Little Eden Book One by KT King

Yesterday, KT King popped over to discuss ME/CSF awareness week. I am pleased to share information and an extract from her first book in the Little Eden series.

Little Eden by KT King

Little Eden Book 1 cover image

Little Eden Book One by KT King

Title: Little Eden

Author: KT King

Publisher: Independent

Release date: 2018

Available here: https://linktr.ee/ktkingbooks

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-9164296-2-8

Kindle ISBN: 978-1-9164296-3-5

Blurb:

2012. Little Eden, London, England.

The beautiful sanctuary town of Little Eden is under threat.

Human greed, selfishness and disregard are about to turn the last 1,000 years to dust.

Robert Bartlett-Hart must make a choice.

With the help his friends (plus plenty of tea and cake), Robert learns that there is more at stake than just Little Eden.

Something lies at the heart of Abbey; something that stands between mankind and Armageddon.

The friends must navigate past lives, other dimensions, and even Heaven itself, to find a way to save Little Eden and themselves.

Will Little Eden survive to usher in a new age, or will humanity perish with it?

Both novels have recipes at the back based on the delectable delicacies served in the No.1 Daisy Place Café-Bookshop such as Strawberry and Cream Shortbreads, Late Night Cheesecake and Over the Rainbow Cake. The E-books have wiki-links and links to YouTube for the soundtrack. You can find everything Little Eden on KT’s Blog www.ktkingbooks.wordpress.co.uk

Look out for…Little Eden, Book Three, Haunted or Not…Available (hopefully) 2021

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Chapter 1

~ * ~

It was a sad beginning to 2012 for the residents of Little Eden, and as it would turn out, it would not be a good year for the rest of mankind either – but more about that later!

First things first…

New Year’s Day was almost over as Robert Bartlett-Hart sat alone in his library sifting carefully through the mounds of newspapers which were strewn all over a capacious mahogany table. The sombre shadow of dusk began to seep into the clear blue January sky, and all at once multifarious reading lamps, scattered randomly amongst the furniture and piles of books, turned themselves on, in perfect unison. Robert poured another cup of tea from his Kyushu and sighed. He fought, ineffectually, with the oversized, dry, rustling broadsheets, trying to tame them by folding and flattening them the best he could. For posterity, Robert attempted to glue the numerous obituaries into the Little Eden archive (a huge, slightly musty, leather-bound book), but the scissors kept losing themselves amongst the unruly sheets and little scraps of paper kept sticking to his hands; no matter how much he tried to shake them off, they just re-stuck somewhere else!

Robert’s silent contemplation was suddenly shattered by the brusque opening of the library door and his mother’s voice slicing through the peaceful air.

“Did you find the obituary I asked Lancelot to put in the Kolkata Times?” Jennifer Bartlett-Hart asked him. She went straight to the large mirror which hung majestically over the sideboard and began adjusting her black, feather-laden hat. She caught sight of a picture of Lilly on the front page of Tatler magazine which lay amongst many others on the table. The magazine was running an old photograph of the glamorous stage star, Lilly Rose, from 1964. Lilly was posing in a ‘Vivienne Westwood’, wearing white go-go boots, long curling fake eyelashes, and her blond hair was peeking out from beneath a jaunty velvet cap.

The headline read:

“A celebration of the life of a Parisian Diva who became a very English Rose. Lilly Rose D’Or. Her life in pictures: pages 10 – 14.”

Jennifer turned away to look in the mirror again. “Lilly hasn’t been Lilly Rose, star of stage and screen, for decades!” she huffed.  “I doubt she even has any fans left who remember her! All this fuss and for what? She owned a Café for most of her life for goodness sakes and put on far too much weight eating all those afternoon teas. I don’t think that is much of anything to shout about.”

Robert sighed and ran his fingers through his brown tousled hair. “Thousands of people come every year to her charity concerts, Mother, you know that,” he replied. “And she has been a Trustee with us for over twenty-five years, and a friend to us – all my life at least. I don’t know what we would have done without her all these years.”

