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10 July 2014

Review, Interview & Giveaway: 'I Am the Secret WAG' (2014)

Money, cars, homes, holidays, parties and all the shoes you've ever dreamed of. The life of a footballer's wife or girlfriend must be as glamorous and exciting as her other half, right? But behind the closed doors of the WAG's world, there are all the pressures as well as pleasures of success. So what is it really like?

The Secret WAG lays bare the reality of existence under the celebrity spotlight. It is about fashion and fame, sex and scandal, but, like the bestselling Secret Footballer books, is also an honest appraisal of life on and off the field of play which will change your preconceptions about footballers and their partners. It is sassy, outspoken, funny and above all, written from the heart. Meet The Secret WAG.

Recently I received an unexpected review copy on my doormat, one that straight away looked quite intriguing and mysterious! The title, the cover, and the anonymity of the author of ‘I Am the Secret WAG’ only made me more curious, even though I am not necessarily a football fan. However, I have to admit I do love a good bit of gossip every now and again, and the timing of the book is quite perfect with the World Cup in Brazil. I looked forward to picking up the book and finding out a bit more about the supposedly glamorous and amazing life of a WAG!

‘I Am the Secret WAG’ gives the reader a sneak peek into the life of an anonymous wife of a famous England football player. The term ‘WAG’ stands for ‘wives and girlfriends’ and is used in the UK to refer to the wives and girlfriends of football players. There are many rumours about the WAG lifestyle, which supposedly includes a lot of glamour, money, and fabulousness. This book provides a look behind closed doors as a secret WAG shares her life story: from how she met her footballer, how she ended up marrying him, and what family life is like for them. 

There were a few things I was a bit doubtful about when I started reading this book, mainly the facts that I am not a big football fan (so would I be able to enjoy this book, since it’s all about the life of a footballer’s wife) and I’m not from the UK, so not particularly familiar with all the English footballers and their wives and girlfriends. However, after having finished the book I can safely say that these two things didn’t matter at all. I thoroughly enjoyed this sneak peek into the world of a WAG, a feeling which I think many other female readers will share with me, whether you’re actually interested in football or not. I really liked the fact that the secret WAG focuses on her own story, and we also get to know about her life before she met her future husband. I enjoyed the romantic aspect of the story: how they got to know each other and how their relationship developed. It’s clear from the first few chapters that they love each other very much, which is just lovely to read about. 

The secret WAG focuses on the complete change in lifestyle because of her relationship with a famous footballer, and how she got used to this different way of living. I loved reading about the glamour, the large houses, the amazing holiday locations, but at the same time I thought it was a bit awkward how the WAG tried to make the reader feel sorry for her in a way, by explaining how difficult her life can be. Some of the events that are mentioned in the book are horrible, and no one deserves to have to go through these things, but the way the WAG seems to ask for some form of sympathy just felt a bit out of place to me. Overall, I really enjoyed this book: ‘I Am the Secret WAG’ is a fun and entertaining look into the life of a famous footballer’s wife, and the perfect light read for a day at the beach!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author interview with the secret WAG!
I am SO excited I actually got the chance to interview the secret WAG and ask her about her book, her life as a WAG, and her own favourite books!

Can you tell us something about your book, ‘I Am the Secret WAG’?
'I Am The Secret WAG' is about my life starting from before I met my husband to now.  It shows my journey as a WAG, how times have changed, shocking incidents that have occurred and the ups and downs I have felt.  It reveals beauty, diet tips, and advice on how to keep the spark alive with your man!  I am really excited and proud of it.  It’s been a lot of hard work writing it and bizarrely some really great therapy!

The book is based on your own experiences. Why did you decide to write about your life?
It baffles me why WAGs are constantly being pictured in the papers and discussed about.  People are just so intrigued by our lives.  Seeing as though people have mixed opinions and ideas about what we do, I thought it was time to reveal what it’s really like to be a WAG for me and perhaps show that not all WAGs should be classed as the stereotypical WAG.  I wanted to show people that even though I live a very privileged life, things are not always what they seem on the inside. Life is not all about material things, money cannot buy health, love or happiness.

