BOOK REVIEW12: ‘Decree Absolute’ Author is W A Cooper. Genre types Romance/Women’s Fiction/General Fiction – (warning: contains explicit well-written-sensual F/F love scenes).


The other reviewers have said it ‘all’ already – and I totally agree with their excellent reviews. But feel I need to add something here for the author’s sake.

WELL DONE to WA Cooper. I know this is a debut novel; and I can’t wait to read more from you.

What more can I say, other than, I loved this story too. Jessica Barron and Renée Arden’s story is captivating. It’s full. It’s about family. It’s about trust. It’s also a story about relationships, friendships and deceitfulness and betrayals from those closest to you; from people you should be able to trust. ‘Decree Absolute’ has it all. Romance. Intrique. Jealousy. Hatred. Shattered hearts; minds. New relationships that matter are formed. Bonds become unshakeable. There is even humour in the dramatic closing scenes; go Natalie! The setting is England and France. And there’s much to savour within this story; not just the wine and classic cars.

The Women’s Fiction or F/F classification seems irrelevant to me. This is a story about people and relationships. We all want the same thing; a steadfast, loving and trustworthy partner in life. Jessica and Renée find that in each other in the end. I totally recommend you read it for yourself.




Well I’m just skipping on thru to September people! August was pretty damn busy with various endeavours for me…including; lots of reading, some writing (book reviews sent off mostly), some study, some clients, a series of new meditations, and ‘yes’ some major enjoyment of this amazing life I find myself living; and I’m so grateful for all of it.

One of the biggest highlights for August 2018 had to be the annual RWNZ conference held over the 9th-12th of August. Romance Writers of NZ hosted their 25th Annual Conference in Auckland at the Novotel, Ellerslie. What an incredible few days that was! New people met. Old friends hugged. Workshops galore. Information coming at us rapid fire. A melting pot of ideas and inspiration. Our main guest speakers had a huge wealth of talent and experience between them and all with such a willingness to share in an honest and open way. There were also editors and agents, and some of our own well known NZ authors presenting workshops as well.

If you’ve ever wanted to write and join a professional organisation that will guide and help, that is inclusive of all the genre writers, but working under the framework of ‘romance writing’ then look no further than this organisation.

The information and availability to the members and sub-groups within, is one of total openness to ‘everything writing related’, including new ideas on the non-traditional methods of publishing. This year some of the big name speakers were promoting ‘do it yourself’ in a major way; Bella Andre for one. But you’ve still gotta learn the basics of what ‘story is’. What a plot needs to sustain it. What characters need to drive them forward. And a lot more besides. But the pleasure and fun is in the doing and learning ‘how to’ and in the friendships and contacts you form on your journey. Which is different for us all. One thing that never changes is that you must develop your own unique voice and write a good yarn (even if the story idea has been done before – it hasn’t been done with your voice or flair). And finally top quality editing really does matter. The copy must be free from errors. Punctuation problems need to be addressed and sorted before you can even think about publishing in any sense; traditional or otherwise. But none of that is insurmountable. It can all be learnt. Or you can pay someone to help you edit. Easy as.

Damon Suede


Bella Andre


Grace Burrowes


Nalini Singh


Geoff Symon


And if you do want to tackle publishing yourself well here is one way to start. Dan Wood from Draft to Digital was informative and so helpful for the entire conference.

This is only a snapshot of who was there this year. And next year we are off to Christchurch! With more top notch overseas & local speakers in attendance. Excited about that. We’ve never had a romance writers conference in our gorgeous South Island of NZ. So, I predict it’s going to be a wonderful experience for many of us; conference combined with a holiday before or after? Come and join us!




BOOK REVIEW11: ‘The Bridge to Caracas’ Author is Stephen Douglass. Genre is popular/general fiction full length novel (crime, tax fraud, romance).


**** 4 Stars from me

This was my first Stephen Douglass read. I found the whole plot idea to be intriguing; could oil really be stolen and on sold for large profits? I believed it could while I was reading. This story is about corruption within the oil industry, theft and tax fraud on a huge scale, all layered down with several deceitful characters; including the odd government representative. The realism of certain aspects of the plot obviously came from the author’s first-hand knowledge of working within that field in his previous life; a story which is full of characters who are all mostly flawed in that they are open to taking tax revenue money from the government without blinking an eye. Jim Servito is the main villain of the piece. A very good looking draft dodger, with no moral fibre; who thought nothing of killing someone once their usefulness was at an end; or to tidy up and leave no trace of his involvement with said individuals. But rest assured readers he gets exactly what he deserves in the end; although a slow death in jail would have suited the storyline just as well. (NB: If you’re squeamish then perhaps this story isn’t the read for you? Jim’s fairly ruthless when it comes to disposing of unwanted labour.)

