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Random Ramble: Depression, Triggers, Self Confidence and Life as I Know It

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Today is one of those down days. The kind of days where you wallow in a pit of self-pity, blaming yourself for the wrongs in the world and wondering why on earth you bother. The kind of day where everything is a HUGE effort. Do you get those as well?

I’ve been thinking about starting random posts about the things that gone on in my head and my life for a while now but I didn’t want to frighten anyone off when they realise just how cray-cray I really am ;) But what the hey – it’s one of those days so why not :)

I went through a period of severe depression when my mother passed away a few years ago. Luckily I had a really good doctor who was training in counselling at the time, she helped a lot. Counselling, for me, made me become more self-aware. It made me realise the start of bad days, like today. It made me aware of the triggers leading up to the bad days. Plus it helped me see the things that just added additional stress that didn’t have to be there – for example, reading or watching the news used to send me into a spiral, hence I avoid it like the plague if I can. I know this probably makes me sound completely ignorant but it is what it is. Seeing the worlds atrocities laid out so bluntly  makes me feel worse, so why put myself through it. Obviously I get to know about things but generally during conversation where the interaction with other people makes it easier for me to cope. Weird I know :)

As you can see I may also go off on a tangent throughout these posts so bear with me :)

Back to the point: depression → counselling → self awareness → identifying triggers.

Which leads me nicely into todays downness (I know it’s not a real word but it works here). Yesterday was a trigger and its manifested itself today. Contributing factors – a phone call from the Ex – who by the way was drunk at the time (more on that in a minute) – dealing with the oldest daughters lack of self-esteem (more on that another time) and stupidly getting on a weighing scales for the first time in a year (more another time).

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Firstly: The Ex. Oh boy is he a trigger that I tend to avoid at all costs.

Background: alcoholic that took me far too long to leave due to lack of confidence and the misguided assumption that the love of a family was worth more than alcohol (WRONG). The time-frame of living with an alcoholic and the emotional tension that comes with it took its toll on the children that I am still trying to repair.

Following the last drunken incident at the beginning of February we haven’t seen him. Only hearing from him once when he feels guilty about not seeing the children. Who no longer want anything to do with him because of the numerous times they have given him chances and he’s only caused further distress.

Leading to the drunken phone message yesterday. I was driving when he called that’s why he had to leave a message. I’m still asking myself whether I would have answered the phone *shrugs* I still don’t know.

At the moment his father is in hospital, its one of those situations where they  aren’t sure on the correct treatment to use as everything seems to be counteracting the other. The phone call was to ask me to ask the children to visit his father. FINE, no problem there as I’d already been speaking to my MIL about it. I didn’t need him to ring and arrange it knowing full well that he’s take credit for he girls visiting. I replied by text stating that I’d arrange a visit via the MIL and that the girls weren’t interested in seeing him as he only upset them.

To which he called BS and accused me of poisoning them *sigh* I don’t need to he’s already done enough of that himself.

The previous we’d been to a family function for one of my SIL 50th. Unfortunately we thought he wasnt going to be there and the girls were excited to be spending time with family. He was there :( Which made it really awkward and uncomfortable for all of us. He didn’t initiate conversation with the girls just stared at them. The oldest hid behind her hair and plugged herself into her headphones because she felt so uncomfortable. Leading to her getting labelled as rude by everyone. The middle one, is so laid back she’s horizontal, just got on with her meal and socialized with the people around her. While the little one became glued to my hip. No interaction between them and their father took place at all.

It got to the end of the meal and the oldest felt so bad that she couldn’t cope anymore. Not even for dessert. She bolted to the car. I made our apologies and paid for our meal. The little one (she’s 9) then burst into tears as soon as we pulled out of the car park. We’ve been working on verbalizing her feelings in order to work through them. After a few minutes of very calm voice and asking her to use her words, she said her father had waved at her when she was leaving and he looked as if he was going to cry (he does that a lot btw – pure guilt trip). She said she waved back but then ran. She also said that she didn’t like seeing him as it always made her feel bad. Surely a 9-year-old should not feel responsible for the happiness of an adult.

Which brings us back to yesterdays phone call/texts – he said I’d deliberately stopped them coming to him at the meal (they were concerned they’d be sat by him) He also said when he waved that they looked at me for permission. Like hell they did, they looked at me to get them out of there. So he’s demanding to see them and blaming me for keeping them from him.

