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: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Book Review: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

 

Surviving Me Cover

Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Title: Surviving Me

Author: Jo Johnson

Publisher: Unbound Digital

Release date: 14th Nov 2019

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

Purchase Links

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/48660416-surviving-me

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

My Thoughts

I loved this book but it became a difficult book to read. Not because of the writing style or plot but because I connected with Tom so deeply it made me sob and feel his despair. Only a good book can do that. Tom has his flaws but it became easy to understand how one delay in telling the truth could snowball into the nightmare of depression. This often humorous story unfolds slowly  giving you time to know the characters and care for them. The scenes in the cafe are an in-depth study of personalities and interesting to read but even though Adam and others play a role in this novel, this is predominantly Tom’s story.

It discusses many difficult topics such as fertility, depression, suicide and illness in a sensitive manner which makes it emotional and harrowing in places but it is an important read in a time when male suicide is high. It gave me an insight into the mind as it declines into mental illness and a greater understanding. This was helped by reading the male perspective rather than the usual female protagonist I have read in the past.

 Would I recommend?

Yes, it is an insightful, deep and important novel which left me emotionally drained. Tom’s voice and actions will stay with me for a long time. Have tissues with you and mentally prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster.

Author Biography

Surviving Me - Jo Johnson PHOTO 2

Jo Johnson

I’m very excited that my debut novel ‘Surviving Me’ is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.

I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.

Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.

In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.

Social Media Links 

https://en-gb.facebook.com/shrinkingthesmirch/

Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me &  five Surviving Me fridge magnets  (Open INT)*

1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me

5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet

Click here to enter and good luck!

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for bringing this book to my attention and giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy to review.

Stay at home if you can and stay safe.

Happy reading!

Love

Katie signature pink

Surviving Me Full Tour Banner

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

 

 

 

Book Review:The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Today I am pleased to share with you The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable. As some of you may know, I love folklore and fairies so I was instantly intrigued by this book by the title alone. It was inspired by a real oak tree in Curbridge, Oxfordshire where locals and visitors write to and place for offerings for the faerie folk. The idea grabbed my attention and I was eager to discover more about this book.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the copy of The Faerie Tree so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Book Review:The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

The Faerie Tree Cover

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Title: The Faerie Tree

Author: Jane Cable

Publisher: Matador

Release date: 16th March 2015

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

HOW CAN A MEMORY SO VIVID BE WRONG?
In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours tragedy rips their dreams apart.

In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other’s lives and try to create a second chance. But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right?

With strong themes of memory, love and grief, The Faerie Tree is a novel as gripping and unputdownable as Jane Cables first book, The Cheesemaker’s House, which won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Shows Peoples Novelist competition. It is a story that will resonate with fans of romance, suspense, and folklore.

Purchase Link

http://viewbook.at/TheFaerieTree

My Thoughts

The fictional Faerie Tree in this novel holds the story together and the mystery surrounding Robin and Izzie first visit kept my attention throughout. I needed to know what happened and the twists in the plot kept me guessing. Robin and Izzie’s lives go in different directions and the dual time line show how their past relationship and experiences affects the one in their present day. The descriptions of the landscapes, especially Cornwall made me long to be there walking along the beach or through the woodland to give my own letter to the tree.

The use of folklore and magic is subtle and cleverly woven into the plot so if you are expecting it to be full of faeries scurrying through the countryside weaving magic then you will be disappointed, but you will not be if you are wanting an emotional read about relationships in all it’s forms – first love, marriage, friends and the bond between mother and daughter. It discusses several difficult topics, such as grief and mental health issues, and false memories in a sensitive, unique way and leaves you questioning your own memories and how they may deviate from the truth.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a unusual gentle romance with depth and mystery. All the characters and their flaws will stay with me for a long time.

Author Biography

The Faerie Tree - Jane Cable 2019

Jane Cable

Jane Cable writes romantic fiction with the over-riding theme that the past is never dead. She published her first two books independently (the multi award winning The Cheesemaker’s House and The Faerie Tree) and is now signed by Sapere Books. Two years ago she moved to Cornwall to concentrate on her writing full time, but struggles a little in such a beautiful location. Luckily she’s discovered the joys of the plot walk.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @JaneCable
Facebook: Jane Cable, Author (https://www.facebook.com/romanticsuspensenovels/ )

Giveaway to Win PB copies of The Faerie Tree and The Cheesemaker’s House (UK Only)*

I am excited to share with you the chance to win a copy of The Faerie Tree and The Cheesemaker’s House.

Click here to enter.

Good luck!

Happy reading and stay safe.

Love

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: Captive by Madeline Dyer

Following on from my last blog with Madeline Dyer I am pleased to share my review for her latest book, Captive.

Book Review for Captive by Madeline Dyer

Captive cover

Captive

Title: Captive

Author: Madeline Dyer

Genre: Biography, poetry

Publisher: Ineja Press

Release Date: 14th Jan 2020

Blurb

I just want to get better and see the stars and believe in hope again.’

Captive, Madeline Dyer’s first poetry collection, is based on the therapy writings she produced when she was experiencing psychosis and OCD due to Autoimmune Basal Ganglia Encephalitis, a rare type of brain inflammation caused by the immune system attacking the brain. While her communication skills and cognitive abilities diminished due to the effects of the inflammation, she was able to share her thoughts and emotions via the written word, a process that gave her great comfort when she otherwise felt possessed.

Captive provides readers with a glimpse of her tormented mind during this dark time of loneliness, loss, and fear.

My Thoughts

A few years ago I was diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis, which is another rare form of inflammation in the brain, and also having problems with my basal ganglia I was intrigued by the blurb to read someone else’s experience of a neurological disease. Reading Madeline’s poems made me appreciate how lucky I was in experiencing mainly physical symptoms. They are raw, honest  and haunting giving an insight into the terrifying world of OCD and psychosis. The panic, fear and confusion comes through with the imagery she uses and I feel privileged to have read them. I wanted to reach into the book and give her a hug and tell her she will get through it. Mental health is rarely discussed at the level it should and as an outsider it is hard to understand how it feels. These poems opened my eyes in a similar way Still Alice by Lisa Genova did for early dementia. It makes me see things differently and have given me a greater awareness and compassion for these conditions.

Would I recommend?

Yes, read them. They are emotional and sometimes hard to read but you will come out of the book a different person which is a sign of a good book and in this case an important collection of poems to raise awareness of mental health.

Author Biography

Madeline Dyer photo

Madeline Dyer

Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and holds a BA honours degree in English from the University of Exeter. She has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, Untamed (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged.

Social Media links:

 

Thank you Madeline Dyer for the advanced copy so I could review and give my honest, unbiased opinion.

Do you have any poems that touched you and changed the way you see the world? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love

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?

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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!

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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.