Blog Tour – Shunned: Outcasts in the Land by Cynthia Darling – my review and Q&A

Today I have the pleasure of taking part in the blog tour for Cynthia Darling’s brilliant book – Shunned: Outcasts in the Land

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Smith Publicity regarding the possibility of a book review, I read the summary of the book and was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more – I love reading fiction books and one about anti-depressants really spoke to me having been prescribed these several times in the past.  My latest review is on the amazing new self-published book ‘Shunned: Outcasts in the Land’ by Cynthia Darling.

About Shunned: Over the past two decades, the use of anti-depressants in the United States has skyrocketed. One in ten Americans are now on various forms of anti-depressant medication; among women in their 40s and 50s, the figure is one in four and growing. Experts have offered numerous reasons, with depression the most common, and economic struggles only adding to stress and anxiety. But do we truly need all of these prescriptions or is over-diagnosis a real danger in our culture?

In Shunned: Outcasts in the Land, author Cynthia Hearne Darling takes a closer look at the anti-depressant industry and the dangers of an over-medicated society. Exploring what today’s politically correct society deems worthy of ‘shunning,’ Darling takes mystery, murder and one of the most charged topics in medicine to weave a fast-paced thriller that resonates with readers on the deepest levels.

In this nail-biting, stark look at society’s dependency on pharmaceuticals, Darling addresses:   What we really know about the anti-depressant industry and how it will affect society in the long-run, what today’s society deems worthy of ‘shunning,’ what shunning entails and how it impacts the lives of the main characters, the existence of the fight of good versus evil and how it is fought in everyday life and how being ‘different’ in modern society can both isolate and band groups of people together

This book is quite fast paced and I read it in two sittings.  I found it very easy to read and thought the main characters gelled very well together whilst being strong enough to have their own stories within the main novel.  I was hooked by this book as soon as I started reading it.  The way it is written is captivating and I found it to be a real page turner, there is quite a bit of research and facts provided regarding the pharmaceutical industry and the medication but this just adds to the story being weaved, it certainly doesn’t detract from it.  For me the book was gripping, it even had a murder mystery (which I loved being a huge crime fiction fan),  I really liked the main characters in the book and the supporting characters helped to bring the story to life.  I have given the book four stars and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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About the Author:  Cynthia Darling has a BA in English from the College of William and Mary, masters’ degrees in Public Administration and Social Work. She worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, on Indian reservations and in mental institutions. She preferred the mental institution to the Government. She has spoken to groups on missions and biblical issues.  She received a poetry award from Fairfax County, Virginia, for her Poem Mississippi Mother, from her book Forty-Nine Poems. She is working on a second book about Georgetown, D.C. in the 1960’s.  You can contact her on Twitter Blog Facebook and e-mail

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A brief Q&A session with Cynthia Darling, the book’s author is below:

1. What is your book about?  My book is about three issues: it’s a muckraker dealing with the antidepressant industry; it’s a murder mystery; and it’s theme is about the book title, Shunned, regarding how society chooses to separate itself from those who challenge it.

2. Why did you write it?  I wrote it to fulfil my need to tell stories and especially to describe the horrors of antidepressant addiction.

3. What reason should people buy it?  It’s a fast-paced read that can open the minds of readers to new concepts.

4. What challenges did you overcome to pen it?  There was considerable research I had to do on antidepressant usage, while keeping the story in a very readable, fictional format.

5. Any advice for struggling writers?  My only advice: learn to write fluently before you decide to write!

6. Where do you see book publishing is heading?  I hope that one day the “best-seller” list will be filled with self- published books, opening the monopoly of publishing companies.

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