#BookSale “Elle’s A to Z of Love: A feel-good, modern love story about friends, family and home” by Claire Huston

A to Z book cover


Beautifully written, feel-good fiction! ★★★★★

Haileybrook, a beautiful village in the peaceful Cotswolds countryside, is most people’s idea of heaven on earth.

Born and raised in this small slice of paradise, Elle Bea can’t wait to leave.

It should be easy, but every time she packs her bags for exotic adventures, old loves and loyalties pull her back.

Will Elle be forced to forget her dreams of far-flung places and epic romance, or can she grab one last chance to have it all?

An uplifting, romantic story about friends, family and the relationships that make a place a home. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde and Phillipa Ashley.

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK


#BookSale “StumpStrong: Strength In Roots: A Humorous Women’s Fiction Story of Family” by Nicki Pascarella



Patricia Moore is coming of age; too bad it involves perimenopausal horrors. Patti’s life has plummeted to sewage depository levels. Her ex-husband has new muscles and a new girlfriend, her daughter is away at college, her boss is an evil witch, and fantasies about her young psychotherapist make her behave like a hormonal college girl. After Patti is assaulted by one of her students, the discovery of old cassette tapes retelling the story of her Grandfather’s saga as a POW in World War ll give her the strength to dig herself out of the depths of depression, discover her inner sexy, and tell her boss to go to hell.

StumpStrong is an epistolary tale of first loves, second chances, and finding strength in roots.

“I see these individuals that mean the world to me in myself. My ties to them run deeper than memories, genetics, and blood. I no longer have time for self-loathing. I am too busy connecting to my familial roots. They grow deep, lovingly twine around everything, reach up into the fresh air to breathe, and then stretch toward the sun. Why did it take the tragedy of a near-death experience for me to understand this?”

99c for a limited time!

Kindle Unlimited



#BookSale “Heart of a Bad Boy: Cowboys of the Flint Hills” by Tessa Layne


This book was formerly titled PRAIRIE DEVIL.

He’s the Devil she shouldn’t want…
Colton Kincaid is a rake and a heartbreaker. Thrown out of the house when he was seventeen by his brother, Travis, he scraped his way to the top of the rodeo circuit riding broncs and never looked back… Until a chance encounter with hometown good girl Lydia Grace leaves him questioning everything and wanting a shot at redemption.

She’s the Angel he can never have…
All Lydia Grace needs is one break. After having her concepts stolen by a famous shoe designer, she returns home to Prairie to start a boot company on her own. But when her break comes in the all too sexy form of Colton Kincaid, she wonders if she’s gotten more than she’s bargained for.

To get her boot company off the ground, Lydia makes Colton an offer too good to refuse, but he ups the ante. Will the bargain she strikes bring her everything she’s dreamed of and more, or did she just make a deal with the devil?

A delicious fake engagement between the reformed bad boy and the woman who keeps him awake at night.

FREE at time of posting!


#BookSale “This Time Next Year (Aliss’s Adventures Book 1)” by Liz Hinds

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“John Morris, an old gent with old-fashioned manners, looked at me and said, ‘You look different this morning, my dear. I hope you’re not going down with something.’ I was tempted to tell him it’s too late, I have already succumbed. I am old and unloved.”

When her decree absolute arrives in the post with her 50th birthday cards Alison Turner wonders if life can get any worse.

When the highlights of the last year include being told off by the plumber for ‘putting feminine items of hygiene down the lavatory’, and her husband leaving her for a 28-year-old ‘bimbo’, it’s easy to understand why Alison exclaims in her diary, ‘I do not want another year like that. I must get a new plumber.’

But if the romantic aspect of Alison’s life leaves a lot to be desired (including sex, which is something both her parents and her daughter appear to be enjoying) the everyday aspect is full of incident.

In a year of well-intentioned ineptitude, Alison is thrown out of a pub for the first time in her life, begins to diet eight times (at least), finds out twelve unappealing things about dogs and discovers that first impressions can sometimes be misleading.

99c at time of posting!


#NewRelease “Love Happens Eventually” by Feyi Aina

Love Happens Eventually cover

Nifemi Ajayi is single, not searching and not expecting to ever get married. When her younger sister trips at a family wedding event, a visit to the hospital puts her in the sights of Dr Esosa Aghomo. There is instant chemistry. Esosa ticks every box on her checklist and there’s no reason not to invite him to her grandmother’s 60th birthday celebration.

