather the family together to settle down and enjoy the re-telling of everyone's favourite classic Disney film, Cinderella. 

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will have you singing and dancing in your seat with the release of A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits on DVD 6th February 2017. 
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