Tag Archive | Family

Bad Uncle by Gillian Felix

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 Title: Bad Uncle
Series: Family Portrait Book 5
Author: Gillian Felix
Genre: New Adult Drama, Contemporary Fiction


Book 5 cover flat_400x600Who needs enemies when you’ve got family

The stars are aligned in Adriana’s favor, but secrets have a way of exposing themselves just when everything is perfect. As Adriana and Haze’s relationship heads south, Carys is ready to pounce. Will Adriana’s lies drive the man she loves into the arms of another?

Meanwhile, Zax is finally with his dream girl, but why can’t he get his best friend’s girl out of his mind? When she turns to him for advice on how to be a better girlfriend, can he put his selfish desires aside, or will he follow his siblings and take what he wants despite the consequences?

When Kevin’s lifestyle puts innocent L’Wren in danger, his retaliation brings his ruthless uncle back to Los Angeles and into the lives of his family. In Bad Uncle, you’ll get to know the man who has the power to change the legacy of the Banovic family forever.

For Readers 18+, Can easily be read as a standalone!

Amazon | Goodreads



      Bacchanal Jake’s would not be opened to the public for another eight hours. Among the upturned chairs and bar prep work still to be done, Kevin Banovic and Victoria Johansson went over the fine print of their new partnership. She was his new silent partner at Jake’s. She’d put up the money to buy him freedom from the organization they’d worked for. Now Kevin was free to run Jake’s as a legit operation, he could finally be the kind of man that L’Wren and his parents expected him to be.
      “How does it feel, partner?” Victoria smiled.
      “Thank you! I don’t know how to repay you.” Kevin hugged her.
      “You’re my best friend, Kevin, that’s payback enough.”
      They heard the front door open. “Love what you did to the place.”
      Kevin recognized the voice instantly. It was a voice that he’d heard a million times over the phone, his worst nightmare.
      Kevin charged violently towards the tall, handsome, dark-haired man in his mid-thirties. He stopped in his tracks when he heard two gun clicks. One from the bodyguard guarding the door and the other behind him, from Victoria.
      Victoria had her gun pointed at the intruder and the bodyguard had his gun pointed at Kevin.
      “I never miss,” she said seriously.
      “Now, now, children, put your toys away.” The intruder looked at his bodyguard and he lowered his gun. “You too, quick-draw McGraw,” he directed at Victoria.
      Victoria lowered her gun only when Kevin gave her the signal to.
      “This is between me and my nep–” Before he could get the rest of the sentence out, Kevin rammed his fist into Adrian Banovic’s face, knocking him flat on his back before jumping on him and landing a few choice punches. Adrian blocked a few punches and managed to flip Kevin over. Both men jumped to their feet and sparred.
      Blood poured from Adrian’s mouth. “Is this any way to greet your uncle?”
      “You kidnapped my girlfriend!” Kevin lunged at him, but he moved out of the way.
      “Grasshopper, I taught you better than that,” Adrian taunted.
      “You’re right.” Kevin sideswiped him and landed his elbow on Adrian’s neck, taking him down to his knees. Kevin had him in a fierce headlock that prevented Adrian from moving without breaking his own spine.
      “That’s enough!” Victoria shouted at them and Kevin released him.


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The Author

GillianGillian Felix has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She enjoys creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.

Originally from the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Felix moved to the United States in 1998. Since then she has been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years. Her experience ranges from script supervisor to production manager on many independent features. She is trained in the Meisner and Stanislavski technique of acting, which she credits as an asset to her character development and writing.

Miss Felix is also an entrepreneur and advocate for children’s and women’s rights.

Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazon | Goodreads



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Books I Read In April 2016

The Exiled (The Exiled, #1)

by Scott Borgman

Never a dull moment in this book! There’s always something happening.
Once you start reading, it’s virtually impossible to put down.

The book is beautifully written. The storyline, the conflict between good and evil, is well thought out and has a sense of uncertainty and tension.

