Noteworthy Book Releases

#CoverReveal
Down We’ll Come, Baby by Carrie Aarons
@AuthorCarrieA @InkSlingerPR

 

Today I am thrilled to bring you

the cover for an upcoming standalone title from Carrie Aarons.

 

Down We’ll Come, Baby

Releasing on January 27, 2019!

 

 

Imogen

There is no way we can still love and cherish one and other.

When I married Theo Walsh, the rough, bearded townie who worked construction on my family’s summer house, I’d found my happily ever after.

That was before the fighting.
Before the jealousy.
Before the infertility.

We’ll be divorced long before death does us part.

But to secure my place in the family dynasty, there is just one more hoop I have to jump through. And I need him to do it.

Faking the marriage we once thrived in will gut me.
Especially with the secret I’m carrying.

 

Theo

I would have sacrificed for her until the end of time.

My job.
My home.
My happiness.

I’d given it all up to marry her. That’s how much I loved Imogen Weston, the daughter to one of the world’s richest families.

From the day we met, I’d done nothing but try to live up to the man she expected to be with. And now, I was done.

Sure, I’d complete this one final ask of hers, even if it destroyed me.

But I’ve made her promise the one thing that might save me. She swore that after she got everything she ever wanted, she wouldn’t look back.

I made my wife vow to leave me forever.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Author of romance novels such as Red Card and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the stories she dreams up, and the yoga pant dress code, much better.

When she isn’t writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and dog.

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InkSlinger Blogger Final

It’s Monday (January 7, 2019)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR
#Books #Reading #TBRList

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: Into the Night (Gemma Woodstock #2)

Authors: Sarah Bailey

Immediate Thoughts: Intriguing, mysterious, and dark!

Rating: 8/10

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

 

 

Title: The Secret to Falling in Love

Authors: Victoria Cooke

Immediate Thoughts: Sweet, warm, and romantic!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: February 9, 2017

 

 

Title: The Conspiracy (Maximum Security #1)

Author: Kat Martin

Immediate Thoughts: Fast-paced, steamy, and suspenseful!

Rating: 7/10

Publication Date: January 22, 2019

 

 

What I’m Currently Reading:

 

What if – to find yourself – you had to run away?

Last year was meant to be when Holly got her happy-ever-after. But stuck in a job that’s going nowhere, and a relationship that feels more like it’s going backwards… this year Holly has decided it’s time to change her life. She just has to:

– End the relationship with the commitment-phobic boyfriend
– Go on a proper adventure
– Learn to be herself again
– Definitely, categorically not fall in love.

Cramming her belongings into her little yellow Mini, Holly drives on to a ferry bound to Spain, to stay at a remote farmhouse near a beautiful village in the Andalusian hills.

But the day she arrives she nearly crashes her car into a gorgeous guy on a motorbike. He’s called Matias and their paths keep crossing, much to Holly’s irritation. Because as she learns to speak Spanish from the locals, finally starts laying out plans for her own design business, and sips sangria in the sunlit village square, Holly is beginning to remember who she is and what she wants.

So she won’t allow herself be distracted by Matias. Because this year – for Holly – there are more important things in life than love. And she won’t let yet another bad relationship ruin everything… will she?

A moving and uplifting romantic comedy about living each moment and learning to trust yourself again, for fans of Jenny Hale, Debbie Macomber, and Sophie Kinsella.

 

What I’m Reading Next:

 

Heavenly Creatures meets The Hand That Rocks the Cradle in this exciting debut novel about friendship, love and jealousy.

Once upon a time they were best friends. They were all friends. So when Jenny moved to Australia to focus on her swimming career, she not only lost Kath, but her soul-mate Tom. It was for the best. Or so they said. Now, eight years later, Jenny seeks out her childhood friend and heads to rural France where Kath has settled. At first the women fall back into a close relationship, but before long strange and malicious behaviour leads Jenny to realise the truth: that Kath has played a clever game all along to manipulate and control those around her. And Jenny is her biggest victim.

