Saturday, October 15, 2016

Let's Talk About The Other F Word

* This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Other F Word. All expressed information is on behalf of the show, however, all opinions are completely my own. *
40s, 50s, Amazon TV, television shows, TV, entertainment

The Other F Word is a new series that you're going to want to look into.

Look at these ladies. Don't they look like instant fun?

So, let me tell you why you need to watch.

First of all? It's free.

Second? It's on Amazon. Yep. Amazon.

As in carry it with you on your laptop and watch it whenever you want - Amazon.

Nice, right?

And more importantly than anything else?

The Other F Word is a series about men and women who are over the age of 40.

Extremely loud YAY for over 40 representation!

And, actually, that is really much of the point. The other F? It's representing 40s and 50s. And the lack of portrayal of women of a certain age in Hollywood.

Caytha Jentis, creator and writer, shares a bit on why The Other F Word exists. And she had a question as she approached her 50s and wrapped up her 40s.

"Why are there no TV shows about us?"

And so, she created one.

These individuals are characters who prove that life doesn't end after age 30. It only gets better with age. And they're so right. So very right.

As a woman in my 40s I can truly say that this is the time I've come into my own. I know who I am, and what I need. I obviously can't say that I know all the things, but I know a lot of them. A lot. And it feels good.

I'm excited to share some of the names with you on the cast list - like Ben Bailey, who is from CashCab - and who I kind of have a crush on,

Then, of course, there's the well-known Steve Guttenberg, from Police Academy fame.

And. Omg. Tell me if you know who this is.

Because I totally couldn't remember his name - but I knew that I knew him.

It's Carter! From Spin City. GAH! Love him. And bless, he looks amazing for 51 years old, my friends.

Next, let me introduce you to the beautiful women. First, I adore Reiko Aylesworth, and we're the same age! She's so cute - and spunky - and fun. And, as I've mentioned, she's over 40! (I'm over 40, I know you can't believe it, some days I can't either.)

And the glamorous and hilarious Judy Gold, also in her 50s.

This show is bound to entertain.

So I encourage you to support the show, and show the entertainment world that women over the age of 40 are welcome on your screen. Big screen. Small screen. Whatever screen you want to use? They belong there. WE belong there.

You can watch the show on Amazon right away by clicking through to the series.

If you enjoy what you watch, consider leaving a review and showing some support.

You can find info on the series across several social media channels and on their website:

The Other F Word Series on Facebook

Twitter @towfseries

* This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Other F Word. All expressed information is on behalf of the show, however, all opinions are completely my own. *

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10th is World Mental Health Day

mental health, social work, depression, anxiety, PPD, PPA, support, suicide lifeline, resources, mental health support

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Mental Health awareness is so important. It's critical. It's a part of our lives, whether we recognize it or not.

One in five adults experience mental illness.

One. In. Five.

Can you imagine it?

It's possible you can.

And it's possible because you might be that one in five.

And if you are? Think about how many people there are in the world.

How many people exist and how many people one in five represents.

Remember that you're not alone.

Never. Ever. Alone.

You're not alone because we're out here, too.

People like me, who are experiencing something that relates to what you're experiencing.



Bipolar Disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

Postpartum Psychosis.

Panic attacks.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Suicidal ideations and attempts.

All of these things. 

One. In. Five. 

Today is World Mental Health Day.

A reminder that none of us are alone in this.

None of us need to feel alone.

There is help. There is support. There are resources.

If you are feeling alone or experiencing despair to a point that you feel you need to speak with someone immediately, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

You do not have to be experiencing thoughts of hurting yourself to call for help. You can be experiencing any other symptoms, so please, reach out. There are phone support staff members available24/7 and someone will be there to talk to you and to listen if you need them to. 

Please don't wait. 

And if you know someone who could use the support? If you know someone who is hurting? Reach out to them. Let them know they're not alone. 

Don't try to say you understand if you don't. It's okay for you not to. You can simply say that you see that they are hurting and you want to be there for them. You want to help them find help. You want to support them however they need you to. 