All the characters, both the good and the evil, are complex and alive. They each have their own individual personality.

An incredible story with a stunning ending. I can’t wait to read book 2.



David doesn’t believe in angels. He doesn’t believe in the devil. What better place for the key to Lucifer’s prison to hide than in someone who doesn’t believe in any of that?

When Lucifer discovers where the key to his prison is located, he sets out to claim it. The only thing standing in his way: the Exiled. For ages, they’ve fought to keep Lucifer and those who stand beside him contained within the prison. It’s a war between angels and fallen angels. Between Exiled and Imprisoned. Between brothers and sisters. And the Exiled are losing.

By a stroke of luck (or is it Fate?), Celeste and David cross paths, and the ongoing struggle to contain Lucifer takes a new turn as David discovers the world he has always known is not what it seems, that angels don’t wear halos, and his lack of belief doesn’t matter. Lucifer wants the key to his prison – and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Celeste may be Exiled, but she’s still an angel… still sworn to protect humanity – and that includes David. Protecting him from her Imprisoned brothers and sisters isn’t her only problem, though. She’s attracted to David like a moth to a flame, but angel Law strictly forbids any kind of intimate relationships with humans. Not even a single kiss is allowed. She knows why it’s forbidden, but that’s just a rumor…

‘The Exiled’ is the first book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.


Continuation (The Exiled, #2)

by Scott Borgman

Book 2 picks up some years after the end of book 1, with David and Celeste’s daughter, Kaly, learning about her heritage the hard way.
God, Lucifer and the old gods are all back along with the addition of vampires and werewolves.
The combination of the different myths and beliefs was handled brilliantly and well explained.

Once again the story grabbed me on page one and didn’t let go until the end of book three!

In my review of book one, I said “All the characters, both the good and the evil, are complex and alive. They each have their own individual personality.”
This is still true in book two, and the new characters, especially Kaly and Cody developed and grew through the book.

This was an exceptional read, and I couldn’t help but dig straight into book three


They thought it was over. They thought they had won. But you can’t keep a determined devil down, and Lucifer’s got something new up his demonic-looking armor. He’s devious and calculating. He knows the rules – and this time, he’s going to use them in his favor.

As the story speeds ahead through the years, Lucifer’s plans begin to unfold. With the help of a shadowy ally, he manipulates the rules on a fateful night – the very night David and Celeste sit down to tell their daughter who she really is.

For 23 years, Kaly thought she was just a normal human being like everyone else. But when she becomes the target in Lucifer’s newest attempt to escape his prison, the veil is lifted once more as she learns through frightful experience that her parents have secrets – and she’s one of them.

They’re out there… dark creatures of myth and legend that have been portrayed in movies and written about in books. But the monsters are real. They’re coming for her. And this time, the angels are powerless to help. Lucifer’s plan is flawless. His freedom from the prison is assured. No human will keep him from escaping this time.

It’s going to take more than bullets to keep Lucifer contained… more than human determination, unexpected love, angelic defiance, or help from an old acquaintance with her own agenda. It’s going to take something this world has never seen before.

‘The Exiled: Continuation’ is the second book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.


Infinity (The Exiled, #3)

by Scott Borgman

In book three we see a more ‘human’ side to Lucifer, as former enemies join forces to defeat their common enemy.
This book is set five years later than book two, but for me it was as though I’d never left and I was immediately captured by the story.

There aren’t many books that make me cry, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed few tears during the ending of this story.

The trilogy as a whole is a roller coaster ride of emotions, as good battles evil and not everything is as black and white as it seems.
The three books were well written and rather than simply reading a story, you are drawn in and experience the action alongside the characters.
Although God and Lucifer, and heaven and hell, appear in these novels, they aren’t ‘religious’ books and aren’t at all preachy.


Scott Borgman is an amazing storyteller and the The Exiled Trilogy is an awesome read!


