Hello! Hope you’re all doing well. As you may know, Fix You was released in paperback in the UK this week, and I thought I’d do a quick post to show you what publication week looked like to me. And because a picture says a thousand words, I thought I’d let my camera do the talking…
1. Publication day – I wake up to find the living room full of Fix Yous!!
2. A box of paperbacks arrive – I *may* have kissed every one of them.
3. Here’s me looking kind of dorky
4. Then Heat magazine featured Fix You in their Valentine’s Day special
5. I was interviewed on BBC Essex to talk about the book
6. I also had my last day at work this week. I’ve left to concentrate on writing full-time. Yay!
7. And this is what I’ll be doing to celebrate on Friday night!
So that’s my week in a nutshell. Fix You is now available to buy in store at Tesco, Asda and WH Smith travel, and online in ebook at all good web stores.
And if you want to listen to my interview – here’s the link. I come in about halfway through the podcast (at around 2:10)
Today I’m delighted to welcome my fellow writer (and Leeds signing author) Grace Harper to my blog. Grace’s latest release is The Recovery of Catherine Brodie, the follow up to The Disappearance of Catherine Brodie. A dark and emotional read, these stories will grab you from the first page. Scroll down to read some more!
The Recovery of Catherine Brodie is the second book in the Catherine Brodie Chronicles.
A romantic suspense story chronicling Catherine’s life after she made a fatal mistake. The four books span a decade telling the story of how she comes to terms with her new life. The friends and enemies she makes along the way. Will she ever find absolution?
Book 1, The Disappearance of Catherine Brodie is at half price until 17th February, so if you want to start the series, now’s a good time. It’s available on all platforms.
The Introductory price for The Disappearance of Catherine Brodie is also at half price on all platforms, here are the links:
“…’Do you love me yet?’ Alex said, hoping the answer was yes…”
The Recovery of Catherine Brodie starts four years after Erin’s confrontation in the cellar of Green’s. Alexander Devlin wants his band to perform at Green’s and writes a begging email. Erin relents and says yes, even though it goes against all her rules.
Erin continues to put her past behind her, but like every bad penny, they always turn up.
Erin Brodie has made a success of her music venue and it’s the most sought after place in the country for non-signed artists to perform. Alexander Devlin is the guitarist from the rock band Fragile, they are at the top of their game and are just about to release their final album.
Erin drops her guard and so her courtship with Alex begins, but it comes at a price. Erin has enemies and, this time, they have upped their game. This time, her life is in jeopardy and it takes all of her friends to race to find her.
This time, they might just be too late…
To be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback (open internationally), sign up to my newsletter HERE to keep up to date with future releases and exclusive prizes. One winner will be picked from anyone who signed up between 1st February 2016 to 17th February 2016. Winners will be notified via the newsletter in March 2016. The host for this post is not responsible and neither is the social media platform, I am Grace Harper x
Grace Harper is a British author who loves to write about strong women and the friends and lovers who make them stronger. She adores writing steamy scenes of first encounters and there is always a little twist along the way.
When Grace is not writing, she can be found mooching about in stationery stores, dreaming up tattoo designs or teasing her friends until everyone is in fits of giggles. Grace might have a Maltesers addiction but is not ready to stand up and own that just yet.
If you want to get in touch, please do, Grace is pretty laid back and friendly.
Today I’m featured on a blog tour that’s very close to my heart. Raising money for the MIND charity, the ‘They Say I’m Doing Well’ tour features a number of authors who are working together to raise awareness about mental health problems. I am privileged to be among this group.
According to statistics, in the UK in 2015 around 10% of the population suffered from either depression or anxiety. Sadly, I was one of those 10% last year. Read below to hear more of my story, and make sure you hop over to the ‘They Say I’m Doing Well’ site to read more posts.
Stress strɛs/ – a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
Stress can be the most destructive of forces. Metal buckles beneath it. Walls crack, houses crumble, people disintegrate. When it hits you, it’s almost impossible to evade, and I’ve found that it always seems to come at the moment you’re least ready for it.
In my day job I see the effects of stress on a weekly basis. I’ve watched it turn distinguished, strong men into frightened children, and experienced the way it can spin peoples’ world on an axis. In its most iniquitous form it can cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a dreadful affliction where people can be triggered back to that moment of fear, experiencing it over and over again.
Though I’ve seen it first hand, it wasn’t until early last year that I felt the full-blown effects of stress. That’s when I began to suffer from anxiety attacks, sleeplessness and severe reactions to triggers. Combined with depression, stress can cause you to stop functioning, and that’s exactly what happened to me. My entire life went into fight or flight mode.
The simplest things could cause my heart palpitations and breathlessness; images on television, a certain song, or even sleep. So I began to avoid sleeping, laying in bed frightened to let my eyes close, because I knew I’d wake up to a speeding heart and a lump in my throat that made it impossible to take in air. But it was a self-defeating gesture, because my lack of sleep only served to heighten the tension, making me even less able to fight off the anxiety attacks, and ensuring that I was regularly caught in a negative thought cycle, where I came to believe that my depression and anxiety were my fault.
Somehow, I managed to get some help. I found an amazing counselor who worked with me on two levels. Firstly to deal with the effects of the anxiety, and secondly to deal with the underlying causes. She introduced me to Mindfulness – a useful tool to help you deal with negative thoughts and being hung up on the past. Mindfulness, according to the dictionary, is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Through this I discovered there are a large number of Mindfulness Podcasts out there—many available for free—and I listen to these and use the techniques on a daily basis.
I am one of the lucky ones. In the UK, counseling is hard to come by on the NHS, and private sessions can run upwards from £40 per hour. Stress and Depression are hugely destructive to individuals and families, but unless you have available cash, it’s hard to find a way to get the therapy needed to deal with them. As I discovered, by their nature, mental illnesses are difficult to deal with on your own. Having a trained person to lead you through the path of healing is necessary, and unfortunately so many people don’t have access to this kind of help.
Considering stress is now the number one reason for long-term absence from work, it’s hard to believe why treatments are so under-funded. The sad fact is, that unless you are either rich, have a wonderfully tenacious GP or have a job where you get benefits such as medical care, you’ll think you have to deal with stress and depression on your own.
Except you’re not alone. Once I was on the road to recovery I discovered an amazing plethora of help online. From support boards, to blogs to practitioners willing to offer pro-bono advice, I discovered that help is only a Google search away. By being honest about my issues, and seeking out those who are going through something similar, I’ve found healing. I’ve also found friendship and encouragement.
One of the most important things to understand if you’re going through something similar is that you don’t have to do this on your own. Even if you haven’t yet suffered from depression or anxiety yourself, reach out to those who have. A kind word, a smile, or the results of a Google search could go a long way to making the world a better place.
They say I’m doing well. I’m now in recovery (I don’t think anybody is truly cured). But I’m more aware of myself and my triggers than ever, and if I feel myself getting low, I’m sure to let my husband or my family know. I still practice Mindfulness—it’s something I think I’ll always do—and I’m very grateful to be alive and well in this beautiful world. But I’m also aware that so many more people than ever are out there suffering, and if that’s you, I promise, you aren’t alone.
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two. http://www.carrieelks.com