“I was the most beautiful woman in London once upon a time,” Jennifer replied, tilting the brim of her hat this way and that to make the most of her features. “I don’t suppose I will be on the cover of a magazine when I die. I had to give up any chance of fame to marry your father and have you boys.” Absently, Jennifer picked up a couple of newspaper clippings and added, “I hope you are nearly ready to go? Collins will be here any minute. Did you hear me Robert?” Jennifer looked admiringly at her long, manicured nails. “It’s just one funeral after another these days. It could just have easily have been me.”

“They say only the good die young,” Robert said under his breath, trying, in vain, to get the glue off his hands.

Jennifer took off her hat and rearranged her hair again, scowling into the glass. “I don’t see why your father insisted Lilly be buried with our family. Lillianna Rose D’Or or whatever she wants to be called this season is not family and never will be, and it is embarrassing for me! Your cousin Lancelot insisted on it. He can find a legal loophole when it suits him – but not when it suits me it seems.”

Robert sighed again. “It was in father’s will, Mother; you know there was nothing anyone could do. We have been over and over it.”

Jennifer grimaced, and wiggled her hips to prevent her black skirt from riding up her long, slender legs. “Your father went on about Lilly endlessly whilst he was alive; I never understood it. We always had to do whatever he wanted! What did he ever care about Little Eden? Off he goes to America with that floosy, Christabelle, without as much as a by your leave! Well! I am not going to go to this sham of a ceremony. The whole thing is just to embarrass me!” With that, she launched herself out of the room and slammed the door behind her.

Robert shrugged, and raised a resigned eyebrow as he dolefully drank the rest of his, now cold, cup of tea, and continued to cut and paste. 

After the stomping and the banging of doors had finished, he could hear the sound of his brother, Collins, calling jovially from the hall, “Are you ready?” he called, “Varsity says we’ll be late if you don’t hurry.”

“Varsity can wait!” Jennifer shouted down from the landing. She came tottering back down the stairs wearing a different hat and stiffly kissed her son on both cheeks. “Whoever thought of a memorial service in the evening? I ask you!” she complained.

Jennifer stood on the bottom step of the stairs and started to rearrange her son’s clothing, brushing fluff off his black suit. “This is off the peg!” she said, in disgust. “Where did you get it? The fit is terrible!”

“It’s ‘Lanvin’, Mother,” Collins replied. “Varsity picked it out.”

“I don’t care!” Jennifer replied, straightening his tie. “You have perfectly good bespoke suits. Go upstairs and change. You left an Anderson-Sheppard here last week. Go and put that on. If only Robert had your looks and you had his sense of style – I would be less embarrassed to be seen with you both!”

Collins smiled, and kissed his mother. “The fit is perfect, Mother. Only you would ever notice, no one else will.”

Jennifer snorted. “Well those Lawrence girls certainly won’t notice such details. Lucy dresses dreadfully! They were far too self-confident when they were little girls and I don’t see much improvement over the years.” Jennifer fussed with Collins’ mop of blond hair and he tried to get away from her, afraid she might pull out a hanky and start dabbing his face at any moment! “Robert tells me Sophie isn’t feeling well and is staying at the Café indefinitely. She has some sort of fatigue. I ask you! Tiredness is an illness now, apparently! As if we are not all tired all the time! They are as bad as Lilly and your father with their freedom of speech and their women’s liberation and all that environmental nonsense.  Robert’s in the library. There’s caviar on the sideboard – your favourite.”

Collins nonchalantly kissed his mother again, flung open the large panelled door into the library and headed straight for the champagne and canapés. Collins admired his appearance in the mirror and then, turning to the table, he poked at the papers whilst he munched his aperitifs.

“What’s all this?” he asked, in his usual casual manner.

“The obituaries,” Robert responded, without looking up.

“What all of these? Good god! You would think the woman was a saint.” Collins laughed, nearly choking on a piece of crostini.

“I think she was,” Robert mused. “Or she should be!”

Collins smirked, and looked at Robert in the mirror’s reflection. “I suppose I quite liked the old girl myself,” Collins admitted. “Baked a damn good cake! Shame she’s dead.”

“Shame?” Jennifer retorted, marching through the doorway whilst pinning her third choice of hat on her head. “It’s no shame!” she said, pushing her son aside with her hip. “Move, Collins, I need to look in the mirror! Now, perhaps we can have some of the family money to spend for a change?”

Collins downed another quick glass of champers and said, “Talking of money, Mother, I’m a bit short this month.”