Set against the glorious backdrop of the Languedoc lavender fields, The Good Friend is a beautifully written psychological drama about love, lies and a dangerous obsession. Because once the truth is revealed, there’s no going back…

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up? How are your stats?

#BlogTour #Excerpt
The Dating Alternative by Jennifer Woodhull
@AuthorJWoodhull @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #Excerpt The Dating Alternative by Jennifer Woodhull @AuthorJWoodhull @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #Excerpt The Dating Alternative by Jennifer Woodhull @AuthorJWoodhull @InkSlingerPRTitle: The Dating Alternative

Author: Jennifer Woodhull

Published by Jennifer Woodhull on December 26, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 288

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Max has crushed on Brie for as long as he’s known her but the timing was never right. When he finds out they’re finally single at the same time, he’s poised to move from friend zone to serious dating… until he finds out she’s only looking for something physical. He offers his services in hopes she’ll come around. Just when things are starting to go his way, a shocking turn of events snatches her from his grasp. Now he has to resurrect the life he thought he’d left behind to help the woman he’s falling in love with before it’s too late.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

 

EXCERPT:

“Sabrina!” Jacqueline’s voice bellows from her doorway. “Come to my office this instant!

Awesome. My fave.

I breathe out a sigh and head toward the door in the corner. “Hi, Jacqueline. You wanted to see me.”

“I do indeed,” she says, her formality deliberate and intense. “Please have a seat.”

She closes the door, types out something on her keyboard, then takes off her glasses and glares at me as she leans across her desk. She is tall and slim with hair that falls in long, loose, perfect blonde waves, an incongruity against her severe features. Her face is thin, her chin pointed, and her nose looks like it has been broken a number of times. I can see why. I’ve wanted to punch her in her stupid face myself. Her whole appearance is menacing, except for those weirdly soft, bouncing blonde curls.

“Look, I’ll cut to the chase here,” she says.

“O-kay,” I reply, gripping the metal arms of the black leather chair across from her desk in which I’m seated.

“I’ve never much cared for you, Sabrina.” Really? Because here I thought we were besties and you might’ve asked me in to invite me to a girlfriends’ getaway – maybe a wine-tasting tour.

“You flit around the office and act like, just because you’re pretty, the world owes you something.” Where the fuck is this coming from? “You don’t take your job seriously, and honestly, I always assumed I’d end up having to fire you for incompetence.”

My eyes grow wide. She’s always been pretty direct, and clearly not a fan, but this is next-level, even for her.

“I’ve been over the audit reports with Adhira and Philip. I know about the anomaly in the accounts.” She sits upright and crosses her arms. Her lips draw into a narrow line, the edges turned slightly up, and her brows knit together. “Correction, your accounts.” She rolls her eyes, shakes her head, and makes a tsk-tsk sound between her teeth. “I never thought it would come to this.”

 

 

About Jennifer Woodhull

We all need moments of escape. With all the demands on us day in and day out, we each need something just for ourselves. Perhaps nothing provides a private moment - a brief respite from every day - like escaping into a great story. When you pick up one of my books I hope you find that place that you can escape to. Explore the streets of Paris with new heroines or fly around the world to reclaim your lost love with a favorite hero. Whether it's the romance that takes your breath away or those climactic encounters that make your pulse race, I hope you find that solitary moment of enjoyment while lost in one of my stories.

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

One Signed Copy of The Dating Alternative & Swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

#BookReview
The Temp by Michelle Frances
@PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Temp by Michelle Frances @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Temp

Author: Michelle Frances

Published by Pan Macmillan on December 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A new gripping psychological thriller from Michelle Frances, bestselling author of The Girlfriend.