Then her uncle, Toba, shows up at the party, tall, handsome and grown out of his teenage awkwardness. He is much cooler than Nifemi remembers and is sporting a sexy new girlfriend who is the cynosure of every eye present.

A death in the family and a will reading reveals a big family secret and the truth about Toba’s parentage. This raises many questions for Nifemi, topmost of which is how to handle an uncle who is no longer exactly an uncle. Even more when she finds she can’t trust Esosa.

Love Happens, Eventually is full of musings about life, love and the usual Nigerian life drama as seen from the eyes of a single girl from a huge Yoruba family whose least favorite question is when she is getting married.

Buy Links





Barnes & Noble


Apple Books

#KindleCountDown “A Million Little Lies” by Bette Lee Crosby



A lifetime of lies, and a truth too painful to tell.

When Suzanna Duff was ten years old, she lost her mama, and that’s when the lies began. At first, they were just harmless little fibs, a way to hide her unbearable loneliness and the truth about a daddy who came home rip-roaring drunk every night. But in time, the lies grew bigger and now, when she is a grown woman with a daughter of her own, they threaten to destroy everything she loves.

The irony of this situation is that Suzanna never planned to stay in Georgia, she was simply passing through, looking for a fresh start in New Jersey. Attending that wake with her daughter Annie, was a fluke. An opportunity to enjoy a free meal. It should have entailed nothing more than a solemn nod and a brief expression of sympathy but, Ida Parker, the grieving widow mistook her for her the granddaughter who was carried off as an infant. Too embarrassed to do anything else, Suzanna played along. What harm was there in pretending to be someone else for a few hours? Hours turned into days and days into weeks; strangers became friends, love happened, and before long a year had flown by.

Now the past is standing on her doorstep and Suzanna must decide to leave here and disappear as she has done before, or tell the truth and break the hearts of those she loves most.


(REG. PRICE – 4.99)


No Tricks, But Plenty of Treats!

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I don’t have any Rice Krispy Treats… or chocolate, but for today, October 31st, you can download the books below for FREE! Consider it a calorie-free treat!

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Malice and Forethought: Short Stories of Malice & Murder

Suspense/Crime/Short Stories

Kindle Unlimited


EXCERPTA Hint of Malice

She caught her blurred reflection in the antiquated steel doors of the basement elevator.

Black turtleneck. Black Jeans. Black boots. Jacket and gloves, also black.

If she were in a nightclub, she would be called hot.

But she wasn’t some voluptuous bad-ass fashionista making a statement or setting a trend. She wore black for one reason. It hid blood splatter.

3D best Interest

In the Best Interest of the Child

Women’s Fiction/Legal/Foster Care


Olivia lost track of time and had no idea of how long she had sat and cried in the hallway. She had not felt this overwhelmed in years. Again, she thought about finding a therapist to try and work through the darkness in her mind, but once again, she quickly vetoed the idea. She had attempted counseling twice while in college and both times were exercises in futility. In the beginning, with each visit, she felt more positive, more in control. She knew she was moving forward. But sharing the story of her violent beating and physical attack from her mid-teens seemed to undermine her sessions and distract her therapists both times. From that point on they would each focus on the sex and encourage Olivia to be more open and honest about sex. She couldn’t deal with the foolishness. Her problems didn’t not start the day she was beaten and attacked. Her problems began when her father was killed in a car accident–she knew THAT much. After one or two more sessions each time, she withdrew from counseling. The second therapist had made an eerily prophetic comment at their last meeting. “I’m sorry we won’t be continuing, Olivia, but regardless, the root of your anxiety and internal pain will not go away until you force it into the light and confront it.”

Free, a Novella

Women’s Fiction/Family Life/Divorce


“I’m not crazy, mama… I’m not.”

Lennie’s chest tightened. He had not called her that since second grade. Sitting her bag at the back door, Lennie walked over and took the swing next to Duncan. They both rocked in the silence until Lenore spoke.

“Most people who go to counseling aren’t mentally ill, Dunc. Life just has a way of dumping too much on us at once.” She touched his hand. “The drowning feeling you mentioned? You’re overwhelmed. It happens to us all at some point during our lives.”

“Have you ever felt like you were drowning, mom?”

