#CoverReveal : Sit With Me While I’m Mad by Milly Thiringer @FillesVertesPub @millythiringer #nonfiction #mentalhealth

Hello readers! Filles Vertes Publishing is presenting a new stunning cover for Sit With Me While I’m Mad by Milly Thiringer, and I’m pleased to be part of this cover reveal. Check out beautiful cover of this nonfiction book and excerpt in this post.

Book Title : Sit With Me While I’m Mad
Author : Milly Thiringer
Publisher : Filles Vertes Publishing
Genre : Non Fiction / Mental Health / schizophrenia

Synopsis:

“There are sensors in my hands and cameras in my walls. I’m sure of it.” But when Milly Thiringer mentioned this to her friends, the only thing they were sure of was that she needed to see a doctor.

Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at age nineteen, Milly spent years running circles through the revolving door of the public mental healthcare system, being told to focus on symptom management and coping strategies as no significant improvement in her prognosis could be expected.

She almost gave up. Almost. Along the way Milly’s learned to be her own advocate while fighting through and redefining “recovery.

Cover Designer: Jena R. Collins/JRC Designs

Excerpt:

Definitions: Nominal, or Real?

The ways that we define things inform our responses to them.

When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, I clung to the words—the label “paranoid schizophrenia”—like a string of solar lights along a footpath to home. My mom, when she was teaching me to drive, told me to focus on the white line on the right-hand side of the road if the oncoming headlights threatened to disorient me. Schizophrenia was my white line. If we treat the disease, I can be well. I can be normal. My symptoms will go away.

As I sit here writing this, on my couch, seventeen years later, I can hear every creak in my house. I take an imaginary walk, past the rattling forks in the dishwasher, through the scratching of my pen on this page, around the popping joints of my daughter’s cradle. I whip through her asthmatic lungs that worry me so well, flit through the frustrated wings of a June bug attempting to escape my bedroom window, and I rest on the buzzing filament of a burning-out light bulb in my bathroom. And do you know what I hear?

“Can I be NOT here?” chhh…. Toowit-tawoo-chhh… The dishwasher is speaking to me and I am on the very edge of making it out. It converses with itself, deciding which details to share with me. President Obama (who is not now the president) has changed our national anthem. I hear this on the radio as well. The radio is turned off. “You are a terrible artist,” Sam says from his perch on the arm of the couch. “Look at those drawings. Disgusting.” My husband, sitting beside me on the couch, separates his upper half from itself and leans in to whisper frightening things in my left ear.

I look over. His mouth is closed. He is unified, not wavering and echoing like an apparition. He looks at me. Smiles. Tells me something interesting about the cycling app on his tablet. I look to my right and Sam is still on the edge of the couch; his taunting eyes make me shrink. He looks as solid as Dave.

I can, in the moment, tell what is real and what is not. I can’t do this in every moment, but right now, I can. The Worm of Paranoia on my spine is asleep, and I hallucinate peacefully. When he is awake, I cannot tell which aspects of my experience deserve fear and which do not. In these moments, I wear my terror like a choking cloak.

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Author Bio:

Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at the age of nineteen, Milly’s life has consisted of many and varied attempts to locate reality in the midst of psychosis. She navigates her mental illness with as much honesty as she knows how and tries to remember that no label can define her p personhood. Milly writes to find out who she is, because she’s pretty sure she’s been told wrong.

Milly works as a paralegal and a freelance editor, trying to squeeze in time to write around contract work and raising kids. Her work has appeared in Awakened Voices, OC87 Recovery Diaries, and she is a contributor to The Mighty. Her essay, “The Third Plane,” will be published in a forthcoming anthology on parenting with mental illness called, How the Light Gets In, and she is making slow but sure progress on her first novel.

Milly lives with her family on a rural prairie in North Idaho, where the tumbleweeds are as big as her minivan and ice cream cones are still a quarter.

Author Social Media :

Facebook: @millythiringer
Twitter: @millythiringer
Website: www.millythiringer.com

Pre-order link.- https://www.fillesvertespublishing.com/product/sit-with-me/


I hope you liked reading this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about the cover and book or if you are going to add it to TBR.

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#BookReview : Episodic Sleep Disorders by E.L. Haines #Mystery #EpisodicSleepDisorders

Episodic Sleep Disorders by E.L. Haines
Publication Date : June 3rd 2019
Genre : Mystery
Pages : 119

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Beware, beware, the beast of Lozère!
Who lurks in your dreams, and knows how to scare
You will freeze at the sight of strange dancing at night
And the dead, in their coffins, still stare.

A menacing wolf is terrorizing the village of Lozère. A beautiful young girl has lost her family and her best friend to this nightmare when Sparrow shows up with his characteristic curiosity. But all is not as it seems in this cold mountain village, where the beasts are like men and the men are like beasts.

