blog tours

Blog Tour: Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry.

unquiet souls
Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry

I’m delighted to host today’s stop on the blog tour for Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry. Not only does it look like an amazing book but I just love the topic that Liz has written about for If Only I Could Read Faster. ‘Writing and Depression’ is such an important topic, mental health affects one in four people so if you are lucky enough not to have mental health problems you no doubt know many people that do.

Writing and Depression

I’m a writer… and I struggle with depression, like so many people.   Struggling with the physical symptoms of depression:  lethargy, insomnia, panic attacks, agoraphobia disassociating, memory issues, lack of concentration all makes it difficult to write.  I’d struggled for years, having ideas for crime fiction novels and not being able to complete them.  Then a couple of years ago a major reassessment of my medication and the help of a fantastic counsellor made me think I could take more control of my life.  As I began to have some better days I started to write… and the more I wrote the more I realised that this is what I wanted to do.  Taking my daughter to an Open day at Leeds trinity University, I spotted a leaflet advertising their MA in Creative Writing.  I recognised the name of the main MA tutor (Martyn Bedford) – I’d read and loved one of his early books… a little seed was planted.

Eventually I applied for the course and, at interview, Martyn suggested I finish my first draft (It was close to completion anyway) and use the MA to ‘fine- tune’ it.  I was still unsure whether I’d be well enough to take on such a huge commitment, but I worked on steadily with my counsellor and was eventually able to commit.

For me starting the MA at such a lovely university with such amazing tutors and fantastic students was the best thing I ever did.  It wasn’t easy but I persevered with a lot of familial support and it got easier.  The focus and the perceptive workshopping helped me to raise my writing to the next level.   I’ve been lucky enough to get a two book deal with Bloodhound Books.  Unquiet Souls is newly released and I’m over the moon!

For me writing releases endorphins.  It makes me feel happier and that has a knock on effect in other areas.  Yes, I still get huge mood dips, panic attacks and anxiety; my concentration is limited and my memory is erratic, but, when I write, I try to accommodate this… and most of all I’m kind to myself.

If you suffer from depression writing is a great therapy… for me the biggest bonus is that I don’t need to leave the house if I don’t want to do it.

 

 

 

Unquiet Souls

by Liz Mistry

The first in a gritty crime thriller series based in West Yorkshire

                                                   featuring DI Gus McGuire.

Published by Bloodhound Books 30th July:

Kindle £1.99 and paperback £8.99

What is the link between the abduction of a little girl and a dead prostitute?

When the body of a prostitute is discovered DI Gus McGuire is handed the case. But what first appears to be a simple murder soon turns into an international manhunt for the members of a twisted child trafficking ring.

McGuire who is suffering with problems of his own, he must pick his way through the web of deceit and uncover the truth in time before the body count rises.

Can McGuire identify The Matchmaker before it’s too late? And can he trust those he is working with?

Unquiet Souls is the first book in a dark and compelling new police series.

Liz Mistry was born in West Calder, Scotland and educated at Stirling University before moving to Bradford for her PGCE, where she settled with her husband, Nilesh, her three children, Ravi, Kasi and Jimi and her two cats. Liz taught in Inner city Bradford schools for many years. Suffering from depression for many years, Liz used her writing to help her through the darkest times. She is currently part-way through an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University, which she acknowledges as being instrumental in developing her confidence as a writer. Liz is co-founder and main contributor to The Crime Warp Blog (http://thecrimewarp.blogspot.co.uk/ )

Liz is available to write articles on many subjects including; ‘Writing with depression’, ‘Why choose an MA in Creative Writing’, ‘Why crime fiction does it for me?’, ‘Creating a villain’, ‘The cross- genre nature of crime fiction’ … and more.

Contact her on:

Twitter @LizCrimeWarp

Facebook

Website https://lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.com/

Email lizbmistry@yahoo.co.uk

Bloodhound Books website: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/

If you struggle with depression or any other mental health problems then there is help out there. The charity Mind has a lot of helpful information. If you need someone to talk to urgently then you can call The Samaritans on 116123, free from any phone in the UK.

book review

When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

when she was bad
When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

It was a close call but I have given When She Was Bad 5*’s. And I will definitely be reading more by Tammy Cohen in the future.

‘This is my second Tammy Cohen book having read First One Missing last year which I thought was brilliantly written. I think that I have a new favourite author.

When She Was Bad has short chapters that are each told from a different point of view. At first I was a bit confused due to the number of different characters but it didn’t take long to get into the swing of it. One of the main characters is Anne, based in America Anne talks about working with a little girl who had been rescued from what the media have dubbed ‘the house of horrors’ many years ago. All the other characters are in the present and based in England. Little seemed to tie them together, but as the story unfolded the connection became clear.

Many times when reading When She Was Bad I thought that I’d worked it all out, at one point I was so sure I felt quite smug about it. Serves me right because Tammy Cohen had me guessing right until the end. Talking of the end I did feel that it was a little rushed which was a shame, I felt that a lot was smoothed over and not explained, but that didn’t stop it being a very clever piece of writing that I’m sure will keep most readers guessing right until the end.

It would also appear that Tammy Cohen has a bit of a ‘thing’ about sweat (you’ll know what I mean when you read it!), but also describes anxiety and insecurities that many people suffer from.

Thank you to the publishers for an ARC of When She Was Bad via Netgalley.’

When She Was Bad will be released on April 21st 2016 and is available for pre-order from Amazon UK here.

book review

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

beside myself
Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

I really wanted to like this book, it sounded interesting and I really like the cover. But in the end it’s too long and just didn’t really keep my interest. I’d be interested to hear what you felt if you’ve read it.

‘Beside Myself tells the story of identical twins Helen and Ellie. Helen is bright and happy, Ellie is seen as the ‘problem’ child. One day for a game they decide to swap clothes and see if they can trick people into believing that they’re the other twin. It’s a fun game…for a while, but when Helen wants to swap back Ellie refuses. No one will believe Helen as Ellie always told stories, they just think that she is making it up. Even their own mother (who quite frankly is one of the most unpleasant characters I’ve ever read about) just tells her to be quiet. And so Helen becomes Ellie and Ellie becomes Helen.

The story is told from the point of view of Ellie (who was Helen). each chapter swaps between present and past to tell the story of how Ellie ended up alone and bitter.

Mental health problems run through the book, which can only be a good thing as it raises awareness and understanding. The author manages to write about Ellie’s descent into madness well, showing the crazy thinking and behaviour that results. It is at times hard to read, but I think it is accurate.

So why am I only giving Beside Myself three stars? I did not like the flipping between past and present with each chapter. It seems to be a very trendy thing to do at the moment, and sometimes it works well but and sometimes it doesn’t. While the concept of the book was interesting, I felt that the book would have been much, much better at half the length. It just went on too long and too much happened that wasn’t quite believable. And some of the characters were just not realistic while others appeared briefly just to help fit the storyline at some point further on in the book.

If Beside Myself had been half the length I think that it would be a really good book. I’m giving it an extra star because I think that the mental health aspect of the book is well done, realistic and helpful to increase awareness of the manic highs and crashing lows experienced by people with bipolar. But with a few changes I think that Beside Myself could of been a much better book.

I was given a copy of Beside Myself by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

Beside Myself is available from Amazon UK