Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mental Health awareness is sadly still lacking

I watched Sinead O'Connor pour her heart out in a recent video blog and I felt astounded.

The point she appeared to drive home was that people are still ignorant of the various mental health issues that are plaguing millions of people. Why? Why when people say they have a physical condition do we trip over ourselves to offer words of wisdom and support? Yet, when someone cries out for help on account of a mental health issue we suggest, without making eye contact, that they "pull themselves together".

Mental health is something that is increasingly affecting our celebrities. It's easy to remove ourselves though because we tell ourselves they're rich and famous and have lives we could only dream of. What do they have to be sad about? No matter your wealth and status in the world, we all have to face ourselves when the door is closed.

Mental health illness isn't just something that affects the rich and colourful though. And it's not a passing fad. My own experience of it is not technically my own. I'm fortunate that the most I've experienced is reactive stress. Most of us can relate to that. However my experience of it is more profound than I realised early in my life.

My mum had a very serious mental health condition. When I was growing up I experienced her highs and lows. As a single parent family I know she did her best to combat it so she could bring stability into a home where our father was largely absent. It didn't always work. It was the 1980s and the world was still in a hangover from the days where mental health patients were treated abysmally; in hospitals and in society. Even our extended family had no great understanding and would tell her to pull herself together or simply stop looking for attention.

My mother committed suicide at age 43. She has missed an entire lifetime of her family growing older and half a dozen grandchildren. The irony is that her death educated us in unspeakable ways. Now we have compassion and empathy in ways that many people still don't. My mother has become a symbol of celebration for our entire family and couldn't possibly know how profoundly she is missed.

This is the heartbreaking effect of mental health illnesses. We avoid having to deal with it until we no longer have the choice. Then when we do deal with it, it's often too late in the day. I hope Miss O'Connor gets the help she not only needs, but absolutely deserves. She is no different to any other person with an illness. She needs nurtured back to health. I just hope it isn't too late.

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The Dead of Winter – Billy McLaughlin #blogtour

This is one of my favourite reviews – and looking at it two months on makes me beam. Also there is a little interview chucked in. You want to know more about me?

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The Dead of WinterBLURB:
One missing baby! One runaway teenager! Coincidence?
Detective Kevin Wallace doesn’t think so. And neither do the residents of Golf Road, who are all too quick to point the finger at a man with severe learning disabilities. As Wallace and a colleague, who has already experienced the ugly nature of this particular community, get closer to the truth they may not like what is hidden behind closed doors.
This is a brand new mystery from the writer of ‘Lost Girl’ and ‘In the Wake of Death’. Let the chills commence.

My Review: I would like to thank Billy McLaughlin and Emma Mitchell of EDM Editorial & Publicity Services for allowing me the opportunity to read The Dead of Winter and for also allowing me the opportunity to take part in the blog tour. I can confirm that all opinions in this review are my own and are completely unbiased.

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The Dead of Winter – ON SALE for 99p/c

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“Dark, sinister and suspenseful”
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Kindle Unlimited – a service well worth paying for

I’ve read a few comments recently about how people are being shortchanged by Kindle Unlimited because it doesn’t have big names or many bestsellers on it’s list. I don’t think its amazon that is short changing people as much as it is the major publishing houses not embracing the change to how people are reading.

I have my four books listed in Kindle Unlimited and I would say I have more success with that than I do with selling actual copies. I hope that changes but I’m glad that KU has provided me with a platform to be seen rather than my books drowning in the tide.

Kindle Unlimited doesn’t provide you with full access to the library, and much of the content on there will likely be from self published authors or authors who haven’t sold a million copies. However, there are still hundreds of thousands of books for you to download. At £7.99 a month ($9.99 in America) I believe it’s a treat.

Nobody complains that Netflix doesn’t have all the blockbuster films or new releases on it. It’s a service that provides exclusive content for a monthly fee and should be treated as such.

So I would ask that people support the Kindle Unlimited service. As an author, it has some great promotional tools to allow us to lower our prices or make our books visible through the free days. What’s so bad about that? I know that you have to make the digital format of your book exclusive to amazon. You would have to weigh up how much success you’re having with other retailers. For me, it’s worth remaining in and, for the moment I wont consider going elsewhere.