Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Getting To Grips With Reality

I'd like to pose a few questions:

*Can reality TV shows actually help us to solve our problems?

*Are you a reality TV fan?

*What is it about the 
programmes that appeals to you?


Most of us have probably, at some point, watched a reality TV programme. What is it about these programmes we like? Well, my take on this is that we enjoy seeing contestants pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones, learning new skills and discovering a fair bit about themselves along the way. I think we're inspired by seeing what others can achieve.

A reality TV show which probably isn't quite as well known as the likes of 'Big Brother' and 'I'm A Celebrity' is the programme ChickFix.

If you haven't seen the programme then each week four women with various personal issues are invited to stay in a large luxurious country house for some much needed pampering by experts along with some equally needed therapy sessions with a life coach and a psychologist. The women are set various tailor made challenges over the course of a few days at the house to help them address their particular issues then they go back in to the real world to put their coaching advice and lessons into practice. A few weeks later they then meet up again at the house for a progress report. 

I found ChickFix fascinating (and informative!) viewing, seeing these women turn their lives around was all very inspiring and at times emotional. As a viewer you got to pick up quite a few self help tips from the coaches on the show along the way too!

I was also fascinated by ChickFix because it was a similar concept to the book I had just had published called The Love Programme.

In The Love Programme (TLP) Lucy's life is a mess thanks to childhood sweetheart and ex boyfriend Marcus who walks out on his wedding to someone else - saying it's because he's still in love with Lucy!

Finding herself the subject of local gossip and some unkind comments Lucy decides to try to get out of town for a while and ends up becoming a last minute replacement contestant on a reality TV programme designed to help people with relationship  difficulties called The Love Programme.
The Scottish Highlands, the setting for The Love Programme

TLP is being filmed on a grand country estate in the Scottish Highlands and the idea is that 3 females who are each in need of some serious relationship advice and counselling have regular therapy sessions with the programme's psychologist Zelda to help them figure out what they want from future relationships and the men in their lives. 

The women then go on specially tailored 'dates' with TLP's 'date guy' Issac and report back to Zelda afterwards on what they have learnt about themselves and their attitude to relationships on each of their dates.

Lucy tries to get to grips with understanding herself and addressing her many relationship issues but, much as she wants to focus, she's distracted by:
* The fact she's just learnt her childhood sweetheart Marcus is now pursuing her across the country and attempting to track her down in Scotland to beg her for a chance to try again...
* The fact the estate is owned by enigmatic businessman and modern day handsome Scottish laird, Paul -  a man with more than a few secrets...
* Her suspicions that 'date guy' Isaac seems to be breaking TLP rules and getting far too involved with one of the females in the house - but which one?

It seems as though The Love Programme has its work cut out if it's going to help Lucy get her life back on track....


Today Only - The Love Programme is on sale at just 77p/ 99c / 99c +tax  - 

The Love Programme

A contemporary romance set in the wilds of Scotland

What do you do when your childhood sweetheart and now ex-boyfriend won’t accept it’s over?

Lucy’s life is a mess. With her ex pursuing her across the country, she flees to Scotland and finds herself part of a reality TV show about love… will she find some answers or end up even more confused in matters of the heart?

Marcus won’t give up on trying to rekindle his relationship with 
Lucy, not even on the day he should be marrying somebody else! 

Lucy decides she needs a place to escape to for a while and fate seems to agree when she’s given the chance to star in a reality TV show called The Love Programme whilst enjoying two weeks of luxury living on a grand country estate in Scotland.

When Lucy meets Paul, the owner of the estate, she thinks he might be The One but who is the mysterious Hannah and what part does she play in his life?

With Marcus planning to win her back Lucy has some serious soul searching to do.

It seems The Love Programme has its work cut out if it’s going to help Lucy sort out her life…

Read an extract:

Business had been slower than usual at the Price Right Travel Agency where Lucy worked. “Isn’t it boring when nobody comes into the agency?” She sighed as she deftly slid a pair of scissors through some plastic wrapping on a pile of holiday brochures proclaiming Turkey to be ‘paradise in the sun’.
Her boss Melanie glanced up from her computer with an irritated expression on her pixie-like face. “I imagine we’re being boycotted thanks to your little shenanigans with Marcus.”
Trying to wedge some brochures with a picture of a gorgeous sun-drenched Turkish beach on the front onto the shelving, Lucy said, “For the tenth time, Mel, I didn’t do anything. What do I have to say for people to believe me?”
Mel shook her head. “I’m not here to judge your love life but when it starts to affect my business…” she paused, choosing her words carefully. “For starters Marcus was one of our best customers. He even booked his honeymoon here. Goodness knows what will happen there. Nobody has asked about the chance of a refund yet. What with Marcus paying for it and then jetting off to Portugal straight after the non-wedding, he hasn’t had a chance. I expect he’ll be in to try to sort it all out when he gets back.”
“He’ll lose his money. I’m pretty sure walking out on your wedding isn’t covered under his insurance,” said Lucy with a grimace, feeling guilty about how Marcus and Amelie wouldn’t get to enjoy the five star hotel he’d chosen on a gorgeous stretch of beach on Cyprus. If she remembered rightly the place had three restaurants, five swimming pools, a spa and a gym. Everything you could wish for. She’d helped him to choose the place. Now she was the reason he wouldn’t be going there.
“Perhaps it would be best if you took a bit of a sabbatical. Have you thought about it at all?” Mel asked with more than a hint of encouragement in her voice.
“Sabbatical?” Lucy queried, the brochures in her hand slipping to the floor. “Not a polite way of saying I’m fired is it?”
“Of course not. I’ll hold your job open for you. Just consider it an opportunity to take a few weeks off to go and have yourself a bit of fun. Hopefully by the time you return, all the gossips will have moved on to someone else and the next Friadon scandal.”
“You’re serious aren’t you?” Lucy asked, sitting down on several bundles of as-yet unopened brochures.
“Definitely. I have this friend who works for a small TV production company. They’re doing some sort of programme about love and one of the girls has had to pull out at the last moment for family reasons. They need a replacement right away and the filming is supposed to start in two days. Craig, my friend, doesn’t want to have to go through all the audition info again to choose someone else. I bet you’d be ideal.”
Sceptically Lucy asked, “What sort of love programme? It’s not something tacky is it?”
“No, no,” Mel answered, tapping away at her computer keyboard. “I think the idea is for three girls and one boy to spend two weeks together at some glam location. It’s properly organised and supervised. Each of you would get to go on your dream type of dates. It’s all about the psychology of finding the love of your life.”
Lucy got to her feet, then swayed unsteadily as her sandals slipped across several of the glossy holiday brochures scattered about the floor where she’d dropped them minutes earlier. Stooping to gather up the brochures before a customer (should one of them ever appear) broke their ankle on them and sued the agency, Lucy contemplated Mel’s suggestion. “So it would all be quite tasteful then?”
“I should imagine so. I think they’ll be having a psychologist on hand too, so after each date you can talk about how you think things went. There’s a complete relationship analysis service available so you can learn about yourself, men, and your attitude towards dating. Sounds ideal for you.”

Realising she’d been holding her breath for a few seconds, Lucy let it out in a long sigh. “Okay, I might be interested. Shall I call this Craig or will you?”


Would you like to read for free? 

I'd like to invite you to download my free and exclusive ebook Telling Tales.

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