Carrie is a successful TV producer in a high pressure job. She’s talented, liked, and well-respected. She and her husband, Adrian, an award-winning screenwriter, decided years before that they didn’t want children. But now, just as they’re both at the pinnacle of their careers, she has discovered she’s pregnant, and is shocked to discover that she wants to keep the baby. But in a competitive industry where time off is seen as a sign of weakness, Carrie looks at the prospect of maternity leave with trepidation.

Enter Emma, the temp, who is everything Carrie could wish for as her cover: smart, eager, and charming. Carrie fears that Emma is manoeuvring her way into Carrie’s life, causing turmoil in both her work and her marriage. The problem is everyone else adores Emma…

Increasingly isolated from Adrian and her colleagues, Carrie begins to believe Emma has an agenda. Does she want her job? Or is she after even more?

A twisting thriller about ambition, deception, and betrayal, The Temp will leave readers hanging on until the very last page!


Review:

Compulsive, unsettling, and surprising!

The Temp is a character-driven, pacey thriller that takes us into the life of Carrie, a middle-aged TV producer who finds herself struggling to juggle new motherhood, a successful career, a secretive husband, and a temp who seems determined to make her position a permanent one.

The writing is taut and polished. The characters are consumed, unscrupulous, and driven. And the plot is a twisty, suspenseful tale of power, betrayal, ambition, suspicion, obsession, violence, and the complex world of tv production.

Overall, The Temp is another intricate, sinister, edgy novel by Frances that reminds us that anger and resentment fostered over a long period of time can often have devastating consequences.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michelle Frances

Michelle Frances has worked in television drama as a producer and script editor for fifteen years, both for the independent sector and the BBC. The Temp is her second novel, following her bestselling debut, The Girlfriend.

 

#CoverReveal
Magnolia Road by J. Lynn Bailey
@authorjlynn @InkSlingerPR

 

Today I am thrilled to bring you the

Cover for the latest novel from J. Lynn Bailey

 

Magnolia Road

releasing on January 29th!

 

 

About Magnolia Road:

On the outside, Bryce Hayes is satisfied with the structure of her life, her demanding career, and a series of no-strings-attached relationships, but her brother bounces in and out of rehab, her mother thinks she can beat her son’s addiction, and her father is simply doing what he can to keep a semblance of “normal”. When Bryce’s father, Congressman Hayes, orders her to Granite Harbor, Maine, due to a string of threats to their family coming from an unidentifiable source, she doesn’t expect Ethan Casey, the sexy soldier who slept with her, then walked out, without so much as a goodbye, to be her landlord.

Ethan’s past is riddled with chaos, bullets, and loud noise. After returning to his small town after the war, he’s determined to get back to his roots. Peace, quiet, and working as a game warden for the Maine Warden Service sounds right as rain. But with Bryce in Granite Harbor, staying in his house on Magnolia Road, Ethan can’t stop thinking about his future—and that includes Bryce. But to make things right with the love of his life, he’ll have to open old wounds…and risk losing her forever.

 

 

PRE-ORDER NOW

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

If silence had a name in this moment, it would be fear. Fear and darkness go together like smothered love—stifling, overbearing, and hard to overcome. But, right now, all I know is that I’d rather feel these things because I’m with Ethan. And I’ll do it the way he wants. If that means as friends or lovers because living without him doesn’t seem like a viable option. It’s not something I think I can do. The strong, willful, never-need-a-man woman that I am has somehow changed, turned. Flipped.

This situation could have been avoided. Maybe, if I had ignored Ethan that day in Los Angeles, ignored his long legs and his dark brown eyes and long eyelashes, the vein that runs the course of his left arm, his big hands, maybe this moment wouldn’t hurt so much, knowing it was the beginning of the end. Knowing I made a choice that would shatter my heart because what we did today wasn’t love. We didn’t make love. We didn’t share our deepest secrets.

We put bandages on our wounds.

I lick my lips before I put my mouth to his chest for a kiss. “I know this is the end, Ethan.”