“So am I, my dear. Ask your brother! He holds the purse strings around here. He is the one who won’t let us have our own money! Always spending it on the poor or giving it to a charity. Well! Charity begins at home!”

Wearily, Robert pulled on his long cashmere overcoat and replied soberly, “This is not the time to talk about money.”

“Oh come on Bobby, old boy!” Collins said. “With Lilly out of the picture you can hand out the family fortune a bit more. I promised Varsity she could…” Collins paused and grinned, “F**k! Varsity! I left her in the car. She is probably steaming by now!”

Jennifer surveyed herself in the full-length hall mirror. She smiled at herself again in the looking glass but only until she caught sight of Varsity, who was walking up the front steps wearing a magnificent silver fur coat and looking as if she had just finished a photo shoot for Vogue. Collins rushed out onto the porch, put his arm around his wife’s tiny waist and hastily ushered her back into the car.

Robert escorted his mother to the Bentley. Jennifer slid onto the leather seat and into her best finishing school position. She greeted Varsity with a ‘good evening’ and a ‘you look awfully nice.’ She couldn’t help pouting at Varsity’s youthful beauty. To comfort herself, she checked that her finger nails were still in perfect condition.

As the car passed by the end of Adam Street, the ice on the road was treacherous and Dyson, the chauffeur, was taking it slow. By the time they had reached the old Assembly Rooms, on the corner of Knight’s Walk, Jennifer had run out of things to say, so she began rooting about in her handbag for her hanky, pretending she was unable to find it, whilst Varsity occupied herself by refreshing her lipstick.

Eventually, the car pulled up outside the gates of the graceful gothic Sainte Chappelle. It was a dark winter’s eve, but the street lamps gave a cosy glow to Dovecote Street and softened the harshness of the icy chill in the air. As Jennifer stepped out of the car she cockled over on the curb. Robert caught her just in time before she landed face down on the cobbles! She had expected to see some famous guests outside the Chappelle, but looking anxiously around she was relieved that no one was there. She took Robert’s arm and paraded up the lantern-lined path, to be greeted by the singular Reverend Sprott, who was looking rather chilly, but who had been determined to wait outside, in the high and very ornate porch, to meet and greet the Bartlett-Harts. Robert gladly gave his mother over to the Reverend Sprott’s care.

The Chappelle was full of shadows – peppered with sudden bursts of flickering candle light. The glorious gold leaf of the majestic pillars seemed to be on fire, and the towering cobalt blue windows shimmered in a heavenly dance. The delicate, sweet scent of pale pink roses played amongst the deeper, muskier odour of beautiful bright white lilies. The melange of ancient church odours – a faint dampness of stone, wood polish, and carnal fresh flowers – invoked a shiver of ancient memories in the mourners.

Tonight, this holy and most sacred palace of light played host to the friends and family of Lilly D’Or. Not least, to her two beloved nieces, Lucy and Sophie Lawrence, who were standing by a small table which was covered in flowers, bottles of water and a mound of pink crystals. The sisters had been greeting the many mourners for at least half an hour already.

Author Biography

KT Image

KT King

Many may wonder how I can write novels if I have ME/CFS. I am able to write when I don’t need to do  anything else. The fluctuation of the illness baffles everyone as does the resolve of those with it to battle on trying to make a living. I lost my home, my income and my independence in 2012 coming back to live with my elderly parents on whom I now rely for physical daily help and financial support. By age 40 I had lost the battle with ME.

Writing too much gives me migraines so I can only write a few days a week for about an hour at a time on what is called ‘a good day’. I write through chronic pain and fatigue but it keeps me alive and it keeps me sane.

Mental and emotional health deteriorate for all of us because we can rarely socialise or see friends. We feel we have no purpose or usefulness and many of us are in terrible pain 24/7 with Fibromyalgia which often accompanies ME.

We can either give up or we can try to do something even if it’s just a little thing on ‘a good day’.

Becoming a published writer is a lifelong dream come true and escaping into Little Eden helps keep the suicidal thoughts at bay. I hope it’ll be a beautiful escape place for you too. One of the main things readers say is that they would love to live in Little Eden which makes it all seem worthwhile!