The romance and long standing relationship between Mike King and Karen Servito is where the story let itself down in my view; it’s mostly done in a ‘telling’ style rather than a ‘showing’ style. And unfortunately, at times, I felt their affair lacked some emotional depth and appeared to be one dimensional because of the ‘telling’ aspect. However, all the elements of a great romance are there; thwarted lovers, distance, wrong timing, a hijacking for Karen and being held captive for over a year, marriages to other people, a child to each partner… but in the end Mike turns out not to be as moral as I believed him to be for most of the book; and his hero status becomes greatly reduced in my eyes which is the only reason I didn’t rate it a 5 star read.

Having said that, what I loved about this book was the realism of the settings; Canada to Caracas. And everywhere in between. I also found ‘The Bridge to Caracas’ to be a well presented book and I liked the multiple viewpoints. An easy read.


BOOK REVIEW10: ‘Golden’ – Author is James Scott Bell. Genre – Short Story.

VISUAL. EMOTIONAL. REAL. Well worth the read!

***** Five Stars from me!

James Scott Bell shows how we can redeem our past in this short story; imparting a valuable lesson in humanity from a father to a son.

Maybe there are two hero’s in the story? Firstly, it’s Charles, without a doubt. But the story is told from ‘golden boy’s’ perspective; with him learning the most valuable lesson of all and becoming a hero, in my view as well; eventually owning his past mistakes and much later in life sharing the lesson with his own son.

At school, Charles knew he was different; his disability displayed for all to sneer at. He embraced it; using the power of words to battle the bullies. This story also shows how a good percentage of the human race are really still ‘pack animals’. Sadly. Some just think they’re better than others. Some are bullies and usually hunt with another and ‘golden boy’ was part of one such group with friend Robbie; to be fair I don’t think he really ever felt comfortable in the role. And he did have a conscience. Knocking Charles over with a clod of dirt on purpose pricked at that conscience. And not long after that he saw Charles in the crowd at one of their football games, smiling and clapping because of the touchdown ‘game saving score’ that he’d made. His conscience pricked a bit more and in that moment he knew Charles was the ‘better person’.

Charles drowns during the summer holidays; the inference is perhaps it wasn’t accidental? This news is a shock to him. He learns about it from Robbie; and the enthusiasm with which the news is given doesn’t sit well with ‘golden boy’ either. He soon finds himself standing outside Charles’s house. A woman is gardening out the front; a conversation with a grieving mother who tells him how much her son looked up to him and the other athletes is the last part of the lesson for ‘golden boy’.

Imparting the lesson to his own son many years later completes the learning for ‘golden boy’.

I wanted there to be more for ‘golden boy’; as in a HEA ending at the least. But I’m a romantic realist and fully appreciated and enjoyed the realness of ‘golden boy’s’ character. However, when I purchased, for some reason I didn’t grasp the words ‘short story’. But upon further reflection there didn’t need to be more and the romance is in the relationship between the father and the son. The story is perfectly formed. Beautifully written. Short. But complete. Will look for longer works from JSB. Liking his style very much!




BOOK REVIEW9: ‘The Devil’s Dance’ – Author is Kristen Lamb. Genre – Popular Entertainment/Suspense/General Fiction.

**** This is a 4.5* Read from me.

‘The Devil’s Dance’ was read in practically one sitting; I did snatch some ‘overnight zeds’, scoffed down a couple of meals (while still reading of course) and ‘yeah’, I confess, I had a couple of toilet breaks (no reading in there, thou). What can I say, it’s winter here in NZ. Raining. The perfect weather to sink yourself into a good book! I wasn’t disappointed. And there are some excellent reviews up, so I’ll try not to repeat what others have already said.