Sparrow came to Lozère to tell stories, but he stayed for the stories Lozère told him…

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thank to author for review copy. ***

Episodic Sleep Disorders was unusual mystery that revolved around Sparrow, a storyteller, trying to uncover the mysteries of Lozère village and its people. It was interesting blend of folk tales and scientific elements set in fictional village filled with imagination and allusions.

Episodic Sleep Disorders started with Sparrow, traveler and storyteller, meeting Reynard at his campsite. Sparrow wanted to visit Lozère next but his new companion hinted there’s something dark about this village and it gives nightmare. When Sparrow visited Lozère, he knew Reynard was telling the truth. Lozère had a feel of ghost town, no sounds, no activities shrouded in eerie silence and he witness an unusual events at graveyard that picked his interest. He wanted to know story of this village and its people, to uncover what happened here. The more he knew the more darkness he discovered that might endanger his life.  I was curious to know why people were having hallucination, what was the story of wolf was and how Sparrow would save himself and the village from twisted scheme of perpetrator.

Writing was easy to follow, vivid, and gripping. Story was written in episodes instead of chapters that told the story within story and each ended with cliffhanger that made me keep flipping pages. I liked the switch between Sparrow’s visit to Lozère, story about it and his retelling and conversations with Reynard. There was some interesting myths and scientific details- Anomic Aphasia, taphophobia and phytology and Zymology- incorporated with mystery.

Suspense of villager’s behavior, unseen beast was interesting. I couldn’t figure it out until its revelation. Climax was both tense and entertaining. I was impressed by Sparrow’s smart trick and clever escape. End was shocking and also open to interpretation for reader using their imagination.

Why 4 stars-

My only complaint was it was bit confusing at some points.

Overall,

Episodic Sleep Disorders was quick, intriguing, dark mystery with vivid description and eerie setting. I recommend this book to fans of short stories.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon


I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about the book and review, if you have read it already or are you going to add it to TBR. Do you like to read short stories? Which is your favorite short story?

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#BookReview : From the Shadows (Monica Kennedy #1) by G.R. Halliday @HarvillSecker @GR_Halliday #FromTheShadowsBook

From the Shadows (Monica Kennedy #1) by G.R. Halliday
Publication Date : April 18th 2019
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Genre : Scottish Noir / crime fiction
Pages : 432

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A stunning, atmospheric police procedural set against the grit of Inverness and the raw beauty of the Scottish Highlands, this is the first book in the DI Monica Kennedy series.

Sixteen-year-old Robert arrives home late. Without a word to his dad, he goes up to his bedroom. Robert is never seen alive again.

A body is soon found on the coast of the Scottish Highlands. Detective Inspector Monica Kennedy stands by the victim in this starkly beautiful and remote landscape. Instinct tells her the case won’t begin and end with this one death.

Meanwhile, Inverness-based social worker Michael Bach is worried about one of his clients whose last correspondence was a single ambiguous text message; Nichol Morgan has been missing for seven days.

As Monica is faced with catching a murderer who has been meticulously watching and waiting, Michael keeps searching for Nichol, desperate to find him before the killer claims another victim.

From the Shadows introduces DI Monica Kennedy, an unforgettable new series lead, perfect for fans of Ann Cleeves’ Vera, Susie Steiner and Peter May.

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Mia @vintagebooks for tour invite and providing review copy. ***

From the Shadows was intriguing crime fiction that revolved around Monica trying to solve murder and a social worker trying to find his missing client.  It was about work-life balance, trying to find peace with traumatic past, and race between killer and detective.

From the Shadows was written in third person narrative mainly from Monica and Michael’s POV and occasional killer’s perspective under title ‘watcher’. Atmospheric setting of Scottish Highlands and Inverness beautiful yet remote with its weather and history of missing people added more darkness to story of murders by a delusional psycho killer.

Story took place in one week that started with, as synopsis said, Robert arriving late at home who was found murdered next day. D.I. Monica could tell this wasn’t killer’s first murder and it won’t be last. At the same time, a social worker, Michael, was trying to find his client who was missing for a week. A gruesome murder, marks on body, and mysterious stone that Michael saw with Nicol made him fear the worst. And then another body was found. It made me curious to find out where was Nicol, did he knew these dead boys, how he had that stone that were found in dead boys’ body, had killer kidnapped him or was he next, how would Monica find killer and how Michael find Nicol. With killer observing their all moves and staying two steps ahead of them made the story thrilling and intriguing.