They’ve coped with him driving them home completely drunk and they’ve been terrified. They’ve coped with him ruining christmas 2 years in a row by getting drunk then causing arguments so he can leave. They’ve coped with him crying to them that he misses them and at the same time forgets their birthdays or lets them down on a promised day out (days out ALWAYS include a pub with him). They’ve coped with him constantly saying how ill he is and playing on their sympathises. He has even referenced suicide to them and alternated by building them up and then tearing them down.

Why doesn’t he understand that they don’t want to see him?

Do you think I’m keeping them from him?

What would you do?

How many chances do you think a person deserves, especially when you know that the circumstances haven’t altered (the drinking in this case)?

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So you see this is definitely a trigger to the down day today *sigh*

Review: The Queen of Dreams by Peter Hamilton

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: The Queen of Dreams
Series: Book of Realms #1
Author: Peter Hamilton
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
Publication Date: 2 Jan 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Taggie and Jemima are summer holidaying on their dad’s farm. They know just what to expect – a tumbledown cottage, sunshine and strawberry-picking. But then Jemima sees a white squirrel wearing glasses . . . And things become even more extraordinary when their dad is captured and whisked away to a faerie world.

Magical adventures await, as the two sisters discover powers they never knew they had and a series of worlds to explore. But can Taggie and Jemima rescue their dad and defeat the evil King of Night?

REVIEW BY CHRIS – YEAR 7

This book is about how two girls have a summer holiday and have gone to see their dad. However, strange things are happening in their garden. But when the evil king of night come and kidnaps their dad the story races on. The girls have found out there are things called realms (other worlds) and there dad has been taken into them.

The main character of the book is a girl called Taggie (short for Agatha). She also has a sister called Jemima. Throughout the book they go through a lot of different adventures in different realms. My favourite part of the book is when the Charmsward came along and Taggie developed her magical powers because I love fiction books with a bit of magic. My favourite character was Felix the squirrel because he was a very peculiar character. His little quirks made me smile.

The thing that I didn’t like was the use of illustrations, as they stop the mind from imagining what the characters and realms are going to be like. If there was anything that I would want to see written differently it would be the relation with the tortoise because when it came along it seemed like the character would love them and they could help each other throughout but it didn’t happen. I would definitely read a book by this author again. If I were to recommend this to another person I would recommend it to people who like magic and pupils of Key Stage 3 because there are some rather difficult words. I would give this book 4/5 because it was a good pace and you could really relate to the characters.

Review: Addicted by Tracy Wolff

Received from Barclay Publicity

Received from Barclay Publicity

Title: Addicted
Series: Ethan Frost #2
Author: Tracy Wolff
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: 15 July 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

As Chloe Girard discovers, there’s love . . . and then there’s addiction.

Ethan Frost is everything a woman could want in a man. He’s rich, gorgeous, powerful, one of the most eligible bachelors in the world.

But that’s not why I’m with him.

I love Ethan for all the things no one else gets to see: his innate kindness, his reckless spontaneity, his unwavering determination to use his brilliance for good. I love the way he looks at me, the way he touches me. The way he makes me forget the wreckage of my past and the twisted fear that still lives inside me.

But sometimes it terrifies me how much I crave him, how much I need him just to breathe. I always thought it would be my past that ruined us, but there’s a darkness in Ethan I never dreamed existed. Can we survive as his secrets surface—threatening to unravel us both?

REVIEW 

Dear God I love Ethan, love love love with a capital LOVE ;)

This is going to be a hard review to write without giving spoilers to the main plotline; but I shall endeavour to be the angel my blog says I am, LOL.

Addicted picks up at the exact point that Ruined ends. A tangles web where the past and present collide uprooting all hopes and dreams for the future, Ethan and Chloe’s relationship being collateral damage.

I’ve seen a few reviews that have moaned about Chloe’s actions in this story, stating that she should put her faith in Ethan more. However, I would just like to point out that it is probably far easier said than done considering the circumstances. I tend to put myself into the characters shoes, so from that position it was easy to be more sympathetic to Chloe. for obvious reasons she finds it hard to fully trust another person, men least of all, in all things considered she thought she was doing what was best for both of them. Their relationship wasn’t established and she didn’t want to compromise herself at the expense of his family. Although, saying that it was clear that both Ethan and Chloe are far stronger together, they bring out the best in each other. Yes, Chloe does sometimes suffer from the affliction known as knee-jerk reaction syndrome (but don’t we all). I could definitely sympathise with her.

