2019, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Q&A with Dean Burnett

Today I’m lucky enough to have two fantastic blog tour posts and this is a Q&A with Dean Burnett, the book Psycho-logical was very aptly released on World Mental Health Day.

1. What was your inspiration for writing Psycho-logical?

I’ve been writing about mental health matters for many years now, and people seem to really like when I do, and find it useful. I’ve long wanted to put all my knowledge down in a book, I figured that’d be even more helpful, Audible offered the opportunity to do so, so I took it

2. What do you hope readers get from it? And who are you aiming this audiobook at?

I’m hoping to ‘ground’ mental health matters in more tangible ways. By explaining the mechanisms and actual workings of the brain in things like depression etc, I can hopefully reduce stigma and further understanding. It’s aimed at literally anyone who struggles with, knows anyone who struggles with, or is just interested in, mental health issues.

3. I think it’s a subject we should speak about more and it’s something that needs to be done in a controlled manner. Would you agree?

Indeed. While I think it’s important that people can share their experiences, I feel it can often lead to things getting out of hand, and discussions can lose sight of the actual facts, as we see them

4. What’s your average writing day?

It’s mostly spent in my garden, where I have a dedicated writing cabin. It’s basically me, sat in a wooden box, typing for many hours a day, occasionally disrupted by my cat fighting other neighbourhood cats on the roof 

5. Did writing this audiobook take it out of you emotionally as well as physically?

Perhaps a bit, but this effect was mitigated by the fact that it’s all stuff I’ve been writing and teaching about for years. Hearing the contributions from my friends who shared their mental health experiences was often very moving though. 

6. Where would you like mental health to be in 5 years time? Do you think as a society we would have moved on into a way of helping rather than of taboo?

I wouldn’t be able to say exactly where mental health will be, but the progress has been good and I’m hoping it will continue. It’s more widely accepted and acknowledged now, compared to how it was, but i’d like to increase understanding and acceptance of the mechanisms and science, rather than a focus on inspirational memes or well-meant but largely meaningless platitudes

7. Who are your biggest inspirations in terms of writing and why?

I don’t really have specific inspirations or role models, I’ve always been sceptical about the idea of modelling your life and goals on someone else’s. I think, if I had to pick though, it was Spike Milligan who had the biggest impact, especially his war diaries. The mix of brilliant humour and deep tragedy and introspective analysis showed me that it was possible to do such a thing.

8. Did you write this from personal experience, and if so can you explain?

All the stuff I write is things I’ve learned, but I don’t have mental health problems of my own thus far. However, my background, growing up in a pub in a remote economically-depressed community, as well as being a resident of Bridgend and the suicide spate in the late 2000s, these all informed my compassionate approach and constant desire to improve mental health understanding.

9. What is your advice for anyone suffering?

It’s tricky. There’s so much advice out there, and a lot of it is contradictory or well-meant but ineffective. I guess I’d just want to point out that your issues and your suffering is genuine, and anyone dismissing it has no right to do so. It’s your mind, only you can say what goes on in it

10. What do you hope to Psycho-logical achieves?

I’m hoping it can reduce fear and uncertainty, and hopefully stigma, around mental health. If just one person feels better about their issues or situation, that would be enough.

Thank you Dean for joining me today…if you would like to know more about the book here is the blurb.

Countless charities and awareness campaigns work tirelessly to show people that mental health problems are common and serious issues. But when it comes to mental health matters, one question that’s rarely asked is…why?   

Why are conditions like depression and anxiety so common?

Why is our mental health so vulnerable to the stresses and events of modern life?

Why do so many mental health problems have pronounced physical symptoms?

Why, if mental health problems are so commonplace, does anyone need to be made ‘aware’ of them in the first place?

And why is there still so much confusion and stigma about mental health matters?   

 

 

2018, Author Love, Netgalley, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Close Your Eyes By Darren O’Sullivan

Happiest of publication days to this little beauty. It has pinged through to my Kindle even though I couldn’t wait and devoured via Netgalley. Have a truly awesome day Darren and I look forward to the paperback party. It will happen…

Blurb: He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.

When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

Review: Last July Darren O’Sullivan’s Our Little Secret saved me when I was feeling super low. Over doing it I completely bust my ankle it wasn’t broken it just made a number of daily tasks hard. I was signed off work and I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself so I threw myself into Netflix and books. I had seen Our Little Secret advertised via Twitter and I was hooked from the get go. As I have stated before I’m an avid tweeter when I’m reading and OMG did I spam Darren. If you haven’t read Our Little Secret I urge you to now. Our Little Secret Review

Close Your Eyes has a totally different feel once the story gets into swing it’s extremely fast paced I could easily see this as a film or a TV series. Darren gives Liam Neeson a fun for his money. Daniel is a character you feel for. Having been in a coma and lost a whole chunk of his life – sometimes even basic tasks are hard to fathom. When he receives the call asking to return what he took he’s completely dumbstruck and when his son and ex wife disappear he knows he needs to act fast.

Daniel was seeing a shrink to help him piece together the bad dreams and memories but he’s never needed to know in such a rush. Daniel’s story sure is a fast paced rollercoaster ride and sometimes not knowing really is best for your own piece of mind but when everything you hold dear is threatened you do things totally out of character on instinct.

The story is set over a few days with Friday being Daniel’s deadline to put the puzzle back together and save his loved ones. I really could see this as a Netflix mini series or a film. Once Daniel has a clue his gut instincts take over and we are taken on his journey. Where not only Daniel but us the reader are filled with a number of emotions.