The angels have waited, knowing something is coming on the horizon. Something dark. But they don’t know what. They don’t know when. They only know it’s coming. For five years, Kaly and Cody have waited as well. And in those five years, neither has aged a day. Such was the gift that was given to them.

He’s plotted, planned, and studied each of his foes for ages. He knows their weaknesses. When he unleashes his fury upon them all, no one is prepared. Humans, angels, old gods… no one is safe. Chaos ensues and the death toll begins to rise.

As the angels fight to defend Heaven and the old gods battle for Olympus, Kaly makes a dangerous decision and ventures into Lucifer’s prison, while Cody travels to Olympus in a desperate hope to find a way to stop an unstoppable foe. And while they seek answers – humanity faces the Apocalypse on Earth.

The veil will be torn away. Enemies will become allies to fight a common foe. You’ll walk with uncle and niece into the darkest depths of humanity to discover how low we can sink… and how high we’re capable of soaring. You’ll fly with angels, stand with the old gods, and fight beside humanity in its most desperate hour.

The game draws to a close. Humans, angels, and olds gods face a foe that has planned everything so meticulously, there can only be one outcome: a stunning conclusion to The Exiled Trilogy that will last for Infinity.

‘The Exiled: Infinity’ is the third book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.


Hellbounce (The ARC Chronicles, #1)

by Matthew W. Harrill

An amazing story!

Join the ‘forgettable’ Madden and psychotherapist Eva Ross, helped along the way by Janus and the ARC, as they race against time to save mankind and stop the Apocalypse.

This well-paced and action-packed book grabs your attention and holds it to the last page and beyond. It’s a great story with a well thought out plot. The graphically detailed descriptions don’t just let you visualise the scene, they draw you in and make you a part of it. I loved being a part of this adventure.
The interesting and dimensional characters were strong, believable and easy to love… or hate.

I am very interested to see where the story takes me in the second book, Hellborne (less)


As a psychologist in a prison hospital, Eva Ross had always dealt with her share of sinners. The corrupt, the insane, their minds were all hers to unlock. But when those around her, those she trusted with her life start to exhibit the same characteristics, she is forced to turn to a stranger, a man whose name she is incapable of even remembering, for sanctuary.

Follow Eva as she crosses continents to unlock the answers, and her eventual destiny.

Hellbounce. Demons don’t always hide in the dark.


Hellborne (The ARC Chronicles, #2)

by Matthew W. Harrill

Picking up where Hellbounce left off, the author delivers another amazing book in the trilogy.

As Madden and Eva marry and prepare for impending parenthood, all hell breaks loose…
this time, the demons are after the baby, and they’re not the only ones!

It’s hard to review Hellborne without revealing anything of the story, there is so much packed into the book. The characters are well fleshed out, and the vivid descriptions, once again, drew me in and kept a tight hold of me, right up to the end, and what an ending!

I need to read Hellbeast, NOW!


Heavily pregnant, Eva Scott finds herself challenged from all sides. Her husband Madden is not the man he was. Her mind is overburdened with the dreadful visions witnessed mere months before. Her new-found allies the ARC Council are prepared to turn against her unless she meets their demands. Above all, Eva feels she is being led on a path by a powerful, faceless forces, almost within touching distance, always in the shadows.
Join Eva as she battles against time to uncover the answers and seeks to find a safe haven to deliver her baby.



The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist

Take a small coastal town, throw in some humans, human vampires, good vampires and evil vampires, mix them up so you’re not sure who’s who. Add some dark shadows, deadly creatures and an old, creepy haunted house, with steps and doors that appear and disappear.
Combine it all with murder, mystery, intrigue and a dash of romance… and you have The Dead Game

The vivid descriptions in this fast-paced, action-packed book, stick you right in the centre of the action alongside Linda, Todd and their friends. There are plenty of surprise along the way. Just as you think you have it figured out and all is well, the author throws in another twist.

The main characters, are for the most part, well-fleshed out, but disappointingly, some of the dialogue was stilted and unnatural.