 

 

About the Author:

J. Lynn Bailey has loved to write since she learned to read, around the second grade. When she isn’t running after her children, watching COPS, or on the hunt for her next Laffy Taffy joke, you can probably find her holed up in her writing room feverishly working on her next book. She lives in Northern California with her family.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

 

 

Enter J. Lynn’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#BookReview
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
@lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Watching You by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @SimonSchusterCATitle: Watching You

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by Atria Books on December 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…


Review:

Dark, eerie, and spine-chillingly mesmerizing!

Watching You is a complex, intense, psychological thriller that highlights that every choice, good or bad, has a consequence and perspective is everything.

The writing is polished and crisp. The characterization is spot on with a multitude of characters that are multi-faceted, secretive, and vulnerable. And the plot told through a mixture of narration and interview-style musings builds steadily creating tension, suspicion, and unease as it unravels all the personalities, relationships, motivations and actions within it.

Watching You is, ultimately, a story of deception, obsession, desperation, vengeance, violence, manipulation, and murder. It’s shocking, satisfying, hard to put down and without a doubt another must-read novel by Jewell.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

It’s Monday (December 24, 2018)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR
#Books #Reading #TBRList

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: The Outsider

Authors: Stephen King

Immediate Thoughts: Original, gritty, and creepy!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

 

 

Title: The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister

Author: Meghan Quinn

Immediate Thoughts: Funny, sexy, and romantic!

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: January 3, 2019

 

 

What I’m Currently Reading:

 

Carter’s been crazy about Nina since the first time he saw her emerald eyes, but his fratastic reputation landed him in the friend zone before he even had a chance to say, “How you doin‘?”

So when Nina suggests they become friends with benefits, he can’t believe his luck.

After all, once he’s gotten in her pants, winning her heart should be easy… right?

 

What I’m Reading Next:

 

How do you date your best friend’s sister? Easy.

Step one: Pretend you want her to set you up with someone else. That will bring the two of you closer.

Step two: Go on date with lots of random women, proceed to get stupid drunk and talk about your best friend’s sister, thus gaining the courage to finally make a move.

Step three: Randomly show up at her apartment and confess your love. Women love that, right?

It all seemed so simple. A fool-proof three step process that will guarantee the love of you life to fall madly in love with you.

At least–that’s what I thought was going to happen. But my attempts to win over Julia Westin backfired in more ways than I can count. The thing about Julia? She’s smart–really smart–and her wicked gaze cuts through all the charm I’ve tried slinging her way. She’s not interested in games, my gifts, or my stories. She might want me too; but she’s not giving in that easy…

 

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up? How are your stats?

Happy Reading!

It’s Monday (December 17, 2018)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR
#Books #Reading #TBRList

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: What Doesn’t Kill Her (Cape Charade #2)

Authors: Christina Dodd

Immediate Thoughts: Action-packed, suspenseful, and steamy!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

 

 

Title: The Temp

Author: Michelle Frances

Immediate Thoughts: Compulsive, unsettling, and surprising!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: December 26, 2018

 

 

Title: A Greek Affair

Author: Linn B. Halton

Immediate Thoughts: Warm, uplifting, and wonderfully descriptive!

Rating: 8/10

Publication Date: December 28, 2018

 

 

What I’m Currently Reading:

 

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

 

What I’m Reading Next:

 

How do you date your best friend’s sister? Easy.

Step one: Pretend you want her to set you up with someone else. That will bring the two of you closer.

Step two: Go on date with lots of random women, proceed to get stupid drunk and talk about your best friend’s sister, thus gaining the courage to finally make a move.

Step three: Randomly show up at her apartment and confess your love. Women love that, right?

It all seemed so simple. A fool-proof three step process that will guarantee the love of you life to fall madly in love with you.

