Archives for posts with tag: Memoir

Mary’s series about her father, who suffers Alzheimer’s, is a touching and fun reminder of life for carers. I loved this post.

I enjoy a good drama series (as long as it isn’t too gory as I’m a bit of a wuss in the gore department) and I’m hooked on Holby City but other than that and the news I don’t bother  much with tele…

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Hi all:

As usual on Friday’s I bring you a guest author or a new book. Today, I have both. Lucie Novak, whom I’ve met in Goodreads and we’ve had quite a few exchanges. She has never been a guest to my blog and this is her first book (brand new, published at the end of June), so you’re truly hearing it here…almost first.

I leave you Lucie’s press release and a picture of her paperback book. Do check her website for new adventures and follow her…everywhere…

Lucie Novak's 'A Woman with (No) Strings Attached'

Lucie Novak’s ‘A Woman with (No) Strings Attached’

 

 

 

A Woman with (No) Strings Attached:

A Memoir

by Lucie Novák

 

PRESS RELEASE

After spending decades putting everyone else around her first, a Czechoslovakian-born doctor discovers her true self with the help of a long distance lover who encourages her to explore her sexuality, break taboos and live life to excess.

 

“Sex without love is liberating, you worry less and have more fun.

Women like ‘no strings’, too.”

 

When it comes to matters in both the home and the bedroom, doctor Lucie Novák only does what her husband, Honza, wants and asks. Born and raised in Communist-era Prague with free-spirited and sexually-liberated parents, Lucie finds herself in a very controlling marriage and, due to her husband’s wishes, immigrating to England. Outwardly confident to the rest of the world, Lucie is troubled on the inside and lacks confidence, purpose and passion.

 

As her marriage to Honza crumbles, Lucie becomes deeply depressed. That is until she reconnects with Tom, an old family friend from America. For three years, Tom and Lucie are lovers, and then their relationship takes an unusual turn. With Tom’s guidance, Lucie begins to explore her sexuality for the first time in her life, becoming adventurous in ways she never thought possible. Tom’s relaxed, cavalier approach to sex inspires Lucie to test the boundaries of her sexual nature and break a few taboos along the way.

 

When Tom helps Lucie build an online profile for an extramarital dating website, they decide “Adrienne”will be Lucie’s alter ego. As Adrienne, Lucie corresponds with hundreds of men and meets some for sexual encounters. Occasionally, it is Tom himself who writes the emails to these men. Before the encounters, Tom advises Lucie on how to handle the rendezvous and, afterward, Lucie enthusiastically emails Tom in great detail about everything that has transpired. Suddenly, Lucie finds herself learning, developing, and having a lot of fun. But although she is enjoying a litany of new lovers, Lucie realizes that she is falling deeper in love with Tom, and is changing under his influence, becoming less concerned with what others think and expect of her. With no strings attached, how will Tom respond?

 

A Woman with (No) Strings Attached is a delicious new memoir addressing the sexual and emotional needs of women after fifty, a time when many are thought to lose their potency, when in fact, for many, they reach a new period of independence and desire. Lucie Novák’s carnal adventures range from the hilarious to the shocking, the poignant to the thought-provoking, but all remind us that with an open heart and an open mind, anything is possible.

 Lucie Novak's book

About the Author: Lucie Novák was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her family relocated to England, where she works as a General Practitioner; for this reason, Novák has chosen to write under a pen name.She is currently working on a sequel. A Woman with (No) String Attached: A Memoir by Lucie Novák (published by Clink Street Publishing, RRP $12.99, e-book RRP $5.99) is available online at retailers including amazon.com and can be ordered from all good bookstores. For more information, please visit www.lucienovak.com.

 

For a review copy or to request an interview, please contact:Diana Rissetto, Marketing and Publicity Executive / diana@authoright.com / 646-664-4272

 

Thanks to Lucie for being a guest, to you all for reading, and you know the drill, if you’ve enjoyed it, share, comment, like and CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know Fridays is guest author day. I met Amanda Green through social media a while back and I’ve read about her writing and her experiences and have been corresponding with her for a while. We have exchanged thoughts on mental health and a variety of other topics and I finally managed to squeeze some time to read her first book ‘My Alien Self‘ recently. I convinced Amanda to come as guest and thought it would be an excellent chance to also share the review of that book. Amanda is also kindly sharing some of her tips on writing.

Here is Amanda:

Amanda Green's logo.

Amanda Green’s logo.

I am Amanda Green, author of six inspiring, self published books.