I enjoyed this author’s first foray into a work of fiction. And I hoped she’d tie up all the loose ends by the time I got to the final page. I kept up easily with the ever changing fast pace and convolutions of the characters and their storylines and all the while hoping and trying to guess if there would be a HEA outcome for Romi Lachlan with FBI agent, Ben Sawyer? Sawyer is well-trained to take care of business and does so for 12 months before he ‘allows her’ to see him; he’s been shadowing her because she’s guilty by association, and a suspect in a large scale money laundering and fraud case. Yes – there were some surprises, cos there’s plenty going on in this book. And it’s written with a showing style rather than a telling one; great visuals of characters and situations; Romi’s personality and dress code, the ‘birdlady’ at the un-employment agency, grandma, and the trailer park too; the essence and flavour of the scene settings are vivid.

And I enjoyed Romi’s humour and deflection of serious matters from time to time, too. But not everything’s fluffy and cute as ‘six week old kittens’. Far from it. ‘TheDD’ deals with some intense moral issues; murder, theft, tax fraud, under-age sex, drugs and gangbangers to name a few. And while Romi’s no shrinking Texas Miss she wants to right some wrongs, prove her worth and most of all clear her name of all wrong doing; she’s kick-ass and knows a lot about keeping herself and those around her safe and she’s good with numbers; smart as a whip and got a degree to prove it. And yes, she has a soft side too. When it seems her luck hasn’t just run out – it’s taken a hike so far away she can’t remember the last time something good happened for her – bar the time she spends with her ‘memory deprived’ elderly neighbour, Ida, and the random contact she has with Ida’s ‘son’, Ed. Romi knows her options are finally ‘done’ when she witnesses one final act of brutality in her current ‘no other choice’ neighbourhood. Her retaliation is either brave or stupid and it becomes her tipping point. The time to leave has arrived.

Romi calls home. And does the one thing she’d hoped never to do, return to Bisby, Texas, just as poor as she was when she left. Now, practically destitute apart from her clapped out old car and the cash Ida’s ‘son’ pushed on her as a thank you for her kindness to Ida, Romi arrives back at the trailer park where she grew up; unprepared for the mess her family is in – literally – there’s more garbage than she ‘can poke a stick at’ surrounding her Dad’s home on wheels and there’s no-one else left living there apart from her still very belligerent and bitter father, stunningly good looking sister and mad as a snake grandmother. But they’re her family and they’re all she’s got; she’s grateful to them and for the place she used to call home. The trailer park is going to be bulldozed to make way for a business development and they’ve all gotta be gone by the end of the month; as new council bylaws have been issued by Mayor Ferris.

Her father’s sick – or is he? Her grandmother is an elderly kleptomaniac – or is she? Or is it that nothing is at all what it seems in the now ‘growing more affluent by the day’ town of Bisby? Former friends have moved up in the world – gone from one side of the tracks to the other… the rich side. Or have they? There’s something sinister going on underneath what appears to be a property and business development boom in the town. And the answers are all much closer to home than Romi even wants to envisage. She’s always been smarter than some people gave her credit for, especially the one person she should’ve been able to trust to love her unconditionally – forever.

If I had one critique to offer it would be the emotional connection between Romi and Ben didn’t quite click for me; yes they had some chemistry, but there were times when I wanted Romi to let Ben be ‘the man’ (for those who don’t read romance or relationship stories this won’t be an issue). But for me, I’m all about building the love and the relationships. As this is ‘book one’ I assume the relationship will develop further and they will grow that connection as they get to know each other in the future? For that reason alone this is a 4.5 star read from me.

Make no mistake, this is a story about people, lessons, family and friends betrayals, jealousies, ‘justifiable outcomes’ for some, and moral redemption for others. But if you’re squeamish then perhaps this isn’t the read for you?



NB: I noted a couple of typos, missed words/spaces, not enough to detract from the author’s writing style/voice or the story for me. ‘Perfection’ is over-rated in my view. We need the copy to be as good as it can be – near perfect, if possible. But if it’s close then that works fine for me. Every single reader/writer/author will have a differing view on punctuation these days and mixing styles seems to be acceptable in this 21st century of texting, tweeting, blogging, or whatever short form of writing it is that people engage in. The crux of the matter is always about writing an engaging story. And this book is definitely that in my view.




Short Story: ‘Ali’s Family’ – Author is Gaylene AtkinsNZ ©2013.

As I haven’t popped up a blog post, or book review for a few weeks I thought you’d like a short story from my archives just for a change of pace. I wrote this one five years ago for an RWNZ short story competition. It didn’t place. But it’s still a story I like. Hope you enjoy it too.


