When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Tuesday 10 November 2020

Welcoming Tonya Mitchell and her book - A Feigned Madness - to my blog

 Today I'm welcoming Tonya Mitchell and her book - A Feigned Madness - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde).

I am delighted to share a review with you, but first I will introduce the book.

A Feigned Madness by Tonya Mitchell

Elizabeth Cochrane has a secret.

She isn’t the madwoman with amnesia the doctors and inmates at Blackwell’s Asylum think she is.

In truth, she’s working undercover for the New York World. When the managing editor refuses to hire her because she’s a woman, Elizabeth strikes a deal: in exchange for a job, she’ll impersonate a lunatic to expose a local asylum’s abuses.

When she arrives at the asylum, Elizabeth realizes she must make a decision—is she there merely to bear witness, or to intervene on behalf of the abused inmates? Can she interfere without blowing her cover? As the superintendent of the asylum grows increasingly suspicious, Elizabeth knows her scheme—and her dream of becoming a journalist in New York—is in jeopardy.

A Feigned Madness is a meticulously researched, fictionalized account of the woman who would come to be known as daredevil reporter Nellie Bly. At a time of cutthroat journalism, when newspapers battled for readers at any cost, Bly emerged as one of the first to break through the gender barrier—a woman who would, through her daring exploits, forge a trail for women fighting for their place in the world.

Publication date: 6th October 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller

Publisher: Cynren Press

Print Length: 392 pages

You can purchase the book via the following -

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Now for the review -

I confess I didn't know anything about journalism from this era, what alone the struggles that faced female Jouralists, so when I was offered an Advanced Readers Copy of A Feigned Madness, I jumped at the chance to read about Nellie Bly. I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting, but what I got was a story that captured my imagination, pulled on my heart strings and saw me reading late into the night!

The story centres around Elizabeth Cochrane who refuses to take no for an answer when being considered for a job at the New York World. Elizabeth strikes a deal with the managing editor – a job in return for her going undercover impersonating a lunatic to gain entry to Blackwell Lunatic Asylum.

Elizabeth becomes Nellie Bly and sets out on the path to the asylum knowing the challenges ahead will not be easy. Without giving anything away, dear reader, let's just say Elizabeth has to dig deep and battle to ensure she not only gains entry, but remains there long enough to uncover the story she went there to expose. After all, her career at the New York World depends on the outcome!

I have to compliment Tonya Mitchell – it is clear that extensive research was undertaken to bring this story to life and make the reader feel as if they are truly there with Nellie. This story takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions and the plight of the inmates really moved me. A Feigned Madness is well written, well researched and I would definitely recommend it.

I look forward to reading more of Tonya Mitchell's work.

Tonya Mitchell

Ever since reading Jane Eyre in high school, Tonya Mitchell has been drawn to dark stories of the gothic variety. Her influences include Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Bram Stoker. More contemporarily, she loves the work of Agatha Christie, Margaret Atwood, and Laura Purcell. When she landed on a story about a woman who feigned insanity in order to go undercover in an insane asylum, she knew she’d landed on something she was meant to write. Her short fiction has appeared in, among other publications, Glimmer and Other Stories and Poems, for which she won the Cinnamon Press award in fiction. She is a self-professed Anglophile and is obsessed with all things relating to the Victorian period. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society North America and resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and three wildly energetic sons. A Feigned Madness is her first novel.

You can connect with Tonya Mitchell via the following platforms -






I do hope you will check out Tonya Mitchell's work.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe


1 comment:

Mary Anne Yarde said...

Such a fabulous review!

Thank you so much for hosting today's blog tour stop for A Feigned Madness.