Outside of writing and social networking (yes I spend far too long each day on the computer!), I spend a lot of time with my pets; a handsome cat called Titus, a pretty hamster called Molly and tropical fish. I strongly believe in pet or animal therapy as being good for our mind, body and soul and I promote the fostering and adopting of animals as opposed to private breeding and purchase, as there are too many surplus animals desperate for homes. I detest animal cruelty.

I love eating out and reviewing restaurants, travel, days out, campaigning for the precious Orang-utan and the issues of unsustainable palm oil production  and seeing my family. I also enjoy reading, theatre, films, TV and cooking and when I can calm my mind down, just relaxing!

I gained 9 GCSE’s at school and have travelled on/off across the world, taking in twenty five Countries – living and working at times in Japan, Thailand and Australia.  I have enjoyed work in the field of Hotels, banking, property management, recruitment and Office management gaining many skills and qualifications along the way.

I run six personal websites for which I write all copy and articles and provide all photography.  I learn as much as I can fit into my life

I have had my writing and photography work published in various magazines and local newspapers.  I enjoy the challenge of getting published and very much enjoy doing my own PR, learnt through my varied working background.

‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me‘ is my self published memoir of my journey through mental illness to recovery. I want to inspire others that it is possible to recover and have a life worth living.

My aspirations are to continue as a full time writer/photographer.  I intend to be successful in fact/fiction storytelling in the mental health/relationship genres.  I have unique ideas, and a very thick skin.  I attended various writer’s retreats and short writing courses to further my writing, and  learnt a great deal from the editor’s/literary consultant’s who worked with me on my memoir project.  I am 40 years old.

The first two of my books, ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back To Me‘ and the sequel ‘39‘, are both memoirs, the rest are fiction short stories, a novelette and a novella.

My second memoir ’39’ is about what happened afterwards; the year before reaching the prime age of forty, family relationships, love and memories.

Other books – fiction…

‘Behind Those Eyes: A Novella’ (An Amanda Green Novella) – Two homeless men, a successful brother and sister, a woman falling in love, a man with family problems and a whole lot of twists in this ‘sliding doors’ style novella. It’s a story about people and adversity, love, friendship and stigma. Will you work out what they have in common?

 

‘Living the Dream – A Novelette’ (An Amanda Green Novelette) – Essentially a psychologically twisted style story, this book contains some offensive language and is suitable for adults only. It touches on sexual and domestic abuse of women, mental health and features three women, in East London, linked through adversity with twists and turns along the way.
It is a work of fiction, however this type of thing could be happening near you – two very important subjects we should be aware of.’

 

‘What I Know and two more short stories’ (Amanda Green’s Short Stories) – ‘What I know’, ‘The Coach Trip’ and ‘The Best of Friends’ make up this trio of short stories about relationships. Read how each character chooses a different path…

The Woman Who Lives Next Door – A Short Story’ (Amanda Green’s Short Stories) -How well do you really know your next door neighbour? Mary is yet to find out…

All available on Amazon.

Amazon U.S. author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Green/e/B0087O89QS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1402312334&sr=8-1

 

Amazon U.K. author page

:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-Green/e/B0087O89QS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Mental health

I have just finished Counselling skills level 2 at college and am waiting to hear if I will be accepted on the level 4 course. I would love to be able to help others facing issues and adversities, so fingers crossed!

I want to inspire others that it is possible to recover and have a life worth living. Because I grew up with my mother having severe Schizophrenia, who had been incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals for years, and felt the bullying and loneliness that stigma can spread, I campaign to ‘stop the stigma surrounding mental illness. I also felt the wrath of stigma when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder. Many people do not understand mental illness, so judge people unfairly. So I created www.amandagreenauthor.co.uk where I publish articles on the topics covered in my story, including self help, depression, bankruptcy, Alcohol/drug abuse, family and relationships, sexual, physical and mental abuse, anxiety, anger, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), self harm, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia, mindfulness, panic, rape, Schizophrenia, psychosis, Suicidal thoughts, , paranoia, dissociation, mood disorder, thyroid issues and psychology.

I love photography, writing and looking after my many websites, and have had my work published in magazines. I enjoy the challenge of getting published and very much enjoy doing my own PR, which is why I chose to self publish to kindle in this first instance.

I will be working with mental health charities, magazines, newspapers, social networking and other PR projects, actively making people aware of this disorder through every means possible through the media. But also, I hope that my books will help other sufferers and their families and friends to understand BPD and mental health and how to help oneself to feel better. I want to raise awareness to the general public about mental illness and the stigma sufferers have to deal with.

I hope that Doctors and the medical industry involved with mental health will benefit from reading my stories, as they unfold what it is like to suffer from debilitating mental illness from the inside out and how it manifests itself.