The Dead Game takes place in a coastal town with sparkling blue waters. But are its waters truly harmless? Or is evil lurking beneath its soothing waves, ready to ensnare unsuspecting victims into its dark and murky depths?
Life changes in the remote town…as darkness falls on the picturesque streets, the ominous sounds of chanting linger on the whispering winds. It all begins with the mysterious invitation to a party at End House. It is not at all what they had expected. They find themselves trapped in a deserted house where they must flee for their lives through revolving rooms and a trick basement. Not knowing if their stalkers are shape-shifters or human, they must uncover the one controlling the game and everyone else in town.


The Guicai Talisman

by A.M. Griffin

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but most of us do, and I did with this book.
The cover of The Guicai Talisman reminds me of a comic book, which it certainly isn’t and I’m glad I read it!

I enjoyed visiting the world created within its pages. A vividly described world inhabited by many paranormal creatures including witches, vampires and demons.
Babylonia (Baby) Delilah Jones works as a private investigator in the Undercity. She is determined to prove herself despite (or maybe because of) her half-human, half-paranormal status.
Baby is well developed, as is the cast of supporting characters.

I received an eCopy of The Guicai Talisman from Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.



What does a woman have to do to prove she belongs in the Undercity? Sure, I’m unclassed and only half paranormal, but that doesn’t mean I can’t solve cases. Since the established PI’s won’t acknowledge my right to a territory, I’m taking jobs from whoever will hire me, doing what I do best…proving myself to be a bad-ass problem solver. Which is how I find myself breaking into Zaid’s house, looking for a talisman my witch client says the very powerful vampire stole.

Now, I can make flowers grow, hear the wind’s whispers and talk to animals, but I don’t have the gift of seeing the future. If I did, I’d have known not to take this case. Because no matter the outcome, nothing good can come from messing with the Guicai Talisman, or it’s far too gorgeous guardian.


Annalise’s Up and Down Day

by Denise L. Jenne

A wonderful little book for younger children, that takes them through the ups and downs of a day in Annalise’s life.

I could easily imagine a series of books exploring different ‘opposites’.
The writing was easy enough for young readers and the story short enough to keep them engaged.
(My grandson, aged 6, had no problem reading it)

The pictures didn’t really appeal to me (or him), though!

I received an ecopy of Annalise’s Up and Down Day from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


This is the story of one day in the life of three-year-old Annalise. It follows her, through her daily activities, adventures and misadventures on one summer day, as she explores the meaning of “up” and “down” in her world.


After Dad: Novel

by Ralph Cohen

A peculiar, but strangely compelling book, made up of a series of interlinked short stories.

The stories take us through the lives of four family members – a wife, two daughters and a son -following the death of their father ( & husband).

Margot and Jenny’s stories are written in the first person, as is the wife’s. Oddly though, Toby’s story is written in the third person. The chapter about the funeral director, also written in the third person, seemed out of place.

The children all have emotional and moving stories in the years following their father’s death, which at times made uncomfortable reading.

Although I felt involved with the girls stories, I didn’t have the same connection with Ruth or Toby!


“He was always there for me,” Jenny Kovacek says in the opening of the novel After Dad, and indeed, her father is such a charismatic force in the family that despite his untimely passing, he continues to have a dynamic impact on his survivors. Set mostly in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s, Ralph Cohen’s debut novel tells the stories of the man’s three children and widow as they cope with their loss. Though missing, the father is never far from their minds, and during critical moments in their lives, he seems to reach out in various ways, from simple memories of touch and voice to artifacts left behind to a sense of his ongoing existence. How each of the family members responds to his lingering presence leads to results that are by turn comic, tragic and transformative. Two of the book’s chapters appeared previously in literary magazines, The Connecticut Review and REAL.


Bed of Thornes

by Angel L. Woodz


Veronica Thorne is nearing her 30th birthday. An established painter who is quite comfortable financially, owning an art gallery in Dallas, TX. She has never questioned who she is and what she wants in life, until now. Veronica has an addiction, one that she is losing all control of.

