Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nicholas Sparks (saved my life)

I’m sure you must be wondering, how exactly did Nicholas Sparks save my life? Well, thanks to his novels, I quit smoking.  Yes, that’s right, years ago I smoked cigarettes. Very hard for a nurse to admit, but let me just add that when I became a nurse 21 years ago at least half of the nurses I worked with back then smoked.  I was a new nurse at the age of 19, and I easily picked up the habit which followed me into my early 30’s.  Around age 28, I began working as an account manager for a national healthcare company and boy did I want to kick the habit!  But, as many of you who are reading this will probably agree with, it’s not an easy habit to put down.  This particular job I was working at the time involved a lot of marketing and a lot of driving.  This meant that I had the freedom to smoke all day long while I was on the road for work.  As time went on, I knew I wanted to quit smoking, but one thing remained: what to do with myself while behind the wheel all day?  Somehow for me driving and smoking simply went together.  Then one day, I casually mentioned to my boss that I wanted to quit smoking.  She was about 15 years my senior and lucky for me she had already “been there, done that”.  I told her that I had zoned in on a product to help ease the physical cravings, but what was I going to do with myself while I was behind the wheel for hours on end!?!  There had to be something to take my mind off of cigarettes, but what?  My boss said simply:  Audio books.  That was when the light bulb went on.  So I picked a date to kick the habit and headed off to work, armed with my nicotine lozenges and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (on audio book).  Guess what?  It worked!  Before long, not only was I a non-smoker, but I had found a way to catch up on a lot of good reading while I drove around in my car for hours on end.  Fast forward to present day, and you’ll find me free from cigarettes and absolutely hooked on Nicholas Sparks novels.  Whether I’m reading them on my Kindle or listening to them on audio book while I power walk with my two year old son every evening, I just can’t get enough of them! 

Most readers of fiction novels love a good read which carries them away to another time or place.  My latest novel "A New Year's Eve to Remember" does exactly that.  Many of you I’m sure will enjoy this book, it’s a great quick read for a plane flight or a quiet afternoon – it will carry you away to a time full of beauty and romance. So don’t miss it! 

One day I hope to meet Nicholas Sparks.  I’d like to shake his hand and truly thank him for saving my life and for inspiring me to write novels which are full of nostalgia and romance.  For now I’ll thank him for saving my life right here on my blog, and I’ll ask him to keep doing what he does so well – keep those novels coming Mr. Sparks, we all adore you.

With Love and Gratitude,
M.J. Butler 

PS:  My baby boy’s name?  If you guessed Nicholas, you’re right!

Click here to view "A New Year's Eve to Remember" at

"A New Year's Eve to Remember"

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