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I am so excited to share a guest post with you today by Angelena Boden about the destructive grip of obsession as part of the blog tour for her latest book The Future Can’t Wait.

Description:

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The Future Can’t Wait is the emotive and compelling second novel from Angelena Boden, author of the gripping The Cruelty of Lambs.

Kendra Blackmore is trying to be a good mother and a good wife, as well as pursuing her pressurised teaching career. Then Kendra’s half-Iranian daughter Ariana (Rani) undergoes an identity crisis which results in her running away from home and cutting off all contact with her family.

Sick with worry and desperate to understand why her home-loving daughter would do this, Kendra becomes increasingly desperate for answers – and to find any way possible to discover the truth and bring her estranged daughter home…

The Future Can’t Wait is a gripping story of a mother’s love, and the lengths we would all go to in order to know our children are safe.

You can buy a copy of The Future Can’t Wait via:

Amazon UK
Urbane Publications


Guest Post:

THE DESTRUCTIVE GRIP OF OBSESSION (and the title of the book)

Many of us get mocked for having little rituals we carry out daily: checking the door to make sure it really is locked or the electric hob to test that all the rings are cold. My friend has to make a dramatic show of pulling out her iron from the socket to help manage her obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  It’s a visualisation exercise in case you were wondering. When you’ve read this blog, have a cuppa and think about the rituals that shape your life.

Irrational thoughts flood our brain from time to time like when our child is late home. We can’t concentrate on anything other than ringing round their friends or zapping out numerous text messages Call me NOW. Really worried.

Is it only a certain type of person that becomes obsessive? No. It can happen to anyone in different forms. The most talked about is obsessive-compulsive hand-washing and cleaning. Think of the TV programmes featuring cleanaholics. No doubt you’ve wondered what drives someone to scrub their house for twelve hours a day.

In The Future Can’t Wait, Kendra becomes obsessive or even addicted to consulting psychics, triggered by a casual flick through a magazine. She’s a good example of a grounded personality who, in a time a deep distress, develops a set of behaviours to help cope with anxiety. It’s about taking back some control. Whilst research into the biological factors relating to the cause and development of OCD is ongoing, there is no definitive explanation as to why one person might become obsessive in their thinking and another not.

Anxiety is certainly a trigger and a driving force behind this distressing condition, which can affect relationships, work and everyday living, (think hoarders) and it is has been proposed that there might be some genetic link.

I can talk about this a little bit from a personal point of view as from time to time I get sucked into the vortex of rumination and nothing anyone can say will end it until it’s run its course, normally four days. I liken it to having your rational mind squeezed through a colander. Mine developed along with PTSD in the mid –nineties when I needed to regain some control over events that were spiralling out of control. Many anxiety-related disorders come from some sort of conflict – inner or outer. Thankfully many can be successfully treated.

To help manager her anxiety, although she did not realise this at the time, Kendra develops an obsession with her daily horoscope. Unlike most people who dismiss it as a bit of fun, she allows this multi-million pound industry of psychics and mediums to become her oracle. Operating from phone hotlines, they guarantee success from “genuine” psychics whilst milking enormous amounts of money from the gullible and desperate.

Some research coming out of the USA about this alarming phenomenon, indicates that psychic addiction is becoming an epidemic with no boundaries. Once someone gets drawn in they find it difficult to stop.

It becomes a problem is when you consult several people over a short period of time about the same issue. Psychic dependency is now classified as having more than two readings in the same year about the same issue i.e psychic hopping. The soothing words of the clairvoyant are a life line, hence the risk of addiction. As with a substance addiction, it is always about the next fix.

Maybe some of you lovely readers might want to debate the validity of psychics but that’s for another day. My issue is about how a well-balanced individuals can develop a behaviour addiction when desperate to solve a problem and its destructive nature. There are healthier avenues to explore. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for one.

I’ve heard it said from those who are the most susceptible is that the worst thing in life is the not knowing and the desperate need to bring the future forward. Hence the title of the book.

If you’ve been affected by any of the content of this blog, here are some sources of help.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://ocduk.org/

http://www.psychic-readings-guide.com/psychic-dependency/   Ignore the pop-ups from the sales peddlers.

NEW BANNER

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Published: 10 November 2016
Reviewed: 19 December 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by publisher in return for an honest review

 

Description:

Angelena Boden’s compelling debut novel tackles challenging themes, its psychological twists and violence keeping you gripped to the very last page.

The career of acclaimed cellist, Iain Millar, is in tatters. Allegations of sexual harassment while teaching in a girls’ school have left him unemployable, and he soon spirals into depression.

Iain sees himself as a failure and falls into a dark place where his cello playing provides the only light. When fresh revelations appear to implicate Iain in the abuse of his ambitious wife, Una Carrington, the world is quick to decide his guilt. Iain’s precious antique cello then disappears, and even music is lost to him.

Fergus O’Neal, a fellow string player, sets out to recover the missing instrument knowing it is Iain’s only hope of redemption …

This is an addictive debut and perfect for fans of contemporary thrillers.

My Thoughts & Review:

Angelena Boden has written one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read, this is a compelling and captivating novel that shines light on the topic of domestic abuse.  The writing is so very eloquent and clever that it draws the reader in from the very beginning and holds their attention rapt despite any rising trepidation at what may lie ahead.

The characters in this are superbly written and the reader can conjure a very vivid image of them.  Iain is a man so desperately broken, the tendrils of depression have wrapped round him so tightly that he no longer struggles against them.  The picture painted of his is saddening to read, the abuse he receives at the hands of his wife, the loss of his beloved cello bring him real pain, and so coupled with his black outs and hearing voices, make for dark and addictive reading.  Una, Iain’s wife is a character that many readers will delight in disliking, nigh hating.  A cruel and manipulative woman shaped by her upbringing, seems to enjoy inflicting her ways upon her “weak” husband.  In stark contrast to these characters was the wonderful Fergus, a friend of Iain.  He is funny, helpful, supportive but feels very much the the situation between Iain and Una is outwith his capabilities.

The prevailing darkness in this book is almost claustrophobic at times.  The reader feels an urge to keep reading, hoping for a positive outcome for Iain, hoping that something will change despite seeing the escalation in Una’s behaviour, the deeper depressive slump that Iain falls into.  There are times this is a bleak and harrowing read, however Angelena Boden is a skilled writer, she evokes a raft of emotions from her readers including sympathy and compassion.
It is evident that a lot of research has been done for the writing of this novel, the way in which the abuse is written is done so with sensitivity and sympathy, giving a great insight into a world that some may have little knowledge about.

I am astounded that this is Boden’s debut thriller novel and I will be sure to keep an eye out for future books!

You can buy a copy of The Cruelty of Lambs direct from the publisher here or via Amazon here.

 

About the Author:

Angelena has spent over thirty years training, coaching and counselling in the field of interpersonal conflict and communication using Eric Berne’s model of Transactional Analysis. As a linguist, she has lived and worked overseas, travelled extensively and spent periods in Iran where she learned Farsi.

She is the author of three business books, published by Management Pocketbooks Ltd and is a freelance journalist.

A former resident and graduate of Birmingham, the setting for The Cruelty of Lambs, she is a passionate defender of a city she believes is misunderstood.

To find out more about Angelena, visit www.angelenaboden.com or follow her on Twitter @AngelenaBoden

Courtesy of Urbane Publications

 

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