Blog Tour: Read an Extract from Time's Tide by Adrian Harvey @Ade_Harvey @UrbaneBooks @lovebooksgroup

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The new novel from the bestselling author of Being Someone and The Cursing Stone. 

A father and son struggle to overcome the distance between them. Each is drawn irresistibly to an unforgiving landscape, one that has been the scene of tragedy and loss.

The son's return to the northern shore he abandoned as a young man promises the chance to heal the rift. But is it too late?

Arni left his remote corner of Iceland as soon as he could, seeking opportunities beyond winter and fishing. Married to an English woman, he builds a life as a successful scientist but can never quite escape the pull of the West Fjords and bleak landscape of his birth, nor shake the guilt he feels towards his distant father.

When Eirikur goes missing, he sets off to find him on a windswept spit of land lost in an angry ocean.

Time's Tide is a compelling and beautifully written story of loss, belonging and the silence between fathers and sons.  

Extract:

2008

The blunt voices downstairs barely bubbled up through the carpet, but he sat listening for a moment or two in any case, deathly still so as not to dampen them further. The late spring sun cut into the bedroom, bringing with it the sound of songbirds chattering in the garden. A car’s engine rumbled to a halt somewhere in the Close. He thought he heard an aeroplane scraping across the sky.

The now dead phone still lay in his hand and Árni roused himself sufficiently to return it to its cradle. The sound of the duvet rustling beneath him, the bed grumbling at the shifting weight, the dull plasticity of the point where the handset met its base: all these erased the slow breathing of the world outside, made his immediate surroundings solid once more. He was wholly in Cambridge once again.

Blog Tour: The Inspiration behind A Letter From Sarah by Dan Proops @Dan_Proops @UrbaneBooks @LoveBooksGroup

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Adam's sister, Sarah, has been missing for seven years, but he hasn't given up hope of finding her. He is a sculptor and lives with his bedridden father who is a bully and a curmudgeon.

One morning, as the anniversary of Sarah's disappearance nears, Adam receives a letter from her and she is apparently alive and well, living in New York. Adam travels to Brooklyn to search for Sarah as he's desperate to see her, but she seems determined to avoid him.

Sarah's letters arrive weekly, but she continues to remain elusive. Adam is perplexed by Sarah's requests for secrecy, as is his father and his girlfriend, Cassandra.

He is determined to find her, whatever the cost to his wellbeing, health and sanity....  


Rating:

A Letter From Sarah

Summation

For seven years Adam has been tormented by the disappearance of his beloved sister Sarah. And then, with no warning he receives a letter from her. She refuses to meet but won’t explain why. Adam fears she’s in trouble and sets off to find her, but the harder he looks the more elusive she becomes.
Sarah’s is alive and well, living in Brooklyn and has a son, Oliver and a daughter, Maddie. Sarah describes her life, painted in vivid hues. Her letters arrive every week. The mystery of her avoidance troubles Adam, but undeterred he intends to seek her out. 


The Inspiration for the Novel

My new book has overarching themes of coping with loss, the experience of grief and the anxiety provoked when a loved one goes missing.

The writing of the text coincided with the breakdown of the relationship I had with my own sister, seven years ago. After being loving friends for forty years, the loss was devastating. Our lives are now separate, but she is still in my heart and mind.
A Letter From Sarah is not autobiographical in the strict sense, but I was inspired to write it after falling out with my only sibling.
Many of us have fallen out with a family member; sometimes the break in relations is irreparable and sometimes not. We have to accept that some relationships can never be repaired. Others, on the other hand, can be. And it’s a triumphant moment when we’re reunited with a sibling, parent, son or daughter.
Sometimes we fall out with a lifelong friend and this can be devastating. Our relationship’s define us, and we can end up blaming ourselves when they’re fractured. 
 If we want to find reparation, we have to dig deep within us and discover a good reason to get in touch, to repair the damage. If we can manage that, then we may discover the joy of renewed love for someone that we’ve cared for so much.


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Book Review: Are you the Fxxking Doctor by Liam Farrell @DrLFarrell @AnneCater #IrishMed

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‘General practice is the great unknown. We stand on the cusp of the beyond. Science takes us only so far, then the maps stop in the grey areas of intuition, imagination and feelings: here be dragons. Lurching from heart-breaking tragedy to high farce, we are the Renaissance men and women of medicine; our art is intangible. Anything can walk through our door…’

Family doctor, Irishman, musician, award-winning author, anarchist and recovering morphine addict, Liam became a columnist for the BMJ in 1994. He went on to write for many major publications, winning a series of prestigious awards; in 2005, he was the first doctor to win Columnist of the Year in the Periodical Publishers Association awards.

The book contains a selection of Liam’s best work, from his columns, blogs and short stories.Brilliantly funny, glittering with literary allusion and darkly wicked humour, this book is much more than a collection of stand-alone anecdotes and whimsical reflections, rather a compelling chronicle of the daily struggles – and personal costs – of a doctor at the coalface.


Review:

When Anne of Random Things Tours sent me an email about Are You the Fxxking Doctor? I accepted because, one, I love reading books about medicine and science, and two, I thought it would be light-hearted and funny. 

It was amusing in parts, but it also portrays, in Liam's words, "the cold and hard-earned truths of scientific medicine."

The first chapter is filled with "pain and guilt," describing his experience with injecting morphine. Liam had a fulfilling job and a loving wife, but he became a victim of the burnout we hear described by so many GPs now. My advice to a reader who picks up this book would be to persevere through the first chapter, even if you find the content offputting. Liam writes so beautifully that it would be a shame to miss the rest of the book just because of the subject at the start.

The rest of the book is told in a diary-like format, including articles Liam has written for various medical journals. I loved this format as it meant I could pick the book at times where I had only minutes to get through a few pages. If you're not someone who can dedicate hours each day to reading then this book is for you. 

I was particularly interested in his stories surrounding The Troubles. Irish readers and particularly those in Northern Ireland will really be able to connect with this chapter. One story describes how he treated a local farmer that he had known for years. He found James with a gunshot wound that had completely shattered his femur; a life-threatening injury. 

Liam describes being "irritated" rather than scared or upset when he pulls up to his practice in Crossmaglen one morning and hears gunshots. He continues as normal because, "when you're a doctor, you're a doctor." I really admire that kind of dedication and gumption! 

I really appreciated the dark humor in Are You the Fxxking Doctor as I had first-hand experience of how it can help when I worked as a veterinary nurse and dealt with a lot of abuse cases. I found Liam's frank and honest writing meant I could connect to each story, no matter how brief it was and I found myself nodding agreement with his thoughts and outlook on life. This book is authentic, human, and powerful and I can see myself returning to its pages time and time again.

Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tour and Liam Farrell for providing the book and having me on the tour.
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