Where Does It Hurt? – a memoir of life with chronic pain by Tim Atkinson #authorguestpost @dotterel

Where Does It Hurt? written and self-published by Tim Atkinson is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Tim’s first-hand account of what it’s like to live with chronic pain has been called “A very special book that occupies a category all of its own”;  “A chronic pain-thriller-page-turner” and “A thoroughly fabulous book that I could not put down!” Someone also cheekily suggested that ‘Where Does it Hurt?’ was “Like Geoff Dyer, but with something important and interesting to say”! What it does say is how strange pain can be, how little understood it is and how the opioids taken to kill it might actually be making it worse. But that’s not all. The more you understand how the brain processes pain the more you realise that other things you take for granted aren’t as straightforward as they seem… and that pain can even be a pleasure for some people.

Here’s a link to the book on Amazon: 

I am delighted to share a guest post from the author, Tim Atkinson, to tell us a little about his book:

‘Where Does It Hurt?’ is a book about pain: my own long-term pain, the pain that comes with swollen, damaged and deformed joints. I suffer from inflammatory arthritis and although I’m something of a medical ostrich, I’ve been inspired to write this book by what I’ve discovered, by the people I’ve met and by some exciting new ideas about pain.
Pain protects us from harm; that’s what it’s for — to tell you to take your hand out of the fire. But chronic pain – the so-called ‘silent epidemic’ that affects over two fifths of the UK population – is almost always counter-productive. Pain like this is something our bodies learn to feel, and the feelings can continue long after the initial cause has passed. Phantom limb pain is the obvious example. Some patients feel all sorts of sensations – including pain – from limbs they no longer have, and that’s just one of many strange facts about pain I’ve discovered – facts that have helped me come to terms with my own pain and begin to develop strategies to help me cope. Because knowledge is power and there’s nothing worse than feeling helpless in the face of pain. Understanding your pain and what it means can help you deal with it. Our brains ‘learn’ to feel pain and can just as easily unlearn it, too. It’s a habit we can break; it isn’t easy, but it can be done. And it’s done by doing something, anything (almost) as long as it’s something we believe can help. In fact it’s possible to train your mind to do what pain- killing drugs do all the time, making the unbearable, bearable or even invisible. In talking to a number of experts across a range of disciplines and trying alternative remedies from yoga to acupuncture, I come to the conclusion that the key to managing chronic pain isn’t necessary what you do as much as doing something; it’s about taking back control. I’m sharing my own journey of discovery in the hope that it’ll help others understand pain better and perhaps approach it in a new way. After all, as Morgan Harper Nichols says: “Tell the story of the mountain you climbed, your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.”

About the Author

Tim Atkinson is a teacher, author and award-winning blogger. He was born in Colchester, brought up in Yorkshire and now lives with his wife and family in Lincolnshire. Having studied philosophy at the University of Hull he worked at a variety of jobs including filing clerk, lay-clerk, chain-man and school teacher. He has taught philosophy at a boys’ grammar school and psychology at a girls’ high school and is now a full-time writer. For the past five years he has been researching and writing a book about the aftermath of World War One called The Glorious Dead. A special hardback subscription edition of this book was published by Unbound in November 2018 after which the trade edition was released to the general public

Website: https://www.timatkinson.info/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTimAtkinson/

Twitter: @dotterel


Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds by Nick Albert @Nickalbertautho @rararesources #blogtour #bookextract #memoir

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds written by Nick Albert, publisher Ant Press, is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited, audiobook and paperback format.

Book Blurb
Nick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good, the air sweet, with space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they had never visited. As their adventure began to unfold, not everything went according to plan. If finding their dream house was difficult, buying it seemed almost impossible. How would they cope with banks that didn’t want customers, builders who didn’t need work, or the complex issue of where to buy some chickens?

Purchase Links –
Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075NY9BNN/
Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1977611605
Audible: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1977611605
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075NY9BNN/
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977611605
Audible: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977611605

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Nick Albert’s debut novel: Fresh Eggs & Dog Beds.  I have the pleasure of sharing an extract.

An exclusive excerpt from Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds book 1 for Kraftireader.

This scene occurred a few days after we moved to our new home in Ireland. It involves our little Lhasa Apso dog Romany.

