Monday, September 25, 2017

Social Anxiety - Author Interview and Review

If you've been following (😀 ), you'll know how delighted I am that in February  2018 Crooked Cat Books are going to publish my next book.

My fellow "Cat", Miriam Drori, has come along today to tell us about her new book Social Anxiety Revealed. You know, so many of us suffer from social anxiety and perhaps aren't quite aware of it. Let Miriam tell us all about it. (My review of the book follows at the end).

Welcome Miriam!

Hello, Sue, and thank you so much for having me on your delightful blog.

Congratulations on the publication of your new book, Miriam. What, to you, is Social Anxiety?

There are several definitions out there. I like to define it as a fear of people, especially of what those people think of “the sufferer.” People who have social anxiety are particularly afraid of rejection and negative judgement by others. They also suffer from low self-esteem.

Why did you write the book?

     Social anxiety is very common yet little known. If someone who doesn’t know about it encounters someone with it, they’re likely to draw the wrong conclusions about them. For instance, they might think the person is lazy or standoffish. They might think that person doesn’t want to talk when, in reality, they want to talk but feel unable to.

Not all sufferers of social anxiety are aware of the name or even that the condition exists. This means that they feel alone with their problems when they don’t have to. It also means that they don’t have access to advice or therapy.

These are some of the reasons why I wrote the book. I believe social anxiety should be much better known and understood.


I think Social Anxiety Revealed is a book that should appeal to everyone, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Do you agree?

Oh, yes! It’s not a self-help book, although there are some tips in it. It’s intended for those who have it and those who don’t. Nearly everyone will know someone who displays symptoms of social anxiety. The book will help those people to understand and possibly offer guidance.

I think teachers, in particular, ought to know about the condition. Social anxiety usually appears in adolescence and that’s the best time to deal with it – before the behaviours it causes become ingrained.

There are so many myths surrounding the condition. Can you bust at least one of them?

Here’s one that shocked me when I first heard it. We were talking about a guy who was very quiet and who showed signs of fear when he did talk. She said (not knowing anything about me), “You don’t have to worry about him; he chose to be like that.”

I couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone choose to have anxiety? Why would anyone choose to have such a debilitating condition – one that makes it so hard to find a job, to have friends and relationships, to have a good time?

But that’s what she believed, and I’m sure she wasn’t alone in that.

Since then, this is one of the messages I’ve tried to emphasise. I even created a picture with the slogan

Tell us about other books that you’ve written.

Neither Here Nor There is a romance set in Jerusalem. The hero is a new immigrant from Britain, a little shy and still trying to find his way in a new country. The heroine grew up in an ultra-orthodox community. Normally the two wouldn’t have met, but she has just decided to leave her family and everyone she has known up to now. She has no idea how hard this will be for her.

The Women Friends: Selina is a joint venture with Emma Rose Millar. It’s based on Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece: The Women Friends, and is the first of a series of novellas, each of which follows the life of one of Klimt’s models.

Tell us something about yourself. You live in Israel, don’t you? How long have you lived there?

I was born and raised in London. School life, for me, was not good, because I was bullied throughout and that’s what led to my contracting social anxiety. That’s not why I left the UK, but it’s one of the reasons why I’m glad I left, although I love to go back for visits.

I’ve lived in Israel for over forty years, most of them in Jerusalem. I’m married with three grown-up children and previously worked in IT – first as a programmer and later as a technical writer.

I discovered the term social anxiety fifteen years ago, via a friend from school (I can call her a friend now) after we got back in contact via email. For thirty-five years before that, I suffered from it but didn’t know the term. I hope my book will help to prevent that happening to others.

Click to buy from Amazon

My review of Social Anxiety Revealed:

There is just so much in this book that rings true for me and I found myself announcing, "that's exactly right!" as I read. It's amazing how little is really known about the condition and just how many myths surround it. Social Anxiety Revealed not only explains what it is but also gives extremely helpful tips on how to overcome the symptoms. Professionals and sufferers alike will find much of interest in this well-written, no-nonsense book which I thoroughly recommend for everyone--even for those who don't have the condition because it'll help them understand those that do.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Reviews

My blog is destined for writers and readers. I write about publishing and writing, but I mostly post books reviews - with author interviews if possible.

I'm an avid reader, probably getting through two to three books a week. You'll notice that my book reviews are either four star or five star and the reason for that is: I only post reviews that are of that category in my opinion.

I also read many books I don't like but I just see no point in reviewing them by giving them a two or three star review. Some may say that the author would benefit from constructive criticism, but I have my reasons for not reviewing them: 

  • The author spent a long time with much hard work producing that novel;
  • maybe I'm not in the mood for that kind of book (that has happened so often - I've stopped reading a book half-way through because I couldn't be bothered with it and then picked it up again later, perhaps a year or two even, and adored it); 
  • my reading skills might not be working all that well at the time, perhaps through stress.

So, if you think I give four/five stars to every book I read you are sadly mistaken. Any book I'm not fond of will not appear on this blog.