“Not drowning so much as… helpless.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Well, don’t take this as clinical or anything, but I knew the problem and I knew the cause. I just couldn’t fix it.”

“Dad.” It was a statement, not a question.

Lennie’s smile was bittersweet. “Yes.”

This treat ends tonight, so download ASAP!

#BlogTour “Hiding Cracked Glass (Perceptions of Glass Book 2)” by James J. Cudney

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Series Name: Perceptions of Glass

Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter

Book #2 Name: Hiding Cracked Glass

Publication for Book #2:

Next Chapter, October 8th, 2020





About the Book

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved.


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… with author James J. Cudney

I’m happy to welcome author James J. Cudney aka “Jay” to Nesie’s Place today. Jay is an active blogger and book reviewer on his blog, This is My Truth Now, as well as a busy author who’s latest release, Hiding Cracked Glass, goes live in two days.

Welcome, Jay!

Thank you so much for this opportunity. You’ve been a wonderful friend over the last several years and I’m grateful to know you.

Right back at you, my friend. Team work makes the dream work! 🙂

Hiding Cracked Glass is a continuation of Watching Glass Shatter. What inspired the story? Did you know it would be more than one book?

 Truthfully, I didn’t know it would be more than one book when I began writing it in late 2016. I first surmised it had potential to be a series when the reviews began arriving. Others felt an immediate connection with the members of the Glass family, and I knew I’d created a compelling cast of characters. During the blog tour for Watching Glass Shatter, I committed to writing short stories about each of the brothers and a future sequel. I’d targeted them from 2018 and 2019; unfortunately, I became focused on my Braxton Campus Mysteries and never published the short stories. All five brothers have an outline written, and I do plan to finish it off at some point.

 Luckily, the sequel was easy to outline and write. I knew it needed to match the same style and tone as Watching Glass Shatter, e.g. switching POV by chapter for each main family member and ending with a bit of a cliffhanger or shocking moments before forcing readers to wait 5 chapters until revisiting that character again. It’s kind of the way the Glass family works. That said, I also knew the secret had to be about a letter just like the first book, only it couldn’t be about which brother it revolved around… instead, it had to be who was the blackmailer and what exactly did they know! I’m more interested in mystery and suspense these days, so I amped up the plot to be more of a thriller / suspense in terms of family drama as opposed to the emotional kind. It’s still very heartfelt and painful, but it’s also a way to show growth in several of the family members.

 Do you have a favorite character in the story?

In Watching Glass Shatter, it was a toss up between Olivia and Ethan. In Hiding Cracked Glass, I think it falls to Teddy and Caleb. Teddy is such a strong personality to deal with, but at the same time, he’s been defined by a series of emotions that were more cardboard and black-and-white. He’s got a wider spectrum, and when I explored those elements, he began to grow on me. People change, and he’s the perfect candidate for a blank slate in the future. Caleb has always been an extension of me, in lots of ways. He does things I wish I had done years ago, and so I can live through him… in Watching Glass Shatter, he was an innocent boy, for the most part. Now, a cloud hovers above something he’s done in the last few months. Like Teddy, he also has many facets to explore.

What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

I have a full-time job, which pretty much keeps me busy until 5:30 pm each day. Thankfully, I finished writing the full draft of this book the day before I started this new job. Editing was the big piece from March through July. It wasn’t easy, and I have two full-time jobs because I edited this at the same time as I wrote my next book, a co-written drama with Didi Oviatt entitled Weathering Old Souls. Between marketing my existing books, editing Hiding Cracked Glass, and writing Weathering Old Souls, I spent 40 hours per week on top of 40 hours of technology project management. Add in a personal life, daily blogging, and reading… I do nothing except work! Since we were quarantined during the last 6 months, I hardly saw anyone else… we had several Zoom calls with friends, but for the most part, any non-sleeping moment was fully booked with my literary life!

When did you write your first book?

