#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay @amateuradam #nonfiction #medical #diary

I’ve joined a Book Group, have I told you that already? I have absolutely no recollection of what I’ve said where anymore so apologies if that is old news. Anyway, I have and I will be sharing most of those reads with you here. I say most as I got off to a rather inauspicious start with the first one and haven’t quite worked out what to say about that yet. However, roll on to month two and the chosen book, This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay.

This book has plenty of reviews already, is a bestseller and is high, if not actually number 1, in the rankings, at least in the UK. For obvious reasons, mostly because of it being set in the NHS, it is not quite as popular in the US. It doesn’t need my review but actually I’m still making the effort because for me this book corrected an assumption I’d made, and opened my eyes up to the view from a doctor’s perspective on the bloody trenches he served in within the NHS.

I really enjoyed Kay’s writing and because it was set out as diary entries it made the book a quick read. I liked the footnotes, sometimes funny, or a casual aside, sometimes imparting useful information, so there was an element of learning in there too.

I mentioned an assumption above, which was that I thought doctors were highly paid. This is based purely on the fact that when I was horrified about the amount of debt my son was going to rack up, when he was considering pursuing a career in medicine, I was told that doctors were usually the first to pay back their student loans because their wages were so high. From this book that appears not to be the case.

Adam Kay came across to me as a conscientious, hardworking and dedicated doctor (if a slightly sarcastic one, his words, not mine, and I am a fan of sarcasm) and it is to the shame of the NHS that he is not still practising. However, medicine’s loss is comedy’s gain, I guess.

I understand that medicine is a vocation, but it shouldn’t mean that those that follow that path should be taken advantage of by being worked into the ground, with time off cancelled on a whim and regular unpaid overtime, a knock on effect being strained friendships and ruined relationships.

I felt this book highlighted so many issues that are wrong in the NHS – the fact that wards are underequipped, shifts inadequately staffed, and I was staggered by the seemingly complete lack of support for all the employees. In fact, if anything the management appeared to make life as difficult as possible for them every day – no free parking and beds removed from on-call rooms just a couple of examples.

How on earth can you expect people to work a 97-hour week and still function correctly? And yet this is absolutely what is happening week in and week out to people who are dealing with life and death situations every day. Of course mistakes are going to be made.

This book is funny, in places, darkly funny you might say, gallows humour I think Kay calls it at one point. I like that kind of funny and it’s just as well it had those moments because when the heartbreak comes it really hits hard.

Why is it that it is so difficult to get things right at a grassroots level in the NHS? Look after the talent by giving them the right equipment, the right support and a decent work life balance. It’s as simple as that. The doctors are there, surely, medicine is incredibly competitive to get into so the universities are presumably churning out doctors at the other end, but if the NHS continues to use and abuse the staff as something akin to cannon fodder is it any wonder there is a staffing crisis.

My bet is that if Kay had been supported adequately in the first place and was not already utterly and completely mentally overwhelmed, then, when he faced a heartbreakingly tragic outcome on just another day for him at this particular coal face he would probably still be practising medicine. Like I said before, medicine’s loss.

I love the NHS, I feel it is something to be cherished and nurtured. I have met many fabulous people who work in it and I hope that this book is read as widely as possible to enlighten those, like me, who have tended to take it for granted and for others, ooh I don’t know, perhaps those in management, maybe even in Government, to take a long hard look at what they are doing and what needs to be done, to make the massive improvements that are needed to the working conditions.

An excellent read, I recommend it to everyone not of a nervous disposition. 

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Georgia’s #Paperback #Giveaway has started! #EntertoWin the paperback of your choice.

I have set up a new giveaway on this site for all those who prefer paperbacks to ebooks!

No purchase necessary. International entry.

Please note that when you have entered you will get an email with a link in it to confirm the entry. Also you will get another link in that email to take you back to the giveaway so you get the opportunity to share it and gain yourself extra entries in the draw. The sharing needs to be done in the actual giveaway box itself.

In the past there have been a couple of occasions when for unfathomable reasons the email address entered has not been accepted – I don’t know why and I’m unable to add your address in manually. I’m really sorry about that but I will be running my BIG giveaway later this year using a different program and there will be no problem with addresses on that one.

Check out all the rules by clicking on that link in green below the entry box as that will take you to the full giveaway page.

Good Luck!

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for #shortstory The Cleansing by Anton Eine @AntonEine #RBRT #sciencefiction #scifi

I chose to read The Cleansing, a short story by Anton Eine, as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but this does not alter my review in anyway.

An outsiders view of our world makes for interesting reading, and this is what this story is all about. Only 18 pages long the story is told from the viewpoint of the occupants of some sort of spacecraft whose mission appears to be to cleanse planets of inhabitants that these occupants consider to be debris.