Shortly after moving into Glenmadrie, we realised there was a problem with our drains. The water flowed slowly from the bath and sinks, and there was a pervading smell of bad eggs whenever we ran a tap. I soon figured out there was a blockage somewhere in the confusion of old drainpipes that took the wastewater from the bathroom, via the kitchen sink, and out through the wall towards the cesspit.
Even though I had plans to replace the pipework as a part of the renovations, that task was still many months away and in the meantime, we needed to get rid of the blockage. A drain auger would not work as the pipe was 40 feet long with several branches. We had tried using a toilet plunger without success, and even the strongest drain cleaning chemicals had done nothing more than add to the smell. However, a little research and a trip to the hardware superstore in Limerick resulted in me purchasing an air-bust drain cleaner. This handy toy is a tall can of compressed air, with an attachment rather like a sink plunger, which sends a rapid blast of carbon dioxide gas down the drain, instantly clearing any obstruction. To ensure the gas drives the blockage safely outside, and not back up the nearest sink, all intermediate plugholes and overflows must be firmly sealed before letting fly with the explosive blast.
Early the next morning, Lesley and I began preparations for our drain clearing extravaganza. It was a lovely morning, warm and sunny, so Romany soon lost interest in what we were doing. In an effort to keep out from under our feet, she wandered off into the garden to do some sunbathing.
With a little twisting, a skinned knuckle, and the careful application of some swear words, I removed the downwards section of the outside drainpipe, to permit the blockage an unrestricted path to freedom. Indoors, I had used duct tape to cover all of the overflows and all but two of the plugholes. Lesley would block one with half a tennis ball and the other would be the recipient for the air-blast. Hopefully, the violent rush of gas would follow the path of least resistance, along the 40 feet of drainpipe and out through the wall, taking along with it the foul crud that had accumulated during the previous 50 years.
After a final check to ensure everything was sealed, we moved to our allotted stations. I was in the upstairs bathroom ready to fire the gas down the bathtub plughole and Lesley was blocking the kitchen sink plughole, by leaning as hard as possible on her half-tennis ball. I shouted down to check she was ready, and, after an overly dramatic countdown, I braced myself and released the gas.
At my end the results were disappointingly anticlimactic. In the space of two seconds, the gas went down the plughole with a sound like a geriatric steam engine whispering, ‘CHEW’. Further along the pipe, Lesley heard something that sounded like a subway train rushing by. She was delighted when it continued along the drainpipe, rather than attempting to escape around her half-tennis ball. A moment later, we both heard what sounded like an overfed elephant with dysentery, failing to make it to the toilet in time. I ran some water into the sink and was delighted to see it disappear down the plughole, without the usual smell or sluggishness. Downstairs, I proudly gave Lesley a high-five. Result! Or so we thought.
A few moments later, as I stepped outside ready to sweep up the mess, I was mortified to discover our once-white dog, sitting miserably in a pool of foul water and covered in the most obnoxious grey filth one can imagine. Unfortunately, Romany had heard the approaching commotion and decided to investigate the source of the noise by sticking her nose into the open drainpipe – which was conveniently situated at exactly the right height for our little dog. A moment later, her curiosity was rewarded when she was hit by the full contents of the 50 year old blocked drain, containing a combination of toothpaste, lost hair, toenail clippings, kitchen grease, and God knows what else. The dirt and smell was almost unbearable, but it soon washed away. However, for many weeks after, Romany continued to glower at me in the unwavering certainty I had deliberately showered her in filth.

Author Bio –
Fresh Eggs Author ireland 3 004Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in early 2020.
Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

Social Media Links:

Twitter:  @Nickalbertautho

Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff book review

not your average nurse

Not Your Average Nurse written by Maggie Groff, publisher Corgi/Transworld Digital is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Over time, I nursed victims of war, the posh, the poor, the famous and the infamous… Oh, the stories I can tell!’

To a young girl the life of a nurse sounds exciting, but with long hours and short shrift it’s never easy. So when Maggie Groff embarks on her training at London’s King’s College Hospital she must quickly get to grips with a demanding career. It’s sink or swim.

From the watchful gaze of stern sisters and the trials of nursing on a poor south-east London housing estate, to the explosive dramas of staff health checks at sophisticated Selfridges, Maggie shares warm and witty stories of mistakes and mayhem, tea and sympathy, and the life-affirming moments that make it all worthwhile.

Played out against the march of feminism and fashion, IRA bombings and the iconic music and movies of almost half a century ago, Not Your Average Nurse is a delightful romp through time.

NYAN BlogTour Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Maggie Groff’s Not Your Average Nurse.  I don’t normally like biographies but Not Your Average Nurse was such an insightful, entertaining book that I am so pleased I have had the pleasure to read.

This is a true story based on real life experiences of young Maggie, who at 17 decided she wanted to give up her studying at school and enrol as a Student Nurse.  The year is 1970 and the world was still struggling to cope with women in the workplace but Maggie didn’t have dreams of settling down and finding a husband, she had dreams of becoming a writer but in the meantime nursing would do.  Maggie’s stop-gap nursing career was to span nearly two decades.  The skills Maggie learnt from nursing were to put her in good stead for the new adventures she was to endure in her life.

This remarkable story was written with such honesty by Maggie Groff, she didn’t leave anything out and at times her anecdotes were shocking and uncharacteristically funny.  There were scenes that I couldn’t quite believe and I laughed so hard at them, life’s accidentally funny moments are just priceless!  Pure joy from the wonders of life and all it’s glorious array of people.  Sadly, as in real life Maggie faced many traumatic and gut wrenching moments and when tragedy stuck too close to home Maggie’s skills from nursing were now needed imperatively.  One minute I was crying with laughter, the next my heart was breaking and there were many tears of sadness.  Starting your career at the beginning of  a pivotal time with NHS reforms must have been quite difficult at times but also the hope of new beginnings and the solidarity of the workmanship must have felt very comforting.

A truly remarkable story of a young lady that took life and all it’s spoils and went with it.  An educating, entertaining read that captivated me.  5/5*

About the Author

Maggie Groff is an award-winning novelist, columnist and non-fiction writer living and working in Australia. As a young woman in England she trained as a state registered nurse at King’s College Hospital, London, and worked at several London hospitals before securing a position as an in-house nurse at Selfridges. From there Maggie went on to pursue a richly varied and, at times, unusual nursing career. Aware that her daughter had no knowledge of her working life prior to becoming an author, she was inspired to write this memoir.