Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're joining Rachel's Random Resources for a tour already in progress to shine the book spotlight on a title that reminds us that the past is not always best left in the past, especially if you've never quite moved on from it. Immediately following our introduction to today's title, KEEP READING for a SPECIAL GUEST POST from the author herself regarding a rather timely topic that pairs rather perfectly with this story. Ladies and gents, time to read on as we welcome today's blog tour guest and title in the spotlight...
Second Chance at First Love: Love's Bloom
About the book...
Eva Mathers is a successful woman, except for when it comes to matters of the heart. When she returns home to Yorkshire as a pending divorcee, she realises her childhood friend and first love Damon Evans is also newly single. It’s a pity he’s never noticed her romantically and had no idea that she was in love with him at school. But at least they can support each other as friends again.
Damon is attempting to adjust to life sharing the kids with his ex. His reconnection with Eva is strong, but she was always too good for him and made her indifference clear after they drifted apart during their younger years. In any case, she still seems to be hung up on her charismatic ex-husband. Eva is hiding things from Damon, secrets from her past. He wants to be there for her, so why can’t she let him in?
Eva is dealing with trauma, but she won’t confide in her loved ones. Can Damon help her break down her walls before it’s too late and they miss their second chance at first love?
~~~ GUEST POST ~~~
Mental Wellbeing in Healthcare Workers
by Author Zoe Allison
My main character, Eva, is a doctor who carries a mental load which she is reluctant to burden others with. The dedication for this book reads “For the NHS workers of the UK and their counterparts throughout the world, who gave their everything during the 2020 pandemic.” I wrote this book prior to the pandemic, but I penned the dedication early in 2021.
Just over a year ago, the UK went into it’s first lockdown. People battened down the hatches and stayed at home while the healthcare providers of the NHS went out to battle against the COVID19 virus, risking their lives and witnessing horrifically traumatising human tragedy in the process. Media coverage of the NHS turned from scapegoating and disparagement to praise and encouragement, and the general public came out onto the streets every Thursday evening at eight pm to clap for the NHS. Rainbows for the NHS adorned windows of houses, and banners with supportive slogans were draped in front gardens. I, along with many NHS colleagues, felt that this could be the tide turning and out of the darkest time of our careers perhaps the silver lining of our profession being supported rather than derided, could arise.
A year on, and sadly there is a new epidemic affecting the NHS. Violence and aggression towards us is on the rise. After a very brief period of healthcare workers being seen for the vulnerable human beings that they really are—doing their best to be brave under terrifying circumstances—things are worse than they ever were. If we attempt to show our humanity then we are attacked and told that this is unprofessional. It is very apparent that we are expected to have no emotion, and get on with the task in hand as if we were robots, martyring ourselves in the process with our families reduced to irrelevancy. Strangely, however, we are also expected to be compassionate and caring towards our patients. These two themes are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist—healthcare professionals can’t be emotionless in their own right but then be capable of showing compassion to others. We cannot expect healthcare workers to have no emotion and navigate their way through a general career, never mind a pandemic, with zero burnout. Not unless we are to replace the workforce with actual robots and then sacrifice the human compassion that is displayed towards patients.
This is the reason that these professionals are afraid to speak up and seek help when their mental wellbeing suffers. They know that a lot of people do not want to hear it and not only will they receive a paucity of support, but they could actually face abuse for admitting their humanity.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, there will be a wave of mental health difficulty in the healthcare workforce varying from milder anxiety and depression to full blown post-traumatic stress disorder. This needs to be recognised and supported. The heroine in my story eventually manages to confide her trauma and receives kindness and support in return. I only hope that, when the time comes, this also rings true for healthcare workers in the real world.
This has been a difficult time for everyone, we are all struggling. The point isn’t that others not working in healthcare aren’t suffering, whether they are other key workers, people who have lost loved ones to the virus, people suffering from long COVID, people facing financial stress related to the pandemic, or anyone and everyone in between. Highlighting someone’s struggle does not detract from the struggle of others. Poor mental wellbeing is not a competition. The point is to show kindness and compassion to others, in a two-way process of giving and receiving support, rather than taking frustrations out on others, who have struggles of their own to deal with but are perhaps hiding it. When we all show kindness and compassion, the world becomes a better place.
About the author...
Zoe lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. A medic by day, she
started writing in her spare time as a means to counter burn out and found that this was a
balm for the soul.
She is a fan of the romantic genre and its ‘happy ever after’ ethos. A sharp contrast to what she can, at times, see in her day job. Zoe is keen for the female lead in romantic fiction to disabuse stereotypes and walk on an equal footing with her male counterparts. She prefers male leads
who do not display signs of toxic masculinity and believes that positive masculinity is
much more attractive to women and healthier for men.
Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you and to author Zoe Allison for the great guest post. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this promotion, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today and be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun!
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!