At least–that’s what I thought was going to happen. But my attempts to win over Julia Westin backfired in more ways than I can count. The thing about Julia? She’s smart–really smart–and her wicked gaze cuts through all the charm I’ve tried slinging her way. She’s not interested in games, my gifts, or my stories. She might want me too; but she’s not giving in that easy…

 

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up? How are your stats?

Happy Reading!

#BookBlitz
False Hope by Meli Raine
@meliraineauthor @XpressoReads

#BookBlitz False Hope by Meli Raine @meliraineauthor @XpressoReads

#BookBlitz False Hope by Meli Raine @meliraineauthor @XpressoReadsTitle: False Hope

Author: Meli Raine

Series: False #2

Published by Prosaic Press Inc. on December 11, 2018

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Pages: 240

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She thinks she’s fooled me. But I’ve known all along.

Almost.

Lily is hiding something, a secret so big, she came out of a year-long coma and her first instinct was to lie.

Who does that? Someone who is afraid. No—not afraid.

Terrified. And it’s my job to take that fear away.

My partner and I have spent countless man-hours hunting down the cold-blooded killer who did this to her. Meanwhile, Lily’s spent her waking hours recovering. Getting stronger. Getting smarter.

Staying beautiful.

Never get involved emotionally. That’s my dictate. Never get attached.

When you realize you’re caught in a triangle, it turns out there is no exit.

Crossing a line is easy. Holding a line takes strength.

Lily’s shooter knows that she’s my weakness.

One I have to get back.

No matter what it takes.

Goodreads / iBooks Exclusive

 

 

EXCERPT:

If unicorns had a flavor, it would taste like kissing Lily.

Her essence is still on the tip of my tongue as I watch the layered response Lily has mastered. Observe her as that beautiful mind works to line all the pieces up and execute the subterfuge, living in two selves, one ever vigilant, one struggling to stay quiet.

For months now, I’ve felt it. Sensed it.

Now I can taste it, too. Lies have a flavor.

And God help me, I want more of the deliciousness of Lily.

But those lies come with an aftertaste, a bitter acrimony that has an overriding power.

My own words ring in the air like a gong as I wait: When were you going to tell me you’ve been faking the amnesia, Lily? Before or after I sleep with you?

“Sleep with me?” she squeaks, the words catching me off guard. I assumed she’d deny the lying.

Not talk about my fantasies.

“You want to talk about that?” I choke out, amused and sickened. “You’ve been lying to me for close to a year and all you want to talk about is sleeping with me?”

“You brought it up!”

She’s got me there.

“How about this fake amnesia bullshit, Lily? How about we talk about that before we discuss getting sweet between the sheets?”

She blushes.

I get hard.

This—this is why I should have recused myself from this damned assignment long ago. I knew this day would come. I knew I’d have to call her on the lying.

Worse than that—I knew I wouldn’t be able to help myself.

 

 

About Meli Raine

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

$25 Gyft.com gift card (Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL))

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

And Don’t forget to check out the first book in the series:

 

 iBooks

 

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#BlogTour #GuestPost
Start by Graham Morgan #GrahamMorgan
@FledglingPress #LoveBooksGroupTours

#BlogTour #GuestPost Start by Graham Morgan #GrahamMorgan @FledglingPress  #LoveBooksGroupToursTitle: Start

Author: Graham Morgan

Published by Fledgling Press on October 10, 2018

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 256

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Graham Morgan has an MBE for services to mental health, and helped to write the Scottish Mental Health (2003) Care and Treatment Act. This is the Act under which he is now detained. 
Graham’s story addresses key issues around mental illness, a topic which is very much in the public sphere at the moment. However, it addresses mental illness from a perspective that is not heard frequently: that of those whose illness is so severe that they are subject to the Mental Health Act.
Graham’s is a positive story rooted in the natural world that Graham values greatly, which shows that, even with considerable barriers, people can work and lead responsible and independent lives; albeit with support from friends and mental health professionals. Graham does not gloss over or glamorise mental illness, instead he tries to show, despite the devastating impact mental illness can have both on those with the illness and those that are close to them, that people can live full and positive lives. A final chapter, bringing the reader up to date some years after Graham has been detained again, shows him living a fulfilling and productive life with his new family, coping with the symptoms that he still struggles to accept are an illness, and preparing to address the United Nations later in the year in his new role working with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.  