Just to make it clear :-) 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Best Announcement an Author can Make

I am just so happy to announce that Crooked Cat Books (here) are going to publish my new book "Forever Autumn" in February 2018.

This will be my second book set in Portugal - the first, Rising Tide, (here) was set in the little-known region between Lisbon and the Algarve called The Alentejo.

I am extremely happy that Crooked Cat Books have signed me on as one of their authors as I've always enjoyed the books they publish. AND TODAY!!! All their books are on offer on the Amazons at 99p or 99$ - just go to Amazon and search for "Crooked Cat Books" and choose from dozens of books.

"Forever Autumn" is set in the forests just outside Lisbon ... but, as the time gets nearer to publication, I'll let you know more.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Bones of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory - Review

Click to buy from Amazon 
If you've been keeping up, which I know you have, you'll have seen Elin Gregory's post on here when her new book, The Bones of Our Fathers, was released.

I've read it now and how I enjoyed it! Here's my review:

There is something about Elin Gregory's writing that when a new book comes out you feel like an old friend has come to visit. I adored Alike As Two Bees, On a Lee Shore, Eleventh Hour and others. Ms Gregory's prose is so easy to read (I bet it's difficult to write) and her characters are memorable and mostly loveable (I still dream of Kit and Griff). Her new novel, The Bones of Our Fathers, is set in a small town on the Welsh border. It has a small, rather unkept museum and it is here that lovely Mal Bright comes as curator. He's also an archaeologist. The town is cosy with the requisite pub where Mal meets brawny, sexy...and gay...Rob Escley-who drives a digger (oh that digger!). 
As in her other books, the author has created wonderful main characters as well as those backing them up.
The scene where Rob tries to pull the wool over Mal's eyes with a handful of fossils and grit is unforgettable (as is the digger scene, but I won't go into that). The pair are playful, sexy and ideal for each other (despite both having faults and coming from wildly different backgrounds). All seems well until an old chest is found with the bones of two men in it (hence the title). From being a museum largely ignored by the "bigwigs", it now becomes the centre of attention. And so does the village.
There are so many obstacles for our heroes to overcome and this keeps the reader wanting to read on. Another success from Elin Gregory and, once again, I'm calling for more!


Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.

Buy Links:

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Release Day - Bones of our Fathers by Elin Gregory

Hello everyone! The lovely, beautiful, Welsh (I think she's Welsh - she lives there!) maid ELIN GREGORY is here today with her new book "Bones of our Fathers".
I have read every one of Elin's books. And I have loved them from her very debut. She has a sympathetic style of writing and by that I mean the reader just falls in love with the characters immediately, be they good or bad. And, truth to tell, I never want the books to end. 

Elin  has such an enviable writing style which is easy to read and yet can pack a punch. Every book (and I adored "On A Lea Shore", "Eleventh Hour" etc., etc.) is a perfect read and I say that honestly.

Right. Let's get down to Elin's new book, "The Bones of Our Fathers". I read this as a draft so won't do a proper review until I've read the final version. But the draft knocked me away: typical Elin Gregory's wonderful, flowing prose and delightful characters (even the badass). Now, every book she gets published will have a mug like the one on the cover (above) but with a different message. Let me give you a hint for an alternative message to this one: Museum Curators do it in JCBs (wink).

Over to Elin:

The Bones of Our Fathers
By Elin Gregory
Available 1st August 2017 from Manifold Press
Approx 79,500 words
ISBN  9781908312549


Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.

Buy Links:


As Mal trotted down the narrow stairs from the attic to the lower landing it suddenly occurred to him who might have been making Betty giggle and who she might trust enough to let them loose on the upper corridors of the museum. So he wasn’t altogether surprised to glimpse a yellow hard hat through the wrought iron of the bannisters.

“Hey.” Mal leaned over the rail and grinned as Rob looked up at him. “Didn’t think I’d see you again so soon. No pool table but I can make you a coffee.”

Rob gave him a beaming smile. “Tea and you’re on,” he said and followed Mal into the little room they had set aside as a staff kitchen.

Mal took a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last Thursday, didn’t I? It was good fun.”

“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt—Mal could see the “-oun-arm-lu” of “Young Farmer’s Club” and a bit of a bull logo—and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. Here was a man who knew exactly what he wanted and was confident of getting it.

And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought.

The kettle whistled and Mal poured the boiling water into the mugs, soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.

“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.

“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”

Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.

“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”

Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

Mal just smiled his agreement. “Come through to my office,” he suggested.

Elin's bio:

Logo by Catherine Dair

Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and has been making stuff up since she learned to talk. Writing has always had to take second place to work and family but, slowly, she is finishing the many novels on her hard drive and actually trying to do something useful with them.
Historical subjects predominate. She has written about ancient Greek sculptors, 18th century seafarers but also about modern men who change shape at will and how echoes of the past can be heard in the present. Heroes tend to be hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow.
There are always new works on the go and she is currently writing more 1930s spies, adding to a series of contemporary romances and doing background reading for stories set in Roman Britain and in WW2.