Adrian, younger and open-minded, becomes a part of her mysterious world of secrets. Each of them swirling in unknown desire-filled paths, not knowing where their lives will lead from this. One afraid, the other wanting to embrace the beauty of what they consider darkness.

Cohen, Ralph

2 Children’s Birthday Cards

2 days, 3 birthdays and 3 cards.

My Dad and my grandson, Dreydon share their birthday on the 4th of December. Dreydon’s sister, my grand-daughter, celebrates her birthday on the 5th!

Only 2 of the cards are shown here because I forgot to take a photo of my dad’s card.

Dreydon’s card.

To make:
Back an A4 piece of blue glitter card with a sheet of spotty blue paper then cut in half diagonally.
Score each half at 10 and 20 cm, fold into 3, then cut slits in the centre of each third. *see template.

Draw and colour (or print out) some Minions and letters, then cut them all out. I used party hats instead of letters for the ‘A’s and the ‘I’.
Arrange the Minions on the card and once you are happy with the placement stick them down. Then add the letters to the appropriate Minion to spell out Happy Birthday.

If you have trouble sticking onto glitter card, use a sharp knife to pick off the glitter layer from the backing on area you are going to stick to. 😉

Shanice’s card.

Shanice’s card was made in the same way, although the minions were replaced with Palace Pets and metallic thread was tied from the ‘balloon’ letters to the pets paws.



Scorned by Andrew Hess


Andrew Hess is a resident of Long Island New York who likes to spend much of his time traveling between Long Island, New York City and the Dutchess County areas. In 2011, he debuted with his first book Chamber of Souls, a small book of free verse poetry which depicted the struggles of a man who thought he had everything in the world only to feel like he lost everything after a rough break-up. In 2013, Andrew debuted his novel The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice; the first in The Phoenix Blade series.

Andrew is also a blogger at TheWritersRevolution13.blogspot.com where he interviews and promotes other authors in order to assist indie authors get more exposure. Andrew is also a frequent guest on the Anthony Charles Podcast, a show dedicated to creative professionals as they give insight into their works and the lives they lead; guests have included authors, comedians, musicians, stuntmen, actors and producers.


This action packed thrill ride will leave you on the edge of your seat.


What do you do when your biggest case has come to an end? Stuck with mandatory desk duty, Detective Ali Ryan’s life as she knows it, is over. Six months without any action brought out a hunger to get back in the field. What she got, was much more than she bargained for.

The body of Blake Ambrose, one of the best defense attorneys in Dutchess County, has washed up on the shores of the Hudson River. Is this the case that will get her back on her feet?

Or will it end up being her last?

Purchase your copy here



Interview with Andrew Hess

When did you start writing for publication, what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?

I decided I wanted to be an author back in 2005 but did not publish my first book until 2011. At first I wanted to write because I wanted to be rich and famous. But I learned quickly the love of writing in itself and sharing my thoughts, my experiences and my world with whoever decides to read my books was more rewarding. My first book was called Chamber of Souls, a book of free verse poetry that chronicled a man who had hit rock bottom and was forced to fight a journey to find himself. It was meant to help me through a dark time, but it was relatable to many others.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I never really consider anything I do a quirk. I guess the only thing I’d consider a quirk is my process of coming up with ideas. Typically I get my ideas from my dreams, but they appear in my mind at the most random times as well.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No, for the longest time I figured I would be a pro wrestler. It wasn’t until 2001 that I ever considered writing any kind of book and didn’t actually start the process until 2005.

For those of us who are thinking of reading your book, could you tell us what to expect?

Scorned has action, romance, and suspense, and that’s just between the cops. Plus, there’s a killer on the loose. I can’t say a lot without giving too much away. But Scorned gets a lot more intense than its predecessor Campus Killer. But as always, Expect the Unexpected.

What about your previous books, will you tell us a bit about them, please.