2016. I finished working my previous job that summer and began writing an outline and my blog. Watching Glass Shatter, my debut novel and the first book in the Perceptions of Glass series, took about 6 months to write, then 6 months to edit. Watching Glass Shatter was published on October 8th, 2017, and Hiding Cracked Glass will be published on October 8th, 2020, the three year anniversary of my debut novel being published.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

As of this latest one, I have nine books published: Father Figure, two books in Perceptions of Glass, and six books in the Braxton Campus Mysteries. I’ve also co-written my tenth book, Weathering Old Souls, which will release in 2021. Didi and I are networking with a few publishers and possibly an agent or two, but we do plan to launch this amazing novel soon. It’s a story about a woman’s past lives… very metaphysical, emotional, suspenseful. It has a serial killer, genealogical mystery, twisting of elements, and a bunch of heartbreaking moments. I love the story so much, and it might be my favorite of all ten so far. Of the published one, Father Figure would be my top choice. It’s my second book, and I learned so much in terms of writing style by the time I drafted it. Also, the dual timeline and the way in which one chapter finishes and connects to the next chapter is truly astonishing. I still struggle to believe what I was able to accomplish with that one, but at the same time, I see several things I would do differently to make it stronger, if I could. But I can’t! 😊

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’d say it’s a hybrid. Next Chapter calls themselves a rapid release publisher, which essentially means they work with you to release quickly, and they split some responsibilities… but they function much more like a traditional publisher. They handle all the formatting, setting up and marketing on Amazon, and partnering with audio narrators, foreign language translators, and merchandisers. I handle editing and social media. They are amazing to work with, and after 3 years and 9 books, there are ~50 formats available: hard cover, book store print, large print paperback, pocket book paperback, regular paperback, audio, and German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian translations.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Cook, Garden, Read, Blog, Watch TV. I’m a homebody. Even before quarantine, I only liked going out to see friends once a week… not because I don’t adore them, but I am not a social creature by nature. I like hiding behind the Internet wall for a reason most people don’t realize. I am a major multi-tasker… so, when I can text and email to keep up with friends and family at the same time as I’m writing or editing or reading or any of these other activities, I get so much more done. But I still treasure all the in-person time with those I’m close to… quality not quantity is more of my approach. Usually visit my parents every other Sunday, friends for dinner on Fridays or Saturdays, and calls with long-distance friends and family every month or so.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?Baxter

Baxter is a two-and-a-half-year-old Shiba Inu dog. He’s black-and tan and was born in Kansas. He and I often discuss whether he should visit there again, mostly when he’s stealing socks, eating plants, biting his leash, or growling at me when he wants to be left alone. He’s kinda like me in that respect! He is a character in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, so I suppose he inspires me too!

As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up? 

Architect. I built houses with Legos all the time. I also liked to trace my roots, so I wanted to be a genealogist but I didn’t understand enough at the time. I wish I could go back to change that career…

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

Personally, I could 100% live without it. As an author, I must make it a natural part of my day. I can’t stand all the venting and ranting, especially about politics, news and religion. I’ve unfollowed so many friends because of it. To me, social media is an escape from reality. I like connecting with people around the world to talk about books. I don’t need to see what Trump said yesterday, listen to Democrats and Republicans pick one stupid line out of hundreds and make it seem like that was the entire intent of a message, or hear people screaming about protests and whether COVID is a hoax. I get that it’s an outlet for some people… but for me, it just makes me shake my head and say “Find something to make you happy. Stop complaining about others and exacerbating the problem.” I know this might offend some… and I’m not against the valuable messages in some of social media’s content… but I don’t need to get into fights about it. I will always help those who are suffering injustice. I donate money and time to causes that help better people’s chances and promote goodness. Social media is not the method I choose to share about it though, which is why I don’t say a lot on my blog or social media to publicly support certain things. I include diverse characters in my book, where they shine and are amazing examples of wonderful people. They might also be one of the villains too, as it’s about balance. But in general, I stay away from the controversial stuff because I’m not one to engage in conflict 99% of the time.

Here’s a sample from Weathering Old Souls, my collaboration with author Didi Oviatt.

Together, the two girls open their boxes, revealing beautifully shining quartz stones. Each one is a perfect match to the other. The stones are slightly smaller than the ones in Abigail’s dreams, and the chains they hang from are skinnier, more elegant. As Abigail retrieves her gift from the box, she sighs and rolls it around in her fingertips. The same feeling of peace that comforted her while staring at Boris’s bowtie this morning returns, filling her all the way from her legs to her armpits.