The story has parts from Daniel, memories,dreams and letters. There are parts from Rachael and as the action hots up there are parts from Tom.

Knowing Darren is a father the love of a child is shown wholeheartedly and I honestly don’t know how he managed to write some of these truly gut wrenching scenes. I’m an auntie and I felt like my heart was in my mouth most of the time.

Rachael is the mother of his child who he still gets on with extremely well. It’s nice to see a story where this actually happens and co-parenting works seamlessly. The scenes where Rachael and Tom are taken are at times hard to read but heartwarming no matter what fear she was feeling she made sure her little boy used his imagination in the most beautiful of ways in a bad situation.

I can’t say too much else without giving spoilers and I’m not one for spoilers. What I will say is take some time away from real life and devour this action packed rollercoaster read. I did not see it coming although now I’m like were there clues. I’m not so sure. I truly loved Darren’s debut and it will always have a special place in my heart. The book that saved me, the book that brought this amazing author into my life. Ha we even had a coffee at the Kings Cross Pret which gets a mention in the book.

Darren you have lifted the bar whatever worries you had over book two forget them it’s a masterpiece and as I say could totally be a film or TV series. And now I can breathe…..now for the agonising wait of the next book. Which just means I have to go back to listening to Our Little Secret on Audible.

2018, audible, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: The Accident By C L Taylor

Blurb: To the outside world Susan Jackson has it all – a loving family, a successful politician husband and a beautiful home – but when Charlotte, her fifteen year old daughter,  deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma Sue questions whether any of it was real.

Desperate to find out what caused Charlotte’s suicide attempt, she is horrified by an entry in her diary – ‘Keeping this secret is killing me’.  As Sue spins in desperate circles, she risks everything to discover the truth and finds herself immersed in a shady world she didn’t know existed. The deeper she delves the darker the world becomes and the more danger she puts herself in.

Can Sue wake up from the nightmares that haunt her and save her daughter, or will ‘the secret’ destroy them both?

Review: Having devoured The Escape quite quickly via Audible I was eager to listen to something else by Cally Taylor. On my Kindle I have The Treatment and The Missing so it made sense to devour her first novel – which a very good friend loved, I knew I had made the right choice.

From the off I liked Sue but I must say, I have said this to Cally via Twitter the lady reading this novel was extremely posh and bleep bleep bleeping of a monitor and tap tap tapping was extremely off putting at times. Although I carried on as I was intrigued and completely invested in the story. In downloading this I had another friend follow me in reading she managed to pip me to the post though and her thoughts differed to mine slightly.

I am always anxious not to spoil a book in reviewing and there’s certain aspects that I just can’t talk about without spoiling the outcome of this psychological thriller.

The book goes from the 90s to present day explaining segments of Sue Jackson’s life and more importantly her relationship with Steve – and how that changes her and her relationships with some of her closest friends. Then we go to the present day where Sue’s 15-year-old daughter Charlotte had recently stepped in front of a bus and is in a coma.

I really liked how Sue’s life came full circle and choices she made along the way had an impact in later life. I’m not a parent so I can’t begin to understand how Sue was feeling after the initial accident and in visiting Charlotte. What I do know is I too would have done anything to find out exactly what happened if it was any of my friends or loved ones. No matter how mad people thought Sue was becoming she stuck to her instincts in her daughter and her actions leading up to her accident – she became a woman determined to find out the truth of what really happened, and in what had scared Charlotte that much.

I also liked that Cally has explored how many emotions a mother and a family would go through in times of these hardships.

As I stated I’m not spoiling but I must say this thriller really does get under your skin. I have never been in a hideously toxic relationship but I do believe that Cally has written this well. In some ways I get some brashness from my Mum so I wouldn’t stand for that sort of behaviour and I value myself a lot. But it’s easy to get trapped and to listen to the words. As the saying goes if you are told something often enough you start to believe it. So with Sue being called a number of names and described in a certain way she started to believe it was her fault initially.

The later Sue who was a mother and a step mother was much stronger and more assured of herself and I believe her experiences aided that side of her. It’s nice to see a story where a victim becomes stronger and much more confident rather than letting these horrific experiences ruin her life.

I am literally in awe of Cally’s writing – I have The Missing on my Kindle and as I have mentioned on more than one occasion I work for Cancer Research and we actually had a copy of that come in. Yesterday I read the opening of The Missing and I can safely say she has a knack of exciting and intriguing me. I will be devouring that shortly.

I can see why people are disappointed by the ending of The Accident as there are certain unanswered questions but for me those wonders are what make you intrigued by a story after you’ve closed the book.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this psychological thriller and feel free to give me more recommendations. I feel like a woman obsessed right now.

Cover Reveal, debut novel

Cover Reveal: Our Little Secret By Darren O’Sullivan

Wow!!!! I saw this cover on Twitter today and instantly was intrigued. I read the blurb and wanted to know more. I have submitted a request on Netgalley so fingers crossed I get to devour this beauty which is a debut from Darren O’Sullivan published by HQ Digital on 28th July 2017.

Blurb: A deserted train station: A man waits. A woman watches.

Chris is ready to join his wife. He’s planned this moment for nearly a year. The date. The time. The train. But he hadn’t factored in Sarah.
So when Sarah walks on to the platform and sees a man swaying at the edge she assumes he’s just had too much to drink. What she doesn’t expect is to stop a suicide.
As Sarah becomes obsessed with discovering the secrets that Chris is clearly hiding, he becomes obsessed with stopping her, protecting her.
But there are some secrets that are meant to stay buried forever…
I can feel this will be one I won’t be able to put down….I’m home from my holiday so will get more updates up soon.