Much in this tale was of interest to me. The fact that it is entirely written as dialogue between two individuals, with not one dialogue tag. And that I found myself smiling on occasion as I recognised descriptions contained in the data received about our world that clearly perplexed the onlookers. When you look at it from their point of view, yes, it is all a little baffling.

“I don’t even understand the point of them saving all these banal moments from individuals’ day-to-day lives. It seems pointless.”

So true. Anyway, this is an enjoyable, if short, tale and I note it is a translation, from what I’m not sure… maybe not a language currently on this planet? Recommended for a quick read.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Power Play by E J Greenway @emsie1979 #politics #politicalnovel

I have been meaning to get back to the second book in this series, Power Play, for an incredibly long time. Still, better late than never, eh! As I said in my review for the first book, Party Games, I’m not a fan of politics but written well before Brexit (and all the horrors that has brought) was a twinkle in someone’s eye reading this novel now comes with something akin to fond nostalgia. Oh, how innocent and naïve we all were way back then.

I am just going to say right at the outset that I loved reading this book. There is so much going on in it, leadership battles, plotting, affairs, back-stabbing, scheming, family rifts, death, birth and everything in between. Really it’s everything you would expect in a story about politics and so much more. The characters are very well-drawn. the pacing terrific, the writing excellent.

As you can probably tell I heartily recommend this energetic and incredibly entertaining novel. It’s for anyone who enjoys a well told story.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for #shortstory Call Drops by John F Leonard @john_f_leonard #mystery #horror #RBRT

I chose to read Call Drops, a short story, by John F Leonard as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team and received a copy direct from the author. This does not alter my review in any way.

Call Drops is the story of Vincent Preece, a self-made man, who now in retirement has everything he could want for materially but is bored and lonely, his wife and daughter having left him long ago.

Vincent loves browsing for second-hand stuff and one day at a car boot sale he finds a mobile phone, a very special one and one like nothing Vincent has ever seen before. And he knows his phones, they were how he made his fortune.

Thinking it had nothing more than an aesthetic beauty to offer he bought it and took it home. Shocked when first it rang. Trilling like an antique. The message he received was equally shocking but essentially good news, or would be eventually, for Vincent at least. The second call… well, that was something entirely different…

I love the way Leonard writes, it’s as simple as that. Although in shorter form it reminds me of one of my favourite authors, Mark Barry. Descriptions are sparse and yet luscious, Vincent, and his life, captured in every carefully chosen word. I’m a fan of short stories anyway and at the moment they are mostly all I can read so if you’re a fan too, and even if you’re not, give this a go, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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Retro-fitted #bookreview for What it Takes by Terry Tyler @TerryTyler4 for #TuesdayBookBlog #romance #suspense #familylife

When I started this writing caper I decided to review everything I read. I posted those reviews to Amazon in the UK and US (you could in those days without having to spend $50 with them first! #JustSaying!) and Goodreads. It didn’t cross my mind to post them on my blog… duh! As I’m aiming to stick to a blogging schedule – oh, how we laughed! – and as I read desperately slowly I shall add in these retro-fitted book reviews when I don’t have a current one to post.

What it Takes

Highly enjoyable though heartbreaking at times the realistic storyline in What it Takes has enough twists and turns in it to hold your interest. It also keeps you guessing as I couldn’t be sure where the story was going to go next and it had a satisfying ending – what more could you want. I loved the way the story was written from the point of view of several well developed characters and in fact everything about Tyler’s style of writing. I’m already looking forward to reading more of her work and would recommend this book to all who like to read something unpredictable.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for #shortstory Doggem by John F Leonard @john_f_leonard #fantasy #RBRT

Doggem, is a short story from John F Leonard and is a tale of a toy dog and dark deeds. I chose to read this as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and received a copy from the author but that has not effected my review in any way.

In a bid to encourage literacy Mrs Snady encourages the pupils in her primary class to take the class toy dog, uninspiringly called Doggem, home for a week at a time. The child who has him in their possession is meant to document his time in their care. George Gould, age 5, is chosen to take him home for the whole of the summer holidays.

George’s parents, Cath and Tom, are taking him, and Doggem, to stay with his grandmother in her cottage in Jordemain Wood. However, it is clear that all is not well with the relationship between his parents and the grandmother, but she has asked to see her grandchild so the trip is on.

And this is where the story takes a darker turn as while Cath and Tom cook up a plan, a level of perception has been brought to Doggem by George’s abilities which, while hidden from his parents, have been spotted from afar by his grandmother.

Doggem gets to see and hear things he probably shouldn’t because no one suspects a toy dog and after what happens in the holidays things take an even more sinister turn when Doggem returns to school and life gets creepy for Mrs Snady as his powers increase.

This short story is very well written, thoroughly enjoyable and I’d highly recommend it to everyone who wants a fairly quick read. Excellent!