THERE he was two rows from the front and halfway along the pew, I couldn’t have missed him; a familiar sensation whooshed through me ending with that intense gut-tightening feeling that’d made me leave in the first place. He stood tall and straight-backed, head-up at a proud tilt as he looked forward to the minister, singing; shoulders above everyone else. I’d come here with the hope of seeing him as much as paying my last respects to Violet Imogen Carter.

The hymn being sung, now a rising crescendo. While everyone was standing it was easier to lumber my way down the aisle and into the pew as if I had every right to be there, without causing too much of a stir by being late. Smiling to various people may have looked inappropriate to some, but never for Aunty Vi. ‘A genuine smile shared with loving warmth cannot be misread’ was one of her standard lines. To top that, I could clearly hear her saying, ‘and better late than not at all, eh dear?’ If she were here to speak, she wouldn’t have just been talking about my attending this funeral service for her either.

The last verse of ‘How Great Thou Art’ was almost at its conclusion. As some of the mourners lifted their voices in unison to another level for the final rousing chorus I inched and crabbed sideways along his pew, nudging and saying ‘excuse me’ until I was within one person of him.

He’d filled out. His mourning suit fit his ‘new to my eyes’ muscular frame, the once coal dark hair now greying at the temples and above his ears and cut much shorter than I remember him wearing it. It suited him perfectly.

I used to know the shape and form of every naked dip and hollow, the smoothness of his skin; eyes shut; hands roaming, fingers caressing. Then to have that touch returned; gently pulling me forward to hold and frame my face, as he looked at me, intensely, as if I were a precious cut crystal jewel or valuable piece of art and he wanted to commit the memory of the moment every single time, before he kissed me.

And to him, I guess I was worth it. Then.

I’d known the many facets of my personality had caught his interest a long time before we got to the kissing stage. The sun and rain, the blinking rainbows of colour that made me who I was, often reflected against the plain white walls of my bedroom as we discovered the basics of being human. Seeking comfort in one another as we learnt about sex on our journey of discovery. That first kiss had been twenty-one years ago. I’d been a skinny sometimes-introverted fifteen-year-old the first time we’d had sex; a hormonal driven teen with mood swings and manipulation tactics in place. To me, he’d been a butterfly—emerging from the ugliness that was sometimes an eighteen-year-old boy’s only way forward into manhood. I helped his transition. He showed me how to have some light in my dark.

Stepping around one more singing mourner, I managed to squeeze myself in beside him. He glanced at me as I opened the service sheet and tried to sing the final few words of one of Vi’s favourite ‘churchy songs’. There had been a momentary flicker of something in his dark green eyes. Interest? Maybe it was a smile of relieved recognition. I hoped so.

As the hymn finished, I sat carefully. He remained standing and then moved past me, touching my cheek on the way; a soft feather like stroke as he got around my now awkwardly spread knees. Glancing down at the order of service, I knew he was giving the eulogy without having to see it confirmed. I blinked back salty tears and studied the sheet anyway. Sure enough, there it was, Eulogy—Dominick Boyd-Carter. My eyes roved and traced every letter of his name, fluttering heart and breath uneven as goose bumps tattooed up and down my spine.

The smooth cadence of his voice filled my head and took me on an old journey. I closed my eyes and indulged the sweetness of those memories for a second before opening them again to focus on him.

“Violet Imogen Carter wasn’t ‘just’ my mother. She was so much more for all of my life and that of many others. I’m honoured that she requested that I give this, her final speech.” He waved the sheaf of papers at us, “Mum wrote this and told me I could add to it if I wanted—but only if it was funny.” There was a murmur of laughter and whispers of how like Vi that was, from those around me.

“Vi was born to be a mother. She loved children and fostered over one hundred of us with as many as eight children in their farm-house home at any one time. She was a tough disciplinarian and she dished that out with equal measures of love. We all had our jobs and responsibilities within the framework of the home and on the farm. Bill was her rock and dearly loved husband for over sixty years. Their love showed me that being good-parents, in a strong relationship, was possible. Bill’s sudden passing away two months ago set this day in motion. Her heart broke along with her will to go on without the love of her favourite man to share each day with.”

I baulked and choked back more tears. My heart really began beating rapidly now. How come I didn’t know Bill had died?

Uncle Bill and Aunty Vi had been the first adults I’d ever trusted. At almost thirteen, I knew it had been a struggle for them to take me on. I was the oldest foster child they had ever had. At first, I hadn’t wanted to help with the younger children, or the chores for that matter. Vi was patient with me. She let me revert into my shell from time to time but somehow the magic of her ‘ordinary-ness’ always won me over. Again and again.