At first, it’s just a minor change, but as Abigail holds the quartz necklace longer, an inexplicable explosion begins to ignite inside her body. The quartz burns against her skin, making Abigail feel as if a flame is about to burst from within her chest. She wants to pull the necklace away from her flesh, but within seconds a waterfall of coolness flushes over her. In its wake, her throat feels as though it fills to the point she cannot breathe. Her persistent cough flares up and steals her remaining breath. Just as she’s about to grab Margaret’s hand to beg for help, a blast of wintery air wafts through the front yard and kicks up several clouds of dirt around them. When it finishes, Margaret and Abigail fiercely cling to one another.

“Did you feel that too?” Abigail inquires, releasing her grip on Margaret’s forearm. Suddenly, everything seems calmer than it’s ever been before.

“Yes, it was certainly strange, huh?” Margaret clips the chain’s lock behind Abigail’s neck and places her own on just the same. “Must’ve been some static charge in the atmosphere. All better now!” 

“Yep. Much better. Ready to go inside?”

Together, hand in hand, they skip into Margaret’s home, ready to face the future of Mr. and Mrs. Staunton’s relocation as a team, as a family. It’s all Margaret can think of doing to protect her little friend. Margaret decides not to share her concerns with Abigail that something about the necklace is going to be a powerful game-changer. She had the same feeling the day Oliver and Nadia moved in, when the darkness had begun to creep closer. “At least I hope it’s all better now.”


My thanks to Jay for stopping by the blog today. Remember to scroll up and order your copy of Hiding Crack Glass! Release day is only two days away! 🙂



Author James Cudney is giving away ebooks, print books and an Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win a great prize!



Author BioJay_suit

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website   |    Blog   |    Amazon   |   Next Chapter

Social Media Links

Facebook       Twitter

Facebook      Facebook

Pinterest      Instagram

Goodreads      LinkedIn

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.



Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

 Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

      Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

    Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

    Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

  Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)



#Featured “Not Without Laughter” by Langston Hughes



A shining star of the Harlem Renaissance movement, Langston Hughes is one of modern literature’s most revered African-American authors. Although best known for his poetry, Hughes produced in Not Without Laughter a powerful and pioneering classic novel.

This stirring coming-of-age tale unfolds in 1930s rural Kansas. A poignant portrait of African-American family life in the early twentieth century, it follows the story of young Sandy Rogers as he grows from a boy to a man. We meet Sandy’s mother, Annjee, who works as a housekeeper for a wealthy white family; his strong-willed grandmother, Hager; Jimboy, Sandy’s father, who travels the country looking for work; Aunt Tempy, the social climber; and Aunt Harriet, the blues singer who has turned away from her faith.

A fascinating chronicle of a family’s joys and hardships, Not Without Laughter is a vivid exploration of growing up and growing strong in a racially divided society. A rich and important work, it masterfully echoes the black American experience.

Dover Thrifts Edition

99c for a #LimitedTime



Q & A with Jo Johnson, author of “Surviving Me”

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I’m chatting with Jo Johnson today about her debut novel, Surviving Me, a unique work of fiction focusing on mental health from a man’s perspective.

Thank you for stopping by Nesie’s Place today, Jo!Jo Johnson

Thank you for having me.

Your latest release, Surviving Me, covers some timely issues including mental illness. What inspired the story?

I’m a clinical psychologist so I spend a lot of time thinking about people’s business.  I spend even more time in cafes. Over the road from my office there is a traditional tea room called the Vintage Rose. On one occasion, I noticed a middle-aged man, by himself, staring out of the window. I wondered about him and his story. In my head, his name was Tom. This observation inspired the first line of my novel.

‘At this point in time, I can accurately be described as unemployed, impotent, and a liar. It still puzzles me that, just a few weeks after my first wedding anniversary, I am sitting alone in a café for misfits, miles from my home’.

This is the table where I first saw “Tom.”

Did writing Surviving Me change or enlighten you in any way?

The key theme in my book is mind health, a subject I know very well.

The enlightenment was to do with the writing and publishing process. I hadn’t planned to write a novel, it just happened. I started writing as Tom and couldn’t stop until his story was finished. This was all a surprise to me.

I realised how much a gifted editor can do. I thought my book was finished but the editorial process was so enlightening. One of my characters had been pregnant for fourteen months! Lots of beta readers hadn’t noticed. As a result, my advice to authors would be, you can’t edit your own work!!

 Do you have a favorite character in the story?