I’m an indie author, using my savings from before 2012 to publish. I can’t meet deadlines of publishers or do the usual sales promotions.

I can spend months, even years unable to get out of bed so I need all the help I can get spreading the word about my books, especially from kind book bloggers like Katie.

I find crafting is good for mental and emotional health so when I can I make handmade jewellery to give to friends and to sell in my Etsy shop where all the gifts inspired by Little Eden. I rarely have the energy to bake but now and again I manage to make a cake or some cookies! Some of my recipes have made their way into the novels.

Come and browse in my little Etsy shop http://bit.ly/KTKingShop

You can follow the global campaign called MillionsMissing and/or KTKing on Twitter.

http://bit.ly/KTKingTwitter

For more information please visit the ME Association website https://www.meassociation.org.uk/about-what-is-mecfs/

For more information on KT and ME why not visit Meet the Author post or yesterday’s raising awareness.

Happy reading!

Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both novels have recipes at the back based on the delectable delicacies served in the No.1 Daisy Place Café-Bookshop such as Strawberry and Cream Shortbreads, Late Night Cheesecake and Over the Rainbow Cake. The Ebooks have wiki-links and links to Utube for the soundtrack. You can find everything Little Eden on KT’s Blog www.ktkingbooks.wordpress.co.uk

 

Look out for…Little Eden, Book Three, Haunted or Not…Available (hopefully) 2021

 

Guest Post: Raising awareness for National ME Awareness Week 2020 by KT King

Last year I had the pleasure to meet KT King here on my blog and we discussed her Little Eden books, writing and health.  KT King has suffered for over 27 years with the chronic and invisible disability called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She is trying to help raise awareness for this terrible, debilitating and life destroying disease. The main heroine of Little Eden, Sophie Lawrence, also suffers with CFS but she is still a heroine none the less.

I am pleased to pass this post over to her to discuss a subject close to her, ME/CSF Awareness Week.

Raising awareness for National ME Awareness Week 2020 by KT King

 

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 Imagine if the self-isolation and social distancing you have been experiencing these last few weeks was going to continue for the rest of your life?

That’s right, for the rest of your life – without let up, without reprieve, without end.

On top of being stuck inside, unable to shop, see your friends, go on holidays, go to the pub, a café or the supermarket, you feel as if you have the flu 24/7. Your body won’t function. Everything aches. You find even the smallest tasks, like taking a shower, cooking a meal or reading a chapter in a book take all your energy.

Millions suffer from this misunderstood illness worldwide but there is little research and no known cause or cure. The World Health Organisation has registered it as an epidemic but governments are still not helping those affected.

It can happen to anyone at any age.

Living in isolation, often bed and housebound, without an income or state support, without medical help or carers, sufferers of ME are forgotten by society and rely on family charity to survive.

We were never supported on TV, by our neighbours or communities, the NHS or carers, we were not given mental health support or had our wages paid at 80% when we had to give up work or lost our businesses. Most of us live in poverty, forgotten and blaming ourselves because no one believes us.

When you return to normal, we will still be in in lockdown without hope.

More about me

KT Image

KT King

Many may wonder how I can write novels if I have ME/CFS. I am able to write when I don’t need to do  anything else. The fluctuation of the illness baffles everyone as does the resolve of those with it to battle on trying to make a living. I lost my home, my income and my independence in 2012 coming back to live with my elderly parents on whom I now rely for physical daily help and financial support. By age 40 I had lost the battle with ME.

Writing too much gives me migraines so I can only write a few days a week for about an hour at a time on what is called ‘a good day’. I write through chronic pain and fatigue but it keeps me alive and it keeps me sane.

Mental and emotional health deteriorate for all of us because we can rarely socialise or see friends. We feel we have no purpose or usefulness and many of us are in terrible pain 24/7 with Fibromyalgia which often accompanies ME.

We can either give up or we can try to do something even if it’s just a little thing on ‘a good day’.

Becoming a published writer is a lifelong dream come true and escaping into Little Eden helps keep the suicidal thoughts at bay. I hope it’ll be a beautiful escape place for you too. One of the main things readers say is that they would love to live in Little Eden which makes it all seem worthwhile!

I’m an indie author, using my savings from before 2012 to publish. I can’t meet deadlines of publishers or do the usual sales promotions.