She was the first person to see and understand that I needed specialist treatment; a ‘head-doctor’, as she called it. Having multiple personalities caused by my need to escape previous trauma, was not something every day ordinary people usually dealt with. But Vi coped with me and the ‘others’ with her usual good humour and extraordinary determination. Over time, and with a lot of help, I was able to phase out the nastier ‘others’ and concentrate on the ‘good’ one. Most people would have said ‘no’ without any thanks, and sent me back. Not Vi and Bill. They treated me and my ‘other good sister’ equally.

Looking up I caught Dominick’s eye as he came back down the aisle toward his seat. I’d zoned out and missed most of his eulogy? As he got closer, it was clear he was going to sit down on my right, not on the left where he’d been previously. I moved along the pew a fraction, glancing sideways at the young person to my left. How could I not have realised? My stomach pitched and rolled downward, all breath stalled in my throat as I held myself in place by sheer force of will.

The young person beside me smiled back as Dom’s hand reached for mine as he sat, his hard thigh pressed against my leg. The rest of the service rushed by in a blur of more silent tears.

There was soon movement as the final blessings for peace and safe passage into the next life were intoned for Violet. Pallbearers stood to take their places. I had inadvertently sat down amongst several of them.

Before I knew it, I found myself outside in the late morning sunshine. It was easy to stand back and watch the crowd as they surged forward to place flowers and other tributes on Vi’s simple pine casket, now reposing in the hearse. I couldn’t bring myself to do the same.

“She’s chosen a cremation too. Then her and Bill will be scattered on the farm together. Under the oldest Kauri tree on the farm, the one over-looking the sea. You will remember it too I guess?” He’d come back to stand beside me.

How could I forget the place where he’d first kissed me. The rest came weeks later. “I didn’t know about Bill—I’m sorry—I should’ve been here for her. You. And…” The words whispered out of me. The pain and sadness of not seeing her that one last time was intense. Gripping.

“You’re here now Ali. That’s all that matters. And I reckon they’ll both be pleased to know it was Vi’s passing that finally got us back together.”

“I’ve never been ‘together’ with anyone.” Even I could hear the wistful tone in my voice.

“You want to be though. And all these years we should’ve been. Vi and Bill knew that.” His voice trailed off as he turned to speak to someone.

He was right. I’d run away from Vi and Bill. And him. It’d been cowardly. And until this moment I hadn’t realised how much it’d hurt everyone. Me most of all because I’d chosen to be alone. I swiped at the edges of my eyes as I faced him.

“Sasha, Tim, meet your mother. Ali—meet our twins.”

Dom’s hand drew me forward, his free arm slipping around my lower back, encircling me. His grip was so familiar, yet not. Strong—supportive and a man now not the boy I’d left. My last twenty years flashed at high speed thru my brain; these beautiful young people were living proof of what I’d missed out on.

The twins had been almost a year old when I’d left; I could feel my heart somersaulting as Sasha smiled at me and then I heard my daughter speak for the first time. A soft caring voice. No judgement. No criticism. Calm acceptance.

“You’re even more stunning in person than in Dad’s crinkled up wallet photos.” Then the young man I’d sat next to, the image of his father, spoke. “Nana Vi was an extraordinary woman who told us you were too. She also said you’d come back to us when you were ready. And that we had to keep believing that. She understood your need to run. She taught us to have patience.”

The forgiveness, trust and love shining out of three of them had all words freezing in my brain. Finally, courage had me reaching for a hand of each twin and looking from one to the other. “I’m so sorry in many ways. In others, I’m not. You had the three best parents possible. Vi and Bill stood by your Dad and you two.”

Dom’s grip firmed around me as he rubbed his left hand back and forth across my lower spine and hip area. Instinctively he seemed to know where I needed some gentle pressure to be applied. It was blissful relief; for a few seconds.

“Please don’t run again Ali. Stay. Come home with us. Come back to the farm.”

“How can I? Look at me.”

“I am.” His smile was unwavering and my undoing. As the nagging lower back pain that had plagued me for the past twelve hours hiked up another notch, my waters broke. I tightened my grip on my two grown children and leaned sideways; into him.

Can a self-confessed ’empath/healer’ live happily-ever-after with an ‘unaware-narcissist’?