The Phoenix Blade Series currently has three books available. It’s a government conspiracy book where the government coerces three ordinary college kids to become hired hitmen.

Campus Killer is the prequel to Scorned where a psycho killer is attacking students at a local college campus, making their deaths look like suicides.

Trapped Inside is a fictional book depicting the life of a man fighting to overcome his agoraphobia

Chamber of Souls is a free verse poetry book that depicts the life of a man who feels like he lost everything in life and now fights to find himself.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Scorned makes my eighth published book. Scorned and Trapped Inside have been my favorite to date. Trapped Inside was a way to bring attention to the difficulties one faces with social disorders, most notably agoraphobia. I also love scorned because it is the continuation of my detective series and that is something I always wanted to write.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Occasionally I do. Most of the time I hear that they like the book or never saw the twists coming. Some have given me criticism which I take into account and apply it to my writing.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to watch movies, play video games, read, shoot pool, go swimming, and I love to cook.

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

I guess I would have to be the Phoenix. It would be a crimson body suit with red, orange and yellow wings.


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Me, My Family and Mental Health

I’ve been debating whether to do this post for a while but, having seen and read the Time to Change website, I’ve decided to share my story to  help others understand. Since making that decision to do it, it has taken me three days to write it…. because of my gibberish problem (see below*) and even longer to have the nerve to post it!!

Mental health has been an issue for at least 3 generations of females in my family, but it has affected us all in different ways.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in my early twenties and have been prescribed a variety of different anti-depressants over the years. Even with the anti-depressants, I have no self-confidence or self-esteem. The thought of meeting new people scares me, as does being in a group of people, even having to talk to someone I know makes me nervous. I don’t like going out in case someone talks to me because I don’t know what to say to them. *When I do talk to people I feel as though I’m talking gibberish, even doing this  post I feel like I’m typing  gobbledygook!
I have times when I have no interest in things, when I get irritable, when I have no energy or when I am tearful for no reason. On a good note though, I am not suicidal, although I have been in the past.


We often use the expression ‘I feel depressed’ when we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually, these feelings pass in due course. But, if the feelings are interfering with your life and don’t go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back, over and over again, for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you’re depressed in the medical sense of the term.

In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life, but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, major depression (clinical depression) can be life-threatening, because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.


If you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll have seen me mention Zoe. Zoe is my youngest daughter and I think that we’re very close. She has two children, an 8-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. She now lives with her daughters dad but hasn’t always done so.

Zoe was  diagnosed  with BPD (borderline personality disorder) when she was 21.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

BPD is one of many personality disorders listed in the diagnostic manuals used by clinicians when they are giving someone a psychiatric diagnosis.

Below are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder according to recent government guidelines. A doctor will diagnose borderline personality disorder in persons who have five or more of these symptoms and if the symptoms have a significant impact on them.

  • Having emotions that are up and down (for example, feeling confident one day and feeling despair another), with feelings of emptiness and often anger
  • Black and white thinking. idealisation to devaluation
  • Difficulty in making and maintaining relationships
  • Having an unstable sense of identity, such as thinking differently about yourself depending on who you are with
  • Taking risks or doing things without thinking about the consequences
  • Harming yourself or thinking about harming yourself (for example, cutting yourself or overdosing)
  • Fearing being abandoned or rejected or being alone
  • Sometimes believing in things that are not real or true (called delusions) or seeing or hearing things that are not really there (called hallucinations).

People with borderline personality disorder have high rates of other mental health related problems, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance misuse (drugs or alcohol).
The question of ‘personality disorders’ is controversial, as what some experts term as ‘personality’ others regard as ‘the self’; so any suggestion that a person’s self is disordered, damaged or flawed can be distressing.

BPD is thought to affect less than one percent of the general population. It’s been estimated that three-quarters of those given this diagnosis are women. It’s a condition that is usually diagnosed in adults only.

Research shows that people with BPD are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and make suicide attempts compared to people with other psychiatric diagnoses.