I can spend months, even years unable to get out of bed so I need all the help I can get spreading the word about my books, especially from kind book bloggers like Katie.

I find crafting is good for mental and emotional health so when I can I make handmade jewellery to give to friends and to sell in my Etsy shop where all the gifts inspired by Little Eden. I rarely have the energy to bake but now and again I manage to make a cake or some cookies! Some of my recipes have made their way into the novels.

Come and browse in my little Etsy shop http://bit.ly/KTKingShop

You can follow the global campaign called MillionsMissing and/or KTKing on Twitter.

http://bit.ly/KTKingTwitter

For more information please visit the ME Association website https://www.meassociation.org.uk/about-what-is-mecfs/

About Little Eden Books

Little Eden Books thrillingly combine the supernatural and spirituality in a magical mystery set in the cosy, idyllic and ancient sanctuary town of Little Eden. The hero, Robert Bartlett-Hart, goes on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment with the help of his friends and plenty of tea and cake! The novels are a comical yet genuine look at the spirit world based on the work of psychic, healer and ascension coach, KT King.

To purchase Book One and Two as Kindle or paperback just click on my linktree https://linktr.ee/ktkingbooks

B1 and B2 image paperback

Thank you for visiting my blog KT and good luck in spreading awareness of ME and CSF.

Keep an eye out for future posts on KT’s books here this week.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

 

Book Review:Chronic Illness Learning to Live Behind My Smile by Jane L. Edwards

This books arrival was timely. Not only is it Vasculitis Awareness Month but also the 10 years anniversary of finishing my last course of chemo to control the inflammation in my brain, cerebral vasculitis. I thought when I was diagnosed after I completed this treatment I would step back into my old life. I was wrong as chronic illness is not like that. Life is never the same.  This is a book I wish I was given at the time, as it gives realistic expectations of a new life with a chronic condition, tips to help you on your new journey and how to keep your smile.

Book Review:Chronic Illness Learning to Live Behind My Smile by Jane L. Edwards

Chronic illness book

Title: Chronic Illness Learning to Live Behind My Smile

Author: Jane L. Edwards

Publisher: Independent

Release Date: 1st July 2019

Genre: Non-fiction, Self care

Purchase Link: Amazon 

Social Media Links: 

Website: chronicillness.co.uk

Twitter: @Jane_L_Edwards

Blurb:

The problem with a long-term chronic illness is that it isn’t a quick fight, taking a few drugs and having a couple of weeks in bed will not cure it. It isn’t ever an out and out win. You never beat the illness forever. It is a long-term war, some battles you lose and some you win: It is an on-going campaign. It is a chronic illness, after all. The struggle is about getting to a place where you can live together, the illness and you. Trying to make the most of the environment you share, an attempt to make it a positive life.This book is a collection of experiences I have faced living with a chronic illness. Lessons I am still learning from and having to deal with every day. It is like living in no man’s land, somewhere between feeling ill and feeling healthy, but not really being healthy or sick. I hope, by sharing my experience, I can help others with their journey. Help people to deal with their chronic illness or give some tools to help make some sense of living with a chronic condition. Note: several sections of the book talk about the U.K. health system NHS.

My Thoughts

At the beginning of this book Jane says it contains the information she wishes she had at the beginning of her journey; she has achieved this goal completely. I wish I had this book when I walked out of the hospital with a diagnosis of a rare disease and chronic illness. It would have helped knowing how things are,  tips to avoid the pitfalls and smooth the curves along the way. Chronic illness can be a lonely journey and it would have helped having something like this on my side to refer to even if it was just reassurance that I was doing okay and the best I could do at that moment.

Her words resonate with me and like her I am several years into my journey with a chronic and rare disease which has made me find my own ways to cope. Many of them are similar to hers. Reading this book earlier may have given me a short cut to some. I love the quotes includes especially the poem by William Ernest Henley,  and have taken it to heart as my message to myself. This was one of those books I nearly committed a crime against books and highlight important passages (post it notes have been used instead). Her thoughts on the health care system, industry and health care workers mirror mine. It is easy to read and her warmth and humour shines through. It includes her story, tips and support on how to deal with yourself, friends and doctors. It is her story but I think it will help many. I would love this to be available to people who need it and to doctors, and nurses dealing with patients. It would help so much.