Having been constantly let down by the people closest to her it is understandable that Chloe has virtually impenetrable barriers. Chloe has the ability to compartmentalize areas of her life rather than dealing with the issues at hand. By not dealing with these issues she allows them to fester and infect her future happiness. The emotional distress Ethan suffered as a result was eye-opening. He outwardly appears so cool and calm that seeing this side of him only made me love him more.

Imagine if you had someone who grounded you, just being with them provides safety and security *swoon* that is what Ethan is for Chloe and I have to say, vice-versa.

While Ethan’s wealth shouldn’t be such a huge issue the memories connected to money that Chloe has add another barrier to their happiness. Add in the past and the part Ethan had in it, all adds to a bomb waiting to explode.

It always amazes me how quickly mean people are able to tap into the insecurities of others and exploit them for their own gain, Tracy Wolff incorporates this with dynamic results. Adding self-doubt into the unbalanced equation; tipping the scales by adding barriers to self belief and ultimately happiness. Pessimism rules thoughts and negativity weighs down heavily on emotions and actions.

Addicted is an intense and emotional story about letting go of the past to be able to embrace the future; entwined with one heck of a smexy romance.

Spotlight plus Give-Away: Addicted by Tracy Wolff

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Received from Barclay Publicity

Received from Barclay Publicity

About ADDICTED

Ethan Frost returns in the breathtaking conclusion to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s seductive novel Ruined—perfect for fans of Release Me and Bared to You.

As Chloe Girard discovers, there’s love . . . and then there’s addiction.

Ethan Frost is everything a woman could want in a man. He’s rich, gorgeous, powerful, one of the most eligible bachelors in the world.

But that’s not why I’m with him.

I love Ethan for all the things no one else gets to see: his innate kindness, his reckless spontaneity, his unwavering determination to use his brilliance for good. I love the way he looks at me, the way he touches me. The way he makes me forget the wreckage of my past and the twisted fear that still lives inside me.

But sometimes it terrifies me how much I crave him, how much I need him just to breathe. I always thought it would be my past that ruined us, but there’s a darkness in Ethan I never dreamed existed. Can we survive as his secrets surface—threatening to unravel us both?

 Goodreads |Amazon |Barnes and Noble |iBooks |  Google Play |Kobo

Also in the Ethan Frost series: : RUINED by Tracy Wolff

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Praise for RUINED:

Tracy Wolff knows how to steam up the pages, and she proves it again in Ruined. If you’re looking for a hot read, curl up with Ethan Frost.” —New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner

Fans of Fifty Shades of Grey will love Tracy Wolff’s Ruined! Heat sizzles off the page and the oh-so-sexy Ethan Frost will make you swoon!”—USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy

About Tracy Wolff

Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.

Website |Facebook |Twitter |Goodreads |Blog

Want to get to know Tracy better? Check out this exclusive interview!

Received from Barclay Publicity

Received from Barclay Publicity

GiveawayButton_zps7f1828ba-1_zpseeedfef5 Tracy is giving away a $50 gift card to www.spafinder.com to celebrate the release of ADDICTED! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Additionally, Random House is giving away two prize packs: a $25 gift card to Babeland and a copy of RUINED! Enter here!

Review: The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: The Drowned Cities
Series: Ship Breaker #2
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 1 May 2012
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die.

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man–a bioengineered war beast named Tool–who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi’s highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.

REVIEW BY MADISON – YEAR 10

Drowned Cities shows a world where war is raging. Soldiers do cruel things and wild animals like Coyotes stalk the night adding to the danger for everyone. there is no escape, the rescue ships left ages ago taking the peace-keepers with them. Now all that is left is the instinct to survive.

Mahlia and Mouse have managed to survive so far, Mouse having saved Mahlia’s life; so when Mouse gets captured, Mahlia decides its time to repay her debt.

This book is action packed and very hard to put down :) There is always something happening. The plot and world building are very intriguing. I have to say I was really sad to see the book end. The Drowned Cities definitely has a high recommendation from me.