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Galway woman’s debut novel aims to follow in famous footsteps

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Fifty Shades of Grey began its life as a self-published e-book only to go on and sell 100 million copies.

It has never been easier to get your book out there and the race is on to emulate the success of EL James by amateur authors making their tomes available online.

Described as erotic romance, The Fifty Shades trilogy was published episodically on a website for fans of the Twilight series. After comments about its explicit sexual nature, James removed the story and published it on her own website, FiftyShades.com, renaming her protagonists Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

Split into three parts, it was released as an e-book and later a print on demand paperback in 2011 by an Australian virtual publisher. Sales of the trilogy grew by word-of-mouth and it was picked up by Vintage Books for re-release a year later.

It’s all a world away from the self-confessed “ordinary lady from Glenamaddy”, Marcella Gemmell, whose novel, Fate, Hope & Love – has been released on Amazon on the same week the Fifty Shades movie hit the cinemas, starring Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan.

“I know it’s not quite Fifty Shades of Grey volumes, but it is a massive achievement for me,” she mused.

“I have written hundreds of verses but this is my first attempt at a story. This book is a simple love story based in Galway City and Connemara, two places I’m absolutely passionate about – it’s nothing like 50 Shades; she’s on a completely different level.”

The story follows Jessica, a 28-year-old single girl who lives and works in Galway City but is originally from the Aran Islands. It joins her on her journey of life, love, friendship and family.

“It is called ‘Fate, Hope & Love’ because sometimes in life one of these will bring you happiness, other times, as in Jessica’s case, it might just take all three,” she reflects.

“I hope people enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Those who have read it this week say they especially like the way it describes Galway City and the Aran Islands as it is uncommon in modern fiction. I hope it does our city justice.”

While fans of Fifty Shades may not exactly get their erotic kicks in Marcella’s love story, she does promise that it contains more than a little romance.

“I’m a hopeless romantic. I actually wanted to know what happens to her in the end – I know that sounds daft. But it’s all about the trials and tribulations of that age group. She’s been hurt in the past and is reluctant to trust anyone.”

So how much of the story is based on the author’s life?

Other than a stint in Scotland where she met her hubby Ian and time studying as paramedic in Dublin, Marcella has spent most of her adult life working in Galway City, for the multinationals Digital, Nortel and HP.

Since 2006 she has been back in Galway working as a paramedic.

After a summer in Inishmore, she has returned four or five times a year ever since, winter and summer, still captivated by the beauty of the island.

It was at night time over three months that she wrote the novel, which she describes as her “down time” from running a busy household with two teenagers.

“My family didn’t even know I was thinking of submitting it. It was my husband who kept saying to me you should send it somewhere. This is a really nice story,” she revealed.

“I didn’t know my grandfather, but a couple of my neighbours have said that he was a great writer and story teller, people used to come to hear his tales. Even learning that has meant this is worth it.”

Marcella will hold two launch evenings, one in Gleeson’s in Roscommon Square and the other in Talent’s Hair Salon in Terryland, which is mentioned in the book.

The book is available on Amazon Worldwide and on Amazon Kindle.

CITY TRIBUNE

Living with the ignominy of anonymity on social media

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Technically, I am on Facebook and Twitter, but I can never seem to quite motivate myself to tell all my virtual friends that my dog has overeaten today; that the cat has disappeared again without a word of explanation; or that the neighbour down the road is driving out in a brand-new car.

At times, I imagine that I’m suffering from some type of serious personality disorder because of my failure to get excited about sharing the most boring details of my daily chores with a cohort of people, some of whose names I am familiar with, while others could have no possible connection to my existence on this planet.

Mind you, I bear no animosity towards those people who want to befriend me via the world of fibre optics and instant communication from any part of the globe, but neither do I harbour any great desire to start up conversations about the banalities of life.

It really is bad enough to have to endure and survive those tribulations every day without having to trouble my newly-acquired set of friends – that I don’t know – with the details of how good or bad my day has been.

I’m sure that there are super ‘shrinks’ out there who will make a case for the virtue of being able to share your daily woes and wonders with those in the world of cyber space, but a thousand Facebook communications (not that I’ll ever make them) just can never compensate me for a face-to-face interaction with an old friend or even a regular verbal sparring partner in the local watering hole, who can jibe me about some alleged minor transgression on my part over recent times.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Huge study gives thumbs up to dairy in the diet

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Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Every time I go to a café, I am amazed by the offering now available for people who no longer want to add milk to their brew. Even in the tiniest of coffee kiosks, they stock oat, soy or almond milk as an alternative to cow’s milk, usually for a surcharge of around 50c, reflecting the high cost of these alternatives.

The big food companies have lately got in on the act, offering non-dairy yogurts in the convenient small pots in most supermarkets. Customers no longer have to head to the health store for these premium, specialist products.

The trend to non-dairy and vegan diets – which means no animal products at all – has certainly become mainstream among Generation Z and Millennials.

But is it good for your health?

A comprehensive new study originating in Sweden would suggest otherwise – at least when it comes to the consumption of dairy.

The international team of scientists studied the dairy fat consumption of 4,150 adults aged 60 living in Sweden which has the world’s highest levels of dairy production and consumption.

They measured blood levels of a particular fatty acid that is mostly found in dairy foods rather than relying on people recording the amounts and types of dairy foods eaten, which may be unreliable given that dairy is commonly used in a variety of foods.

Experts then followed this group for an average of 16 years to observe how many died, had heart attacks, strokes and other conditions indicating cardiovascular disease (CVD). After statistically adjusting for other known CVD risk factors such as age, income, lifestyle, dietary habits, they concluded that those with higher intakes of dairy fat had a lower risk of CVD compared to those with low intakes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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At the official opening of the new tile factory in Portumna on January 13, 1967.

1921

Tenants’ desperation

That the land question is far from settled in certain areas is obvious to those who have been reading the series of articles contributed to these columns by a correspondent in South Galway. The slowness of the Congested Districts Board has been proverbial.

Our correspondent suggests that failure to effect local settlements within a reasonable time, coupled with the inefficiency he charges, have brought about a condition of discontent which may result in a violent explosion at any moment.

No one could contemplate with equanimity such an outburst, for it might have an effect far beyond that intended and might endanger national peace at a period when its preservation is of supreme moment to the Irish people.

But it would seem indisputable that the Congested Districts Board is taking risks that no public body is entitled to take; and the completion of the division of the estates involved should be pushed forward in the public interest without further unnecessary delay.

The tenants on the Ardilaun estate at Cong have already taken the matter into their own hands. At a meeting attended by congests, some of whom walked fifteen miles to be present, it was declared that all confidence had been lost in the Congested Districts Board “which has long since practically ceased to function on this estate” and the tenants requested Dáil Éireann to take over the administration.

The facts in regard to the Ardilaun property are sufficiently remarkable to afford in themselves a damnatory criticism of the Board’s methods. It contains seven hundred householders, whose average valuation is from 15s. to £3. Congestion and poverty is abound; there is little untenanted land to relieve either.

Migration of bodies of tenants is the only real and permanent remedy. But nine years after the late Lord Ardilaun expressed his desire to sell, the Congested Districts Board has not, it would appear, put forward any real effort to relieve a distressing situation.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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