Thank you so much for my copy, Jane L. Edwards so I could give my honest opinion. It will be on my forever shelf for reference and recommended to those I think would benefit.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

 

Rare disease day; The Realities of Vasculitis and Dystonia

10 years ago, I was hooked up to a drip having chemo after being diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis. Three years later I added a rare form of dystonia called dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD) to my medical records. Both are rare diseases and both were only diagnosed after years of GP visits and finally finding a consultant who listened and looked outside the box. Both times I felt relief rather than fear as I had an explanation of what was going on rather than being fobbed off with the line “it’s all in your head”. Perversely it was but not in the way that was meant when those hateful words were uttered. Both times I thought treatment would cure me and I would get my old life back; both times I was wrong.

dystonia text box

Cerebral vasculitis affects one in a million people while DRD affects one in two million. With odds like that I would rather have won the lottery. Instead these conditions were like a bomb going off in my life. In one swoop I lost my beloved library career, friendships and my mobility. Gone were the days of long walks in the countryside with my dogs, and browsing in shops alone (I really miss that. The joy of being independent, spontaneous and being ALONE). Instead I see four walls and the duvet far more than I should. Thank goodness for books, the internet which helped find my new friends, and my family.

Rare diseases do not just affect the diagnosed person; it has devastating effects on the whole family and friends. Husbands and children become carers, jobs are lost, education is affected and relationships are destroyed. Support is hard to find but social media becomes a lifeline.

The Charities

Luckily, when I was diagnosed with vasculitis, Susan and John Mills took over the vasculitis charity, Vasculitis UK. They transformed it from a small charity and basic website offering information to a go to place for patients and doctors  worldwide. Not only do they offer individual support they have increased awareness with medics, have conferences and fought for new treatments and research. They are both phenomenal.

The Dystonia Society has supported me on my journey but like many charities in recent years, funding has been cut which has had a big impact on their services. Despite their tireless efforts to raise awareness of dystonia,  DRD remains a page on the screen. Warriors of Dystonia has announced an exciting project to help dystonia awareness and support the dystonia charities. More info can be found here.

The best thing anyone can do is help is to raise awareness of these rare conditions and  charities that support them. Share tweets and posts. This allows people to find them and fund raise. This is why Rare Disease Day is so important because together the small charities are stronger. Awareness helps improve diagnosis, support and research.

Uncertain times ahead

Rare diseases in UK have an uncertain future. With only a small number of patients with each disease ,specialists are hard to find and keep. We rely on the cooperation of other countries and research. Leaving Europe has already impacted on ongoing and future research, grants and medication availability. What will happen next who knows?

There are always positives

It’s not all gloom. My life has changed but I have a new appreciation for the small things, family and friends.  I am grateful for my meds and having the movement they offer. The friends I have are the best- they have seen me at my worst and stuck around. I have time to follow my love for reading and I have rediscovered my old passion – writing. This has brought new friends and new opportunities. Maybe one day it will offer a new career.

Thanks for reading such a long post

Love

P.S Its the last day to enter RNA 60 giveaway to win 60 books. Click here for more info and to enter. Good luck!

Book Review and Tour: The Pieces of Me and You by Rachel Burton

Last year I was lucky enough to read Rachel Burton’s previous novel, The Things We Need to Say, which I loved. The review can be found here. When I saw the news she was releasing a new book I was eager to read it and was excited to be invited to this blog tour.

Book Review: The Pieces of You and Me by Rachel Burton

The Pieces of You and Me

Book Cover for The Pieces of You and Me

Title: The Pieces Of You and Me
Author: Rachel Burton
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: 21st February 2019

Purchase Link: mybook.to/PiecesYouMe

Blurb

They say time can heal all wounds…

When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.

But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?

My Thoughts

I loved this book and related to it on many levels. As someone who spends too much time under the duvet, I instantly connected to Jess who has ME.  Jess has adapted to life with chronic illness, living at home and has carved out a successful career as a writer despite the tendrils of her condition affecting all aspects of her life. There were times it made me cry and say “I know that feeling”. The frustration of watching peers being busy their lives with no need for naps, medication or pacing, the emotions of having to let go of your old life to make way for a new one and the fear the illness will steal more from you in the future. It describes Jess’s dilemma balancing her heart’s desire with the knowledge how much ME affects relationships and it discusses whether being with your soulmate is enough to face a future of uncertainty together. Rupert has his own demons he faces, and it was refreshing to see the other side of the story.