All characters were interesting. They had traumatic past. Their flaws and vulnerability made them realistic. Monica was clever, observant, and strong but she had her issues. Her past made people gossip about her. Her height references and her uncomfortability related to her height and shoe size was a bit too much but her doubts as a mother, trying find work-family life balance was genuine. I liked her intuitions and logic in this case, she was right most of the time. Her mistakes and ‘not-so-perfect’ character made her more realistic. The only complain I had about her was her decision in climax. It was actually stupid, looking at her concerned motherly nature.

Michael was great character. Lonely, affected by past and tragedy in life, still couldn’t find closure and messed up many things in life. He was different from his colleagues. He cared too much and was empathetic but also reckless social worker. He had many flaws but it was admirable how much risks he took in finding a boy who probably didn’t want to be found.

Michael and Monica, made story interesting. They had their differences but at the end they started supporting each other. Monica’s colleagues D.C. Connor Crawford and D.C. Ben Fisher were also different from each other. There was competitive tension between these two, one didn’t care about appearance and showing superiority while other was orderly, prim and proper, doing everything by book. They made unusual team but I liked how they all worked in the case. There wasn’t much story about them so it was hard to connect with them but I hope I can know them more in next book.

Description of murders was gruesome but not unbearable or overly graphic. Suspense was solid. I couldn’t identify killer till climax. There were not many suspects and we can rule out if they were really culprit or not from killer’s narration which made it more difficult to figure out who he was. Climax was tense and surprising. I didn’t like Monica’s decision but it made me fear for her and her daughter for the first time. I liked surprise at the end. I wish I could see Lee’s (criminal psychologist, who was made to dislike) reaction for being wrong about everything. That would have been satisfactory.

Why 4 stars-

That height references were too much. It made Monica look like some freak woman. And also reference popped at really unexpected time, like when they were visiting Robert’s father to hear his side of story and to let him know his missing son is dead. Monica’s decision near climax was biggest complain. She was smart capable of making better decision but this made me rethink that because no parent would do that.

Overall,

#FromtheShadows was compelling, dark and interesting #ScottishNoir with many twist and turns. It was commendable debut novel and definitely recommend it.

Book Links:

Goodreads

Affiliate Links: Amazon.(IN) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Book Depository


I hope you enjoyed this post and review. Let me know what do you think about the book or if you have read this already and what are your thought on this book, which is your favorite Noir Fiction?

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#BookReview : Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella #GhostsofHarvard #Academia #Mystery @PRHGlobal

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella
Publication Date : May 5th 2020
Publisher : Random House
Genre : Mystery
Pages : 480

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Harvard freshman becomes obsessed with her schizophrenic brother’s suicide. Then she starts hearing voices.


“Every time I thought I knew where Ghosts of Harvard was heading, I turned out to be wrong. Part mystery, part ghost story, part psychological thriller, this novel is all entertainment.”—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light


Cadence Archer arrives on Harvard’s campus desperate to understand why her brother, Eric, a genius who developed paranoid schizophrenia took his own life there the year before. Losing Eric has left a black hole in Cady’s life, and while her decision to follow in her brother’s footsteps threatens to break her family apart, she is haunted by questions of what she might have missed. And there’s only one place to find answers.

As Cady struggles under the enormous pressure at Harvard, she investigates her brother’s final year, armed only with a blue notebook of Eric’s cryptic scribblings. She knew he had been struggling with paranoia, delusions, and illusory enemies—but what tipped him over the edge? With her suspicions mounting, Cady herself begins to hear voices, seemingly belonging to three ghosts who walked the university’s hallowed halls—or huddled in its slave quarters. Among them is a person whose name has been buried for centuries, and another whose name mankind will never forget.

Does she share Eric’s illness, or is she tapping into something else? Cady doesn’t know how or why these ghosts are contacting her, but as she is drawn deeper into their worlds, she believes they’re moving her closer to the truth about Eric, even as keeping them secret isolates her further. Will listening to these voices lead her to the one voice she craves—her brother’s—or will she follow them down a path to her own destruction?

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

Ghosts of Harvard was powerful and realistic mystery that revolved around Cady dealing with grief and trying to know more about his late brother’s last days at Harvard and getting at root of his illness or something that might have pushed him to the edge. The book was about grief, loss, feelings and emotions of family of schizophrenic patient, suicide and its trauma, fine line between madness and reality, guilt and regrets, obsession, deeper meaning of life, death, grace.

It takes only error to father a sin.

Ghosts of Harvard was third person narrative written from (Cady) Cadence’s POV whose sad and grieving voice made this beautifully written tale of espionage heavy, heart-rendering to read. It was between slow to steady paced because of so many information, description of Harvard and its history, and heavy subject it dealt with. Some didn’t like that but I didn’t mind slow pace. This was second book I read set in Harvard and again this university, its community and culture fascinated me.

