Today I have an extract and giveaway as part of the blog tour for Surviving Me, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.
This is the prologue from Surviving Me, a debut novel about two men whose minds become unfit for purpose for very different reasons. The main character is Tom Cleary but this exert is written by his wife. She is a radio presenter for BBC Sussex.
Marilyn is tapping on the glass, beckoning me to come out. My eyes meet hers through the transparent partition.
I shake my head and mouth, ‘Not now.’ She’s not the bright- est button in the box. She continues to gesture, beckoning and wobbling.
I shake my head. She continues to bend her finger at me like the witch from Snow White. I can’t concentrate. ‘So sorry…’ I whisper to my guest. ‘Let’s play another tune. More from this inspirational lady in a few minutes. Here’s the new single from Keane for a winter morning: “The Way I Feel”. Enjoy.’
I rip off my earphones and march out to demand an expla- nation.
Marilyn is unusually evasive. ‘There are two policemen to see you downstairs, and they won’t wait, or tell me anything,’ she says through pinched lips, her arms folded tightly over her generous chest.
Police? What have I done?
I walk tentatively down the first few stairs. Marilyn follows me. Did I drive back stupidly fast last night? I was desperate not to be late for Tom… I pause before descending the second half of the staircase.
Two policemen in uniform are sitting on the settee in recep- tion. They stand to greet me. One of them, slightly shorter than the other, says gently, ‘Mrs Selmeston Cleary? I apologise for interrupting you at work, but I wonder if you’d mind com- ing with us.’
How do they know I’m the one they’re waiting for? I see the outdated airbrushed photograph of me on the wall oppo- site. ‘So sorry, I’m on air. If you’ll explain what’s going on, I’ll come to the station at four-thirty, just after I finish—’
Marilyn interrupts. ‘Danny’s here, Siri. He can take over your show and then just carry on with his slot afterwards.’ My head says, shut up, will you please, Marilyn? But she insists. ‘It’s fine – you need to go.’
‘So, officer, tell me what’s going on.’
‘I’m Sergeant Chris O’Leary and this is PC Joshua Johnson. We’re both from Sussex Police. Our car is by the side entrance. We can talk privately there.’
My feet drag my uncooperative body to follow them. What’s all this about? I can see my colleagues watching me go. How embarrassing. Poor Helen, my guest, sitting by herself in a glass cubicle.
The police car is parked just a few metres from the office. DS O’Leary opens the back door. I expect him to push my head down like on the TV. He doesn’t. He smiles, and instructs in a soft, kind voice, ‘Just get in and make yourself comfortable. I’ll come around the other side.’
I obey like a child. His colleague is taller than average: he clearly frequents the gym. His body looks too big for the space as he wriggles into the driver’s seat. He doesn’t fasten his seat belt or put his key in the ignition. I guess we’re not going anywhere.
The police sergeant says again, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt you at work, Mrs Cleary. We’re looking for your husband.’
About the Book
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.
About the Author
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.
Social Media Links ~ Facebook
To enter the giveaway to win one of two signed copies of Surviving Me or one of five Surviving Me fridge magnets (Open INT) Please click the Rafflecopter link.
1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me
5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. 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 passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.