I sincerely hope so!

Is there a reason why many narcissistic people choose relationships, marry or spend their lives with empaths? Or vice versa. I’m beginning to realise and think there is. And by ’empath’ I mean someone that has been, or is still; a natural born healer, nurturer, peace-maker, people pleaser – and usually someone others see as self-reliant and dependable; someone that doesn’t seem to need any, or much attention, even. Having recently read or watched various professionals speak on this, or similar subjects, has lead me to a simple conclusion: narcissistic behaviour may stem from ‘Childhood Emotional Neglect’. Or ‘CEN’ now a trademarked term coined by Dr Jonice Webb. Dr Webb is a well-respected clinical psychologist with over 20 years experience of working with real people with real issues.

On my road to ‘self-awareness’ I’ve come to know that my darling OH is a ‘low-degree-narcissist with rare outbursts of extreme’ (I’ve just made that term up – not to minimise his actions or words but more because I realise that there are varying degrees of narcissism; not all narcissists are created equal). He came from a family where I believe all the members had been subjected to ‘CEN’ (including the parents; a cycle of behaviour repeated) so, five siblings who were abandoned by a mother who left an unsatisfying marriage with their father, for what she believed would be something better; the youngest siblings were a set of twins aged 5 years, my OH was 9 years, an older sister of almost 12 years and the oldest was a teenage boy of 13 years. And to my eyes and ears they all seem to exhibit narcissistic tendencies from very mild to extreme. I’ve been part of this family for over forty years so I feel I can offer some comment with a degree of knowledge. Looking back now, after reading and researching, I see the patterns of behaviour formed as adults relate back to when they were children – ‘CEN’. My own family has similar ‘CEN’ issues too; but with parents that stayed married for 27 years. For now we’ll work with what is right in front of me; the state of my own marriage on this day.

NB: This is only my opinion and it is not written to apportion blame to any parents anywhere; including my own. We all know there are various and good valid reasons why relationships/marriages break-down.

In our families cases, us children were well taken care of in a physical sense: feed, clothed, disciplined, educated. What else could we possibly need?

In my husband’s family situation they were not told why their mother had left them. In those days children didn’t get told anything. Never mind the fact that the marriage had broken down because love and trust was lost. You don’t stop to talk to the children to explain anything. And as the adult you just get on and do what you have to do to keep food on the table, the power on and the other expenses met. Which is exactly what my husband’s father did. All credit to him. But what those children saw and learnt at a subliminal level was their father no longer had someone to love him; and they had no mother to love them. So the children developed coping mechanisms to find their way forward in life. And outwardly it seems they all did pretty well. But at an emotional level maybe they didn’t do quite so well? I believe at some core deep level my OH believes he is unlovable. This stems from his own experience of ‘CEN’. And only he can change his current thinking and behaviour patterns.

When we first met and began our life together; at some instinctive level I knew he needed caring for and nurturing; loving. And maybe he saw that empathic side of me before I realised what it was too? Whatever we saw in each other back then we chose to make our way forward together. Fast forward forty-three years and my empathic nature has developed into full on healing work for others; and my OH still has the odd narcissistic break-out. These days I’ve learnt not to ‘feed the beast’, ‘rise to the bait’ or whatever reaction he is trying to get out of me to fulfil some ‘CEN’ issue he has and doesn’t even realise he has.

Dr Christiane Northrup speaks at some length on narcissism in her latest book; Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You And Restoring Your Health & Power.

Both Dr Webb and Dr Northrup have been key to helping me resolve the healer/narcissist relationship questions I had allowing me to move my part of the relationship forward. And I greatly appreciated the learning from both.

In conclusion, for now, what we know with regards to body self-healing work; if you’re in a relationship that is draining you, and you do nothing to change it or learn about the reasons ‘why’, physical illness is generally the only outcome for your body. So, unless you address some of your core misconceptions or beliefs, all the healthy food, exercise, sleep, holidays, pharmaceutical or recreational drugs, alcohol or money will not make you happy or healthy, either. We all have choices. And they can be fairly simple. Choosing ‘to be well’ means nurturing yourself first; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Looking after yourself ‘first’ is not selfish; it’s self-preservation and completely necessary for you to lead a balanced and happy life; to be at peace within your core-self. So, back to the original question, ‘can a self-confessed empath/healer live HEA with an unaware narcissist’? I do believe anything in this lifetime is possible!