But I have also written my memoirs in a style that I hope will be compelling and sometimes shocking reads for anyone interested in memoirs with a twist, so that I can reach more people.

I really hope to encourage more celebrities to come out about BPD or other mental illnesses.

I am going to continue writing through fact and fiction storytelling, on the genre of Mental Health and life adversities – facing and combating adversity as the main point.

 

Amanda Green

Amanda Green's 'My Alien Self'

Amanda Green’s ‘My Alien Self’

Author of ‘My alien self – my journey back to me’ and the sequel ’39’

Blog www.amandagreenauthor.co.uk

Here I leave you my review of My Alien Self:

My Alien Self by Amanda Green. Memoirs, mental disorder and finding your path to recovery

I am a psychiatrist and as such I do have a professional (as well as a personal) interest in personal/first-hand accounts of mental illness (or disorder) and not only professional or text-book descriptions. Of course over the years I have heard many patients/clients/service-users (choose whichever you prefer, I won’t enter the heated debates on which is the best term to use) talking about their experiences, but those have been mostly in response to specific questions, rather than their own preferred expressions or commentaries, and mostly at times of crisis.

I have also read a number of more literary versions of mental illness (sometimes recommended by people I was working with, including patients, like Silvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’, others I’ve discovered myself when reading some of my favourite writers: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Crack-Up’ or Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway’). They are great works by fantastic writers and well-worth a read, even if the subject of mental health is not close to your heart.

What Ms. Green’s book provides is not only an account of a mental disorder sufferer (despite the diagnostic difficulties that as she observes plague the field), but a memoir of her life, her quest for finding her true self and the process of her re-discovery. And her life is far from boring. Travelling far and wide (across the UK, Spain, Japan, Australia, Borneo…), with interests as varied as the creation and management of websites, property development, Orangutan, the entertainment industry…dabbling in drugs and alcohol, complicated family relationships and a difficult love life, Ms. Green’s account is gripping stuff in its own right. And her writing expresses well the ups and downs and the subjective nature of the narration.

Having worked as a psychiatrist in the NHS (National Health Service in the UK, the same one the author seeks help from) I can see things from a professional perspective (and although the system tries hard to avoid the ‘us and them’ dichotomy it’s not easy). I fully understand why she might not have received more intense help before. Mental Health Services struggle to provide support and care for people who cannot cope even on a basic level and who present an immediate and major risk to self (people repeatedly attempting suicide, severe self-harm or severely neglecting themselves) or others (threatening to harm others or doing so) for lengthy periods of time. It is less than an ideal situation; the services are stretched to the limit and mostly dealing with crises, but that is a true reflection of affairs. There is hope that service-user led movements and the voluntary sector will help to fill in the gaps, but prioritising is difficult.

The nature and characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder with its difficulties in trusting people, impulsivity and inconsistent engagement (well reflected in ‘My Alien Self’) cause problems of its own not easily managed by the psychiatric services as they are currently set.

The author of ‘My Alien Self’ has managed to find herself, to create her own combination of therapies (learned over the years, including mindfulness, CBT, CAT, yoga, medication…) and more importantly she has had the courage to go through her life, collecting and reliving her experiences and having a hard look at her past, the most difficult part of any therapy.

‘My Alien Self’ is a book difficult to read for anybody with mental health issues and also for professionals, but precisely because of that it’s a book that needs to be read. I salute Ms. Green for her guts and congratulate her for her achievements. And I agree with her. It is a battle that has to be fought every day, but I’m sure she’ll win the war.

Buy ‘My Alien Self’ on Amazon www.viewBook.at/MyAlienSelf

 

Amanda Green's 39

Amanda Green’s 39

Buy ’39’ on Amazon www.viewBook.at/39

Twitter – @AmandaGreenUK

Facebook – AmandaGreenAuthor

Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15840188-my-alien-self

Facebook book page

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amanda-Green-My-Alien-Self-my-journey-back-to-me/268350159908283?fref=ts

Tips for self publishing memoirs:

http://amandagreenauthor.co.uk/tips-for-self-publishing-ebooks-and-writing-memoirs-from-my-experiences/

 

My top 10 writing tips:

http://amandagreenauthor.co.uk/my-top-ten-writing-tips-based-on-my-own-experience-and-learning-from-many-other-authors/

Thanks Amanda for sharing such valuable information with us and for the visit, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

Hi dear readers:

I bring you two reviews of two books I’ve read recently. I’ve given both of them 5 stars although they couldn’t be more different.