I’m not going repeat how book started and what was the plot, synopsis was perfect in briefing it. First few chapters were about Cady’s arrival at Harvard, her motif and her feeling related to her brother and her family. In between her present, accommodating with her life at Harvard, we see the glimpse of past, both happy and sad memories of Eric, what Eric meant to her and her family, and how he turned from brilliant, lively, caring brother to paranoid, schizophrenic, and volatile person, how it affected her parents and how their undivided attention to Eric made her feel, and her own guilt and regret she was dealing with that lead to obsession- which was revealed near climax.

Just because it’s my choice to go doesn’t mean I’m not heartbroken to leave you.

As I progressed in the book, I was curious to know what were those voices of ghosts, what they wanted from Cady, why she was hearing them and how they were helping her, were they just ghosts or she too had Eric’s illness.  And then there was his brother’s diary that added more mystery and I wanted to know if she could decipher cryptic writing in Eric’s diary or was that what everybody said- gibberish of mentally ill person, what she would find once she could decode it, would it would lead to what was going on in Eric’s mind and give her closure she was looking for and move on in life.

Do we all pick only the best snapshots to remember in our mental scrapbooks and throw away the bad? Perhaps all photos should bear the subtitle “The Past- The way You Want to Remember It.”

Both characters and plot were well balanced here. Diverse group of student, professors, ghosts, Cady’s parents, roommates, new friends she made, and other people she met during her investigation were interesting to read. They all were flawed and played great roles in happenings of Cady’s life and change in her.

It was easy to feel for Cady, I rooted for her. She was clever, empathetic, friendly and caring person but she had her flaws. She reacted badly to Eric’s illness. When she should have shown maturity and love, she acted selfishly but at the same time I could feel what it might be like for her to live under Eric’s shadow, even when he was healthy and even after his illness and death. When he died she regretted her behavior, felt guilty for not trying enough or being more patient. Coming to Harvard and voices of ghosts was huge turning point in her development. Her fear of being schizophrenic like Eric, emotions and feelings were amazingly represented. The way she was ignoring her friends, missing classes and not paying attention to her studies because her obsession and voice was worrying. By the end of the book, I loved her more and more. She learned a lot throughout the book and her growth and internalization was best part.

It’s human nature to default to our own narrow perspective. The stories we tell ourselves have such power, and yet they can cherry-picked, or otherwise fictitious.

I enjoyed history of Harvard, all scientific and academic information, back and forth argument between Cady and prof. Prokop on quantum physics and its correlation with ghosts and schizophrenia, discussion on poetic verses and on mental intuitions. Portrayal of grief, mental illness and its impact on family was written with raw emotions.

Ghosts were important in the story but this is not horror or ghost story. It did confuse me a little in first half of the book making me think what’s really going on with Cady but in second half I could understand it better. Back story of ghosts was thought-provoking and eye-opening. Their conversation with Cady gave story philosophical depth. I didn’t know Harvard kept slaves around 18th century and was officially declared in 2016 until I read it in author’s note. It showed how well researched this book was.

Now she understood that we must love people whom we cannot control, in fact, we are lucky to love and be loved by people we cannot control. If we could control the person, love wouldn’t be a gift. This was the uncertainty of life, and of death. It was what made life beautiful and terrifying at once.

Mystery was suspenseful. Climax was tense. I was worried for Cady and I felt her investigation is not leading anywhere and then everything happened fast and made sense- her trip to ER, parents’ weekend, final clue and her plan to reveal it. I didn’t like two people in this book, something was off about them from the beginning but author successfully made me rethink about it. In the end, I wasn’t wrong about that two. Only one was real villain and other had own motives but still when the final card was turned I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and at that moment I expected Cady fuming with rage but her new developed self – wise and looking at things from different perspective had different reaction. End and epilogue was perfect. This book will stay with me for long time.

Overall,

Ghosts of Harvard was deep, impactful, powerful, and thought-provoking mystery with great characters, philosophical writing and eye-opening history, and honest and raw representation of grief, loss and mental illness.

Book Links:

Goodreads

Affiliate Links: Amazon.(IN) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Book Depository


I hope you enjoyed this post and review. Let me know What do you think about the book or if you have read this already and what are your thought on this book. Have you read a book set in Harvard? If so, which it is and if you like it or not.

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#BlogTour #Spotlight : The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly @rararesources @VictoriaDarcy

Hello Readers! I’m excited to shine spotlight on The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly as a part of blog tour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Find out more about this fiction in this post.

The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly
Genre:  Mainstream fiction
Publication Date: 9 June 2020
Publisher – Lake Union Publishing

Synopsis:

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?

Purchase Links:

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

Aus: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

Author Bio:

Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Social Media Links: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


What do you think about the book? Have you read this already or any book by the same author?

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