While mental health experts now generally agree that the name “borderline personality disorder” is misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet.

The causes of BPD are unclear. Most researchers think that BPD develops through a combination of factors, including temperament, childhood and adolescent experiences. Difficult life events such as the early loss of a parent, childhood neglect, sexual or physical abuse are common in people diagnosed with BPD though this is not always the case. Stressful experiences, such as the break-up of a relationship or the loss of a job, can lead to already present symptoms of BPD getting worse.


Seeing Zoe live with a lot of the symptoms above has been heartbreaking for me, especially when you look at the causes of BPD.

Due to my own mental health issues and the inability to cope, I put my children into care.  It wasn’t a decision I made easily, but I honestly thought that they would be better off with people who could care for them better than I was able to. I didn’t know how wrong could I be.
While the eldest two went to live permanently with my parents, my two younger children, after a brief stay with my parents, were pushed from pillar to post in the ‘care’ system.
I’d like to think that there are great foster parents somewhere out there, that there are people who take children in because they want to help them and look after them and don’t just see them as a cash cow. But if there are, then I don’t know where they were when my children needed a home.
My children were neglected and abused, and I was mostly kept in the dark. When I did find things out and tried my best to help them, I was patronised or ignored… everyone knew better than me…. and the things I did find out at the time were nothing compared to what I know now.
I have regrets, I wish things could have been different for all of us, and I feel a great deal of guilt, but I made a decision which I thought was right at that time.

I have seen Zoe suffer, I have seen the results of her self-harming, and I have sat at the side of her hospital bed desperately hoping that she will be ok.  I’ve had to watch her dive heart-first into abusive or destructive relationships rather than be alone, unable to prevent the inevitable outcome, only able to try to pick up the pieces afterward. I’ve watched her move house impulsively, packed and gone (or just gone), within days, on more occasions than I care to think about. I’ve seen her need help, but either not ask for it or not get it until it’s too late.
Through all of it I have tried to be there for her, whenever she needed or wanted me to be, but I don’t know if it was enough.

I have also witnessed her fight for a good life for herself and her children, and I’ve seen her give up, only to come back stronger and fight again.
I’m watching her now, build a life for family and I hope, with all my heart, that she will succeed.  I also hope she knows, that I will do anything within my power to help them.

If you would like to read or understand how having BPD affects Zoe, check out her blog Living On The Borderline


My eldest daughter, Claire, is married, has two boys aged 7 and 11, with a third due in September.
I can’t say too much about Claire as we don’t talk often. She generally only rings when she has a problem, is upset or has some great new. Nine times out of ten when I ring her she is too busy to talk for long.
I don’t know whether she has actually been diagnosed with a mental health illness, but I do know that she recently spent a week in rehab for alcohol abuse. However at different times she has told me she is bipolar and/or schizophrenic. She isn’t, as far as I know, being treated for either condition.
She does have problems staying in relationships as the grass always seems greener elsewhere. She is also a fantasist and an attention seeker.
I have to admit I don’t understand her very well and I feel bad about that, although having done some research I think I am more understanding than I was. I do wish she could just be honest and open, and maybe that would help her get some help with her problem. I also hope that she will be able to settle in her on and off, and on again, relationship with her husband.

Attention seeking.

Some behavioral problems seem to plague compulsive overeaters and substance abusers more than other groups. Excess attention seeking appears to be one of them. All humans require attention. Without getting and giving attention, you could not have a social species. Getting attention is necessary for life’s vital enterprises and can be the difference between life and death in a crisis. Therefore, not getting adequate attention can threaten the quality and sustainability of life. Thus, getting functional social attention is understandable. However, extreme attention seekers go to unhealthy lengths that are driven by emotional desperation.

Excessive attention seeking is not a character flaw. It is a brain wiring response to early developmental trauma caused by neglect though not all neglect is evidence of a lack of love. People only have so much they can give; sometimes that is not enough. The developing brain observes its environment and wires itself accordingly to survive in that world that it presumes will be like those experiences.