What is life as a WAG like, can you perhaps describe a regular day?
I get up anytime from 5.30am as my kids are early risers!  After I have got us all dressed I make breakfast for everybody.  I zoom around the house like a woman on a mission making beds, putting on the washing, clearing away the breakfast things.  It’s then time for the school run.  After I am kid-free, I head to the gym and work out for about 90 minutes.  If I don't have plans to have lunch with my husband I may have plans to meet with a friend.  Afternoons are spent food shopping or planning for the next charity fundraising event for the Charity we are associated with.  After the afternoon school run is complete I make the dinner, help out with any homework, and carry on with household chores.  After dinner and everything is tidy, it’s bath time and bedtime.  All that is then left is for my husband and I to veg out in front of a film and eat munchies!  I go to bed around 10pm most nights as I have to get up so early!!!! Pretty normal don't you think?!

What are the ups and downs of being married to a famous footballer?
The ups are first and foremost the lifestyle we have provided for our children.  They have always been privately educated, have everything they could ever ask for and have had the most wonderful experiences at such young ages.  I constantly drum it into them how lucky they are; there is nothing worse than a spoilt brat and I am proud of the fact they always remember their manners and don't take everything for granted.  Being married to a footballer has also meant I have been to the most amazing places, met people I could only have dreamed of meeting and been lucky enough to live in the most stunning houses and drive gorgeous cars.  I also have an extremely extravagant wardrobe too, which I take great pride in adding to every now and again!  It’s a real mixture of designer and high street items.  I love to mix and match.

The downs are constantly feeling insecure. We have had to up and move literally over night when he has moved clubs. I never know how long we will be in one place and being hundreds of miles away from my family is really tough.  I also feel very unsafe where ever we live as we had a terrifying attempted break in a few years ago which has scarred me for life.   Footballers are easily targeted as you only have to look at a fixture list to see when they are going to be away.  I have also had to deal with my own inner demons which have been worsened by the pressure and tension involved with being married to a footballer.  For instance, I have struggled with OCD over the years and the stress and pressure of being in the spotlight or worrying about his performance have made it so much worse.

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you perhaps already working on a next book?
I would love to write a second book!  I definitely have a lot more stories and experiences to reveal. I really love writing and have found the whole experience really inspirational! I am very busy with 'The Secret WAG' App which I constantly add information and thoughts on. I also write columns for The Secret Footballer website which I really enjoy doing too. I would in my wildest dreams have thought I would become a SECRET Novelist, Columnist and Blogger! I have also been building up a business for a while now and I am hoping it will be a great success! I can not divulge into what it is but will just say it’s something I have always been passionate about and it’s great to put all those years of studying to good use!

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Find a 'favourite place' where you feel relaxed and clear minded.  Mine is a leather brown arm chair and matching foot rest in my bedroom.  I just found my words flowed every time I sat there.  Some nights I would sit there at 8pm and still be writing away at 2am.  I would also say that if writers’ block does happen, don't stress about it; just shut your computer and forget about writing.  On many occasions I was just not in the right frame of mind to do anything related to the book but then the next day would be a totally different story and I would bash out thousands of words!

What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
The last book I read was 'Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge' by Lindy Woodhead.  I have watched the whole series of 'Mr Selfridge' and I found this book backed up the events as well as gave me a deeper insight into Harry Gordon Selfridge’s intriguing life.  In my opinion 'Selfridges' is one of the best department stores in the world and knowing the history of it adds to my love for it.

Which book could you not live without?
'The Secret' by Rhonda Byrne.  I have read it a million times.  It has really helped me with positivity and optimism.  It just makes so much sense and life seems so much clearer when you read it.

And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘I Am the Secret WAG’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Real, Extraordinary, Outspoken!

Thanks so much to the secret WAG! :)

Want your own copy of 'I Am the Secret WAG'?

I'm so happy to be able to give away 3 copies of this fabulous book to some lucky readers! The competition is UK only, and you just have to follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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