The depth of emotion between the two characters touched me when Jess’ diary told the story of their lives, from best friends to lovers and the circumstance which ripped them apart. It is a tale of deep love, trust and the importance of revealing your true self. The other topics covered include grief, mental health, but they are dealt with sensitively and does not wallow. It left me with feelings of hope and uplifting.

I am grateful to Rachel Burton for writing an honest heart felt depiction of life with a chronic illness, showing its fears hopes and uncertainty but how with the power of love and determination someone can make a new but different life. As an aspiring writer having a character achieve success while pacing her writing time around fatigue gives me hope.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this novel is a love story but it is also so much more.  I would like a physical copy on my forever shelf to read again when I need encouragement but also to share so others can understand the realities of life when it is turned upside down because of illness.

Author Biography

The Pieces of You and MeIMG_20181116_124903 (1)

Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us.

Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….
Social Media Links 

Twitter: twitter.com/bookish_yogi
Instagram: Instagram.com/Bookish_yogi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachel-Burton-353151308524664/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rachelburton6/pins/

Thank you to Rachel Random Resources and HQ Digital for my advanced copy so I could review.

Happy reading!

Love

 

The Complicated Business of Talking with Dystonia

The Complicated Business of Talking

Following my last post and the goal to reveal snippets of life with living with dystonia it felt apt to share the first ever post I made on my old The Ups and Downs of being Wobbly in 2013. It only feels like yesterday.

Dopa-responsive dystonia affects all my muscles now including my voice.

The Complicated Business of Talking

September 2013

I never realised how complicated talking and holding a conversation was until it began to go pear-shaped. To talk to someone many things have to occur:

1, you need to listen and remember what the person is saying
2, you need to think of an answer and the words you wish to use to express it
3, send these words to your voice box, tongue and muscles in your mouth
4, the voice box has to do what voice boxes do and your muscles have to co-ordinate themselves so the words come out.

If any of these stages falter the conversation can become tiring, difficult, frustrating and bizarre. Sometimes only one or two stages of the above partially or completely fail so I can work round it. Other times nothing will work so it’s easier to keep my mouth shut.

I can ask my family multiple times the same question before I will remember it. They must get sick of me asking 5 times whether they would like a cup of tea before I can remember it long enough to get to the kitchen. I would definitely be useless as a waitress. Telephones and having conversations in supermarkets are the worst. I think my brain decides that holding the phone and having a conversation in a noisy place is too hard and it prefers to go on strike.

There are times I know what I want to say. I can even visualise it but the word refuses to come. Good job my family are good at listening to convoluted explanations when a simple sentence would have done. Why say “it’s on the table” when you can say ” it’s on the thing in the kitchen. We sit at it for dinner”. Gestures are good too. My daughter will win at a games of charades with the practise she gets.

Other times, the words are there but trying to get my tongue, voice box and muscles in my mouth to work together is impossible over the stupidist words. Why is it so hard to say peas or beans or yes? At least the long explanations can resolve that obstacle with “green round things” or “red round things”. Again, charades work or you can play a game of fill in the blanks of a sentences. For example, “Would you ____ a cup of ____ ?

If all else fails, you can just be quiet and nod in the right places.

I am so lucky I have a great family who accepts our new way of communicating and they are becoming very good at it. I am lucky I have my trusted yellow ones (Sinemet) which gives my brain a kick start so I can have periods of the day when talking is easy and understandable. In these brief periods, I can do the phone calls I need to make and talk to friends when they visit. I guess, however tiring, difficult and frustrating talking can be, it can make life different and more interesting.

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Green Rounds Things

Love

Book review: The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland.

Duvet days are continuing so I was appreciative to receive a copy of The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland to read. I loved her previous book Lost for Words so I settled down with a cuppa, jelly beans — my new favourite thing thanks to Sunflowers in February,  and Nigel snuggled next to me hoping to be equally impressed.