My Mum is another person I really do not understand.

She has had depression. She spent some time on a psychiatric ward when I was 17. You would expect her to have some understanding or empathy for myself and my daughters, but you’d be wrong.
She is definitely a member of the old ‘snap out of it, pull your socks up and get over it‘ brigade.

She seems to think that I no longer have a problem, that my not ‘not liking’ to meet new people is because I am shy. She doesn’t realise that when we are out together and she talks to anyone and everyone, that all I want to do is run away and hide, or even curl up and die, that I couldn’t be happier if the ground opened and swallowed me up.

When she talks to me about my daughters, she says things like… “We know what it’s like” and “We know how it feels”, but she doesn’t know what it’s like for me, for Zoe or for Claire.

I don’t know how it feels to be Zoe!

I don’t know how it feels to be Claire!

I know how it feels to be me and it’s not good, and I’m not over it, and I’m guessing that after 30 years of not being able to snap out of it, I probably never will!


So, there it is, a brief look into my family’s fight with Mental Health. Writing this post has been a struggle for me, but if it helps even one person overcome the stigma of mental health, or helps a single person change their attitude towards people with mental health problems, then it has been worth it.

Popcorn Boxes

For the past couple of days, I’ve been making personalised popcorn boxes. My daughter asked me to make these for her partners birthday party.
I’ve made 25 large boxes and another 25 smaller ones.


They are really easy to make… the hardest part was getting the design right before printing.
Once they were printed I cut them out. I used my guillotine for the straight edges, along the top and sides, and scissors for the rest. I used my Hougie Board to score the folds, stuck it together with double-sided tape and tucked the bottom flaps in so they looked like this…


Template for small box, (approx 9.5cm high x 6.5cm across the top). Place double-sided tape, or glue, in the shaded areas.

The larger boxes had to be printed and cut in two pieces, as they were too big for a piece of A4 card/paper.


Template for large box, (approx 16cm high x 11cm across the top). Place double-sided tape, or glue, in the shaded areas.

A brief history.

When I started this blog I had loads of ideas and lots of things I wanted to say and do.
However, I have sat here time after time for the past few days and my mind has gone blank!


So I figure I’ll tell you a bit about myself, and my family….

My Dad joined the military straight from school and, following in his father footsteps, became a soldier in the Royal Engineers.

My Mum lived with her parents in ‘The Lamb and Flag’, in Ripon.

They met when my Dad was based at the camp in Ripon, and  were married in Ripon Cathedral in March ’62.


Shortly after he was transferred to Aldershot, where my sister was born in March ’63 and I followed along in Feb ’64.

That makes me an ‘Army Brat’, and  51 years young.

I have lived in many houses, in many towns, but all in the UK. I don’t remember living in Aldershot, Winterslow or Middle Wallop. The first place I vaguely remember living is Tidworth, and it was there that I went to ‘Kindergarten’, and started infants school. I was still in infant school when we moved to Radcliffe.


We moved to Brighouse when my parents left army quarters and bought their own house. I went to Junior School and then to Grammer School in Brighouse, then did my last year of senior school in Brentford. I left school in ’80, with o’ levels in maths, english, english lit., french and art. I moved back to Brighouse and started working for the Yorkshire Water Authority.

I married in ’81 and lived in Illingworth for the following 8 years, albeit in 3 different houses. My eldest daughter was born in October ’81, and I was separated from her dad just before her first birthday!! My eldest son was born in May ’83, and my divorce was finalised in ’84.


I had two more children, a son in ’87 and a daughter in ’89. I moved to Morecambe in ’89, shortly before their dad and I also went our separate ways.

I met Brian, a born and bred Lancastrian, in Morecambe in ’89, we were married in ’90 and moved to Bolton le Sands in ’91.


24 years later we are still living in the same flat and Brian and I will be celebrating our silver wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks time.