Tag Archives: Mental Illness

5 Star Review for Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan #MM #Illness @JK_Hogan

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Title: Strong Medicine
Author Name & Publisher: J.K. Hogan (Wilde City Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 11, 2016 – 278 pgs

Synopsis

Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?

The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work-release at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.

Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.

Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.

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Review

FiveStars

Cameron is a former child actor who finds himself doing community center at a remote mental hospital after getting a DUI. Jonah Radley is a patient who frequently battles psychosis. In many ways, Strong Medicine is a traditional romance novel. There’s attractive, strapping young lads having hot sex. And I do mean hot sex.
Strong Medicine is also the story of people coping with mental illness. Disclosure, I am mentally ill, and the experiences, treatments, and growth in this novel are very familiar to me. I won’t say it’s “authentic” as I can’t speak for anyone else’s struggle, but to me it feels true. It’s an uplifting story that doesn’t cheat its characters or the reader.
Third, this book takes place in Asheville, North Carolina. How can that not be enticing enough on its own? As a North Carolina native, I was easily won over. Except for the part about the Vespa in the snow. Fiction takes liberties, amirite?
Strong Medicine is a quality romance and an escapist read. I loved it.
C.E. Case

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PreRelease Review: 5 Star Review for The Worst Bad Thing by J.E. Birk #MM #MentalIllness

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Title: The Worst Bad Thing
Author Name & Publisher: J.E. Birk (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date: March 23, 2016

Synopsis

Iceland, Stonehenge, London, Paris….

To the casual observer, it looks like a dream trip. For Tate O’Reilly, it’s anything but. He’s a man on a mission to rectify a critical mistake, and there’s nothing to hold him back—certainly not friends or family. For Tate, it all comes down to one simple thing—he must fix what he has broken.

What he doesn’t count on is meeting Gabriel Carillo. Gabriel is kind, mysterious, and seems to be on his own mission to ensure their paths keep crossing. But Tate’s hiding an awfully big secret—one he’s certain even Gabriel can’t forgive.

Does a man’s past have to determine his future? In the middle of cities filled with history, Tate is going to find out.

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Review

FiveStars

I read this story in one sitting. After the first page, which grabs your attention, the story reads quite smoothly and transitions very well. For the most part, this was an easy read, even with the reason as to why Tate started his journey. It was later, when clues kept being sprinkled in, that I puzzled together Tate’s secret. I was holding my breath and hoping that Gabriel would be able to help Tate in the way he needed. As the ending got closer, I was definitely on the edge of my seat, knowing what Tate was planning, and didn’t realize I had worked myself up until the end, when I was finally able to relax and with a smile.

Tate’s journey takes you on a tourist ride, but JE Birk does a fabulous job with the descriptions and the ‘whys’ behind it. I felt like I was there with Tate, seeing what he was seeing and feeling. This story is told from Tate’s POV. His flashbacks to the event that started his whole reason for doing what he was going to do and through to the day before he got on the plane was perfectly placed and well thought out.

JE Birk did a fabulous job writing this story with Tate and Gabriel about depression, PTSD and suicide. Suicide is not a subject to laugh at. Even though I say this was an easy read, it is because similar to suicide, you do not realize someone may be having those thoughts until it is almost too late. This read seemed to follow that, in that you are reading along at a good pace before any signs appear and then it is almost over before it begins.

I would completely recommend this book to everyone. It really goes to show how people in your life may need the help and you are not even aware of it. If you could help one person like Tate who can take the “worst bad thing” in his life and find the “best good thing” in his life, wouldn’t that be perfect?

Keri

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