Book review for The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

 

Title The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

Author Stephanie Butland

Publisher Bonnier Zaffre

Release date 19th April 2018

Blurb

Loveday Cardew won everyone’s heart in Lost for Words, now it’s time for Ailsa Rae to live, love and be loved . . .

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.

She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point and she wants to find her father.

Have her friends left her behind?

And she’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her.

She barely knows where to start on her own.

Then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.
But her new heart is a bold heart. 

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

My Thoughts

As a duvet dweller AKA Spoonie or someone with a chronic illness I  relate much to Ailsa thoughts and the emotions she expresses in her blog before her transplant and after as her health improves. She uses her blog to connect with people outside hospital bed as many do, raise awareness of the ability of transplants to change someone’s life and help make decisions with her life. I enjoyed the pleasant mixture of blog posts, email, and narration.

It follows Ailsa as she ventures into the new world of wellness, which means negotiating her close relationship with her mum and discover her well self. The book comes across as well researched and makes you connect with Ailsa. It is uplifting and made me want to get my dancing shoes on and dance. Or at least put the music on loud and sway imagining I was on strictly come dancing. As with her previous book Lost for Words Stephanie Butland has given me another character to love and remember.

Would I recommend?

Yes, for its humour, insight into the life of someone dealing with chronic illness and beyond as well as its delightful characters. This is one of those books I want a physical copy of for my bookshelf so I can indulge again in the future.

Thank you Netgalley and for sending me an advanced copy of The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy reading!

Celebrating 20 year’s of Harry

 

June has arrived already and this poor blog has been neglected as I have dwelled under the duvet with zero spoons. Many books have been read by our members on the topics of books vs movies, different cultures, floral books, children’s books (always a favourite to do) and finally classics with Jane Eyre being a popular choice.

#HarryPotter #tea #BookClubforSpoonies #DuvetDwellersbookclub

Perfect combination tea and Harry Potter

 

This month we celebrate 20 years since we were first introduced to the most famous boy wizard, Harry Potter and the magical world of JK Rowling. For some, it will be a time of comfort reading as they plunge themselves into their well-thumbed editions while others will cautiously tiptoe into Rowling’s imagination to meet the famous trio and Hagrid for the first time. It will be fascinating to see what their views will be. Will they find the story worth the wait and be asking the sorting hat what house they will be in or will they shrug their shoulders, bewildered at all the hype that still exists around the protagonist and friends?

Personally, I love the Harry Potter series and the community it has created. It doesn’t seem 20 years ago I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone from the shelf at Woolworths. The children in the library I worked at were excited about the book and the reservation list of a copy to borrow was ever growing so I needed to buy it. I was hooked the moment Dudley was scared by the snake at London Zoo. The following years on release nights, I was queuing up at midnight with many other bookworms young and old, at the local bookshop eager to read the next instalment. Each volume conjures up happy memories every time they are read. No other series has captured me like that apart from possibly the All Souls Trilogy.

If Harry Potter is not your thing we are celebrating series of books in general? What would you recommend?

Want to join in discussions and natter about books – click here for a warm welcome to our book club for people with chronic illnesses otherwise known as spoonies.

Happy reading!

 

Twas the days before Christmas

The tree is dressed in its best baubles and the lights are twinkling. Stockings are hung in anticipation they will be filled with our favourite things – books!

This time of year, books are great to curl up with to escape the overwhelming and hectic preparations, gather spoons or indulge in festive stories that flood the book shelves in the shops. What have you been reading?

christmas-parcel

Are you hoping to find a particular read under the tree?

It is also the time for reading old festive favourites or following family traditions. We particularly love the Swedish tradition of  jólabókaflóð and believe it should be adopted worldwide. Imagine how many happy bookworms there would be and new book lovers created everywhere.

We are pleased to release our themes for 2017 including the one we are all excited about – Harry Potter month in honour of the 20th anniversary of the release of the first installment, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. Yes – it really has been out that long. We are also looking forward to the discussions on books vs movies in January. This will conjure up lots of discussions.

Watch this space for exciting book club news in the New Year!

Have a lovely Christmas and hope it is filled with lots of books, spoons and happiness.

Happy reading!

reading blanket free stocksnap

 

Do you love books and have a chronic illness, disability or class yourself as a Spoonie – we would love to welcome you in our warm friendly group.