My favorite is probably the main character, Tom. He is a lot like me, he’s an over thinker who has a loud inner voice shouting at him. I wrote from his perspective and with each chapter, my affection for him grew. I even cried proper tears when his life took a terrible turn. My husband was very unsympathetic. Tom is kind and loyal and always does his best. I notice a few readers on Goodreads have confessed to a crush on him!!

 What’s your favorite genre to read?

Commercial or women’s fiction.

What are you reading now?

Little White Lies, a novel written by another clinical psychologist.

 Where are you from?

West Sussex.

 Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I think I’m a hybrid. I published with unbound digital who I think are the only publisher who let you sell books before they produce them.

Do you write full time, or do you also work outside the home?

I work as a clinical psychologist and as a resilience trainer.

 Where do you get the most writing done?

 At the vintage rose tea rooms. Surviving Me starts in the tea room. My office is over the road but I go there for breaks and that’s when I write.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?

Four kids!

 Yep! You have your hands full!

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I can live without it which is probably why no one knows about my novel despite its good reviews.

What’s your next project?

I’ve just finished a sequel to Surviving Me called Surviving Us. I’m also writing a chapter for a text book.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write what flows from you, don’t try and write like someone else or what’s fashionable. Get your work professionally edited.

Jo, is there anything else you like our blog visitors to take with them today?

Let’s learn to talk about suicide.

In my debut novel, Surviving Me, the main character, Tom Cleary becomes suicidal. There has been a lot of recent talk in the media about what makes people take their own lives.

However, people are often reticent to talk about suicide with friends or family. Suicide is still a social taboo.

Often people fear they’ll say the wrong thing or make things worse. I can assure you that if you are concerned, most likely you won’t say the wrong thing.

We need to get better at talking about emotional pain and how it impacts all of us. If everyone felt comfortable to do this, it would save lives. In the UK, suicide remains the top killer of men between 30 and 50. We need to do something.

Most people who kill themselves have told at least one person they don’t feel life is worth living or that they want to die. Listen carefully to people and ask about how you can help.

1 in 5 people have thought about suicide at one point in their life. It’s actually common to have fleeting thoughts of suicide. Even if someone is actively suicidal, it’s often only temporary. Supporting someone to get help at the time they feel suicidal can save a life.

There is no such thing as them and us, there is just US. You don’t have to be mentally ill to feel suicidal. Many people who don’t seem depressed take their own lives. In my novel, Tom appeared to be ok, but on the inside, he was becoming increasingly distressed and isolated. Look out for subtle changes in people. Signs of distress can include drinking more alcohol, withdrawing from usual routines or avoiding social contact.

Most people who feel suicidal don’t want to die. They don’t want the life they have and the emotional pain feels unbearable, talking can really help. Once someone starts talking they’ve got a better chance of discovering options that aren’t suicide.

Many people who feel suicidal don’t mention it for fear of upsetting or worrying others. But, by asking someone directly about suicide, you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal often say it’s a relief to talk about what they are experiencing.

If someone tells you they are feeling low or suicidal, it’s you they want to talk to, they trust you and you have sufficient skills to be with them and ask the right starting questions.

Ask this question if someone is feeling low or talks of not wanting to live.

“Have you thought of killing yourself?” If they say yes, ask them to talk about those thoughts and if they have a plan.

Research makes it clear that these direct conversations can reduce someone’s risk of suicide. After you’ve had a conversation about suicide, support the person to get professional help. Go them to their GP or if out of hours or they already have a suicide plan, go with them to A and E.

Follow this link to read the reviews on Surviving Me or to purchase the book on Amazon:

Jo Johnson is a clinical psychologist specializing in neurological disorders and mind health. She is the author of nine nonfiction publications but best known for a mind health workbook called ‘shrinking the smirch’. This is an innovative resource on how to better manage your mind using principles from the ACT model of psychological therapy.

10% of the royalties from my novel will go to The Beachy Head chaplains.

Many thanks to Jo Johnson for such an enlightening and informative chat today!

Keep scrolling to learn more about Surviving Me and enter Jo’s international giveaway!




Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK     |     Amazon US    |     Add to Goodreads


Author Bio

I’m very excited that my debut novel Surviving Me is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.

I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.

Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.

In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.

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Win two signed copies of Surviving Me & five Surviving Me fridge magnets


1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.


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