 

And now Graham Morgan with:

 

Inspiration for Start

When I was getting help from writerly friends as I wrote START, I had the occasional bit of advice about the chapters I included about Wendy; a slight “We know you love her, but you don’t need to make it too saccharine, too gushy and cloying!” And I do know that this was good advice but Wendy was the main inspiration for the most important chapters of the book and remains one of the main reasons why my life is currently such a good one.

I had lived a difficult life for a number of years which included a terrible break up of my marriage and estrangement from my son and had become used to admissions to hospital when I only wanted to die. Meeting Wendy, finding out that I could love again and be loved in turn woke me up, gave me a balance and an energy that was wonderful and also gave me a chance to get closer and closer to my family, made me aware of what people close to me have gone through by keeping me in their life for so many years.

At one point I was inspired by recording my story of what it was like to lose contact with my son, my possessions, my friends. I thought a man’s side of how people can treat each other at such times may be important but as time went by, I tempered this, took out some of the more blatant examples of what happened. I listened to people who said that I was not adding to the story, was maybe motivated by bitterness and anger, began to consider my own behaviour at that time and adapted what I was prepared to say publicly.

I remember a long walk to Lochinver on a hot summer’s afternoon, plagued by clegs and midges but delighted by the land, the sky, the hills, trees and rivers around me; slowly trusting the people I was walking with, with my worries about what I could say when telling my story, when it involves other people who may be more private than me. At that point I found some sort of slight resolution to the need to tell my version of whatever that truth might be. I began to believe that I have a right to tell some of my tale, but maybe not all of it. Which is partly why none of the people I talk of in the book have their real names recorded, apart from Wendy, and why some of the more shameful things people did were not in the final version of the book.

Lastly, apart from the wonderful inspiration and peace that living in the Highlands and latterly in Argyle, by the Clyde, has given me; has been the joy I have had in living with and working with so many people who experience mental illness. In this book I rarely say too much of their stories; maybe that will come in another book. This one is more my story, but their daily experiences, which are often similar to mine, weave themselves throughout it. I have spent my life trying to help my friends and colleagues and acquaintances speak out and bear witness to the gross injustices so many of us experience and those extreme ways of being and feeling or, for that matter, not feeling, that are so hard to describe and which I would so much love to be recorded.

I hesitate to define it properly; I want as much to record the indignity that trauma and mental illness causes; the terrible agonising loneliness and alienation that can come from the experience of mental distress and the reaction of our society to that distress. But also, in contrast, the joy and comradeship that has come when we have joined together as a community to make a difference both for ourselves and others who will experience mental illness in the future. To say that inspires me is an understatement; nearly all my friends have experienced mental illness, nearly all my working life has been working in partnership with them; their willingness to still see the good in other people, despite what has been done to them and what they have experienced in the way of sorrow and sadness, daily invigorates and inspires me.

 

 

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About Graham Morgan

Graham was born in 1963 in York. He went to university as an angst-ridden student and was quickly admitted to one of the old mental asylums, prompting the work he has done for most of his life: helping people with mental illness speak up about their lives and their rights. He has
mainly worked in Scotland, where he has lived for the last thirty years, twenty of them in the Highlands. In the course of this work he has been awarded an MBE, made Joint Service User Contributor of the Year by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and, lately, has spoken at the UN about
his and other peoples’ experiences of detention. He has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and has been compulsorily treated under a CTO for the last ten years. He currently lives in Argyll with his partner and her young twins. Start is his first book.

 

Thank you to Graham Morgan for being featured on my blog today!

 

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