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The Audio Book version of Parallel Lies is now live! #audiobook #audible #iTunes #FindawayVoices #playster #scribd #estories

I am delighted to finally be able to share the news with you that Parallel Lies is now available as an audio book. Yay! Before I tell you about how you can get to listen to it for free though, let me introduce you to the narrator, Henri Merriam. Although I have distributed Parallel Lies via Findaway Voices I found the narrator myself. She is local to me, only a village away actually and we met via one of my Three Shires Publishing clients.

Henri Merriam

Henri is an actor and has done a terrific job of producing this audio book for me. As you can see from her page on Spotlight she is also a woman of many talents!

It is difficult to simply hand over your book to someone, ask them to narrate it and expect to enjoy the end result. But I did not have the time to micro-manage the production so I was delighted when Henri took on all the responsibility of the organisation and I am also truly delighted with the result. To be honest I gave her very little direction at all but she read Parallel Lies first and I think she has done a brilliant job with the voices of the characters.

I would love to hear what you think.

Here is a little taster for you…

As I said above I have distributed this audio book via Findaway Voices and it takes a while to roll out to all the platforms but so far it is on Audible (links via Amazon below, or direct), Apple iTunes, Estories, Scribd, Playster, Kobo, Audiobooks and Google. Others will be following like Storytel and I will add those links as I get them.

Amazon UK Audio Amazon US Audio

Audible

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/parallel-lies-you-think-you-know-me/id1448914574?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Estories: https://www.estories.com/audiobook/257003

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/395781064/Parallel-Lies-You-think-you-know-me

Playster: https://play.playster.com/audiobooks/1001800000001001244/parallel-lies-georgia-rose

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Georgia_Rose_Parallel_Lies?id=AQAAAEBMJTFlbM&hl=en

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/parallel-lies-13

Audiobooks.com: https://www.audiobooks.com/audiobook/parallel-lies-you-think-you-know-me/367627

So, you can go and buy it in all of these places but how do you get to listen to it for free? Well, if you don’t already have an account with Audible you can set one up (via Amazon or direct with Audible) and listen to it for free with a 30 day trial.

Alternatively, and I’m really sorry for my readers/listeners elsewhere, but this is only for those in the US and Canada, I have some giveaway codes that I’m happy to send out to you if you email me on info@georgiarosebooks.com. These will be given out on a first come first served basis and the details for their usage are as follows.

As soon as you, the recipient of the Giveaway Code, redeems the code at Authors Direct website, you’ll be able to listen to your audiobook on Findaway’s free Authors Direct mobile app.

Here are a couple of considerations if you would like to put one of these Giveaway Codes to use:

  • Authors Direct is currently only available for users in the United States and Canada on iOS and Android (non-Kindle) mobile devices.  We cannot support direct MP3 download, playback via desktop computers, etc.
  • The following retailers will allow your listeners to leave a review without having bought the book there: Apple, Google, Amazon (but not Audible), Kobo, Scribd (with free trial) and Downpour, in addition to standard review sites like Goodreads.

And this is my big ask I guess. Please, if you listen to my little book, Parallel Lies, in whatever way, firstly, thank you, and secondly, would you consider leaving a review for it? You don’t have to say much, just how it made you feel. Reviews are really important as they help other readers/listeners decide whether or not to pick up this book.

Reviews can be left on all the places above or on Goodreads.

Thank you, and happy listening!

Georgia xx

Posted in Giveaways!, New Release, Writing and Sharing | 10 Comments

#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sims – The struggles of an exasperated mum

Why Mummy Swears was given to me by someone special as a Christmas present and is a really fun read. Written in the the form of a diary it tells of the hectic life of Ellen as she attempts to combine family life and motherhood along with going back to work now her children are old enough.

I have to admit that I am a little passed the stage of life that Ellen is doing battle with, but that didn’t matter, as it brought back many memories of what life was like way back then. All that juggling; family, children, dog, school, as well as the demands of the PTA (shudder…) and all while trying to present yourself as a functioning adult in a new job.

If you don’t like bad language don’t get this as the clue is in the title. But otherwise this has laugh out loud moments in it, as well as many only to recognisable family situations, all written with the honesty the freedom of a diary gives you. Recommended for all those seeking a good fun read.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst #psychologicalthriller

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst is a book I borrowed from the mobile library. This psychological thriller tells the story from the points of view of close friends Karen, Bea, Eleanor and one other unnamed character.

Karen is a psychiatrist and sees her role as a friend who fixes problems. A new client, Jessica, turns up one day who knows things about Karen, her life and her friends, which unsettles Karen who wonders if she should have let her in.

Okay, I don’t want to give anything away so I will tread carefully, which probably means I can’t say too much so will say how it made me feel instead. I liked the writing and the combination of friends with their different lives and problems. I thought it was well plotted and I enjoyed the way the story unravelled but I just wasn’t as gripped by it as I’d hoped I’d be, or as clearly a lot of other readers are. I’d still recommend it though. Those who like psychological thrillers should certainly give it a go.

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