Have a look and see what you think:

lost angeles

Lost Angeles. Trip to the edge of self-destruction

I came across this novel in Goodreads. I followed with interest the author’s reviews of other works and his blog and I must admit I loved the title. It had been on my `to read’ list for a while, and I’m pleased to say that I finally found the time to read it and I’m very pleased I did.
Lost Angeles reads like a memoir, but not your standard memoir (if there is such a thing). The book follows the protagonist, Doug, a young and articulate man from Belfast, and his travels/adventures in Los   Angeles. Doug is not in Los Angeles to see the sights, although the does see many sights (some that none of us would wish to see). From the beginning you realise that he’s there with a mission. You don’t come to realise quite how determined he is to self-destruct until much later in the book. He drinks, takes drugs, engages in casual sex, and drifts from cheap accommodation to even cheaper digs (including the `Lost Angeles’ of the title that used to be a place for sex for sale) all the time meeting real people. Some idiots, some nice but misguided, some lost and looking, some also drifters.
The reasons for Doug’s trip are slowly revealed through interspersed chapters about his life back home (I’m a bit reluctant to call them flashbacks. They’re memories, but too long, detailed and elaborate to be what’s more generally understood as flashback). You quickly realise that he’s mourning the end of what seems to have been his most significant relationship, but later you realise that there is more to it than that, and come to care and empathise with Doug even more. Because if there’s something notable about the novel is that despite behaviour that many of us would neither approve of, not adhere to, we like Doug. He might drive us insane if we met him but…whilst embarked on his self-destructive path he tries his hardest to help others and to do no harm. By the end you’re rooting for him and hope that against all odds things will work out for him.
A very personal novel, I truly enjoyed Lost Angeles. This is a novel for adults and I’d recommend it to anybody who wants to read about real people coping with life, as best they can. I look forward to many more books by Mr Louden.

Links:

e-book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG5NS30/

Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1477563644/

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In the Reign of the Ilev by Mary Meddlemore. A dystopia that resonates.

I have had the pleasure of reading two of Mary Meddlemore’s works before. Mary Meddlemore is a character in Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story, one of the novels I have read and loved and has also adopted the writing credits for In the Reign of the Ilev and The Seventh Sheep, a collection of four of the most whimsical and magical short stories I’ve ever read. My previous experiences meant that I was really looking forward to Ilev and it did not disappoint, although it is a very different read.

Ilev is classified under the category of Young Adult Science-Fiction, although it would appeal to readers of any age. It is the story of Nina, and 18 y old girl how is one of the Chosen Four who have been the successful ones in going through a selection process from between 40 promising youths in the City. Now the Four had to go through the Final Test and only one will be the Champion. All the champions become rulers of the City and are in charge of the Master Computer. You’ll tell me ‘not another one of these stories of youths fighting amongst themselves to survive’. Well, not really. The test consists in their being dropped some distance from the City and returning to it. Whoever is the first, will be the new Champion. Nina is very confident, egotistical, and only interested in fame, success, material things and power. She does not tolerate weaknesses or flaws and even notices that the previous champions all seem defective in some way. She goes through a number of strange experiences that make her question her identity (children do not live with their families but are all brought up together) and her perception of reality (is she hallucinating or it is really happening? Does she have feelings for Daniel, one of the other Chosen ones, or is somebody interfering with her brain?). She discovers wonderful places and beings but also horrific happenings. All the things that she thought she knew and were certain are not, and that makes her question herself and become more human.

It’s difficult to empathise with Nina at the beginning of the novel, although from her description it seems that she is a product of the society where she grew up. By the end she becomes a true heroine, confronting the terrible truth destroying and deadening civilisation, and she brings forth a new order. There is a price to pay for the changes that take place, but there is hope for new beginnings.

How does Ilev compare to other dystopian novels of the genre? There is action; there are interesting characters, fantastic situations, a love (?) interest…and much more. Nina is an interesting narrator, not knowingly unreliable (she does not care enough about other people’s opinions to lie) although she becomes confused as to the nature of reality at points. She grows and changes throughout the novel and comes to appreciate the value of cooperation, of stories, of history, and of freedom. Winning is no longer the main goal and total power becomes clearly identified with evil. The City in Ilev is a terrible creation but not so far away from our daily lives and experiences. You can’t help but compare your life with that of the inhabitants of the City and wonder if it’s time to become a Chosen one and destroy the order that’s keeping people from really experiencing life and the universe. Given a chance, would you be a Nina?

This novel could be read as a straight adventure sci-fi novel (although somewhat more challenging that many), but it has a message, learning points and reflections that would satisfy more sophisticated readers. I can only say that I hope Mary Meddlemore (and the writer behind her) keeps writing. I’ll keep reading her. I hope you do too.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GXHI84/

Thanks for reading and if you’ve liked it, leave a comment, share, and of course, don’t forget to CLICK!

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