And if someone you know or love threatens to hurt themselves, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. It's terrifying, I know. And you don't want them to be even more afraid. But talk to them. Explain what you are doing and why. Let them know that you're afraid they're going to hurt themselves, because of what they have said or done, and call 9-1-1 in front of them, so you can explain what's happening. Ask the dispatcher to send someone who is skilled in crisis intervention, or has been trained in mental health. There have been many trainings and newly skilled first responders who can help your loved one get the support they need. They can help you get the support you need. 

Don't be afraid to ask for help. There is so much more life to live. So much more to do. So much more to experience. Please - get the help you need - know you're not alone. 

For more resources on mental health advocacy and support:

Hopeline: 800-784-2433

Hopeline, North Carolina: Call 919-231-4525 or 877-235-4525

Please do not hesitate to reach out and email me if you need more resources or would like to find an organization in your area for support and/or to volunteer with. That said, if you are in the midst of an emergency, please, PLEASE, I cannot stress this enough - call 9-1-1.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Echoes Of Family, Barbara Claypole White

book review, reading, amreading, fiction, Barbara Claypole White, BCW, NC fiction, review,

I was provided with a copy of this book to facilitate my review, but that has no impact whatsoever on my thoughts and does not hold any weight in the reasons I loved this book as much as I did. Pinky promise. There are affiliate links throughout this post. 

Barbara Claypole White is one of my favorite authors, and if you are a reader of mine you know this already. If you haven't read her work before, or maybe haven't seen my reviews of some of her other novels, I'll share those links with you at the end of this post so you can find out what you've been missing.

Echoes of Family is such a good book, y'all.

It's only been out a short minute and people are falling in love with the characters left and right. And this is why.

Because Marianne is someone you know. Or have known. Or want to know.

Or, maybe ...

Marianne is you.

A woman dealing with a difficult past and a history of mental health diagnoses, Marianne fled England in her late teens because it was absolutely time for her to make a break for it. She wound up in North Carolina, and we love where she is now. We love the support she has. We love her husband. Her "daughter" (quotes indicating that this is a daughter in relationship, but not biologically or adopted). We relate to her. We hear her. We feel her. Feel FOR her.

Goodness, Marianne is a hot mess sometimes. And we know that this is real life. We know that people live with these sorts of illnesses all the time, and sometimes a manic depressive goes off on a tear and a tangent and there's nowhere else to go but with them.

Marianne does that here.

She flees back to England after an incident in North Carolina, and after the echoes of her memories start to haunt her. She leaves Darius (the husband), and Jade (the daughter), and takes off across the globe.

Barely in England a minute and she runs into the one person she wishes she would never see again. Gabriel. He's a vicar, and she's in his church. He takes her in and we learn more and more about them. Each character, on their own, has a charismatic way of functioning and communicating. And when you bring them together you're bound to simply love them.

Even if you're not sure you would if you knew them.

But it doesn't matter, because Claypole White does that when she writes. She writes characters that are complex and intense, and unhealthy in a number of ways. In ways that they don't take good care of themselves, and so who they are comes through like wildfire, ruining pretty much all the things.

Marianne is that character. Kind of. Sort of.

I had the unbelievable privilege of meeting Barbara Claypole White yesterday. I still can't believe it. She, too, lives in North Carolina, and so I've tried to see her speak and read a number of times, but it's never happened. Until now.

book review, reading, amreading, fiction, Barbara Claypole White, BCW, NC fiction, review,

She's such a sweet and real person, and I love that. I love being able to support someone who is honest and real and raw. She speaks freely about her family, most especially her son, whose support in her writing cannot be ignored. Her son and her husband are truly her first line of readers, and what a fabulous support system they are.

Echoes of Family is such a phenomenal read, you really need to go to Amazon right now and get yourself a copy. That said, I've got a pleasant surprise for you, my readers!

I wound up winning a copy at the event yesterday, and so I asked Barbara to sign a copy for one of you. And she did. And so that's up for grabs.

I'm giving you one mandatory way to enter, which has me asking you to leave a comment for me here on this post. You can pretty much talk about whatever you want to, I just ask that the comment have more than about ten words, I want Google to know you're a human and you've got something to say, if you don't mind.

And then I'm giving you several other opportunities, which really means should you decide to share this post on social media, come back and comment with the URLs so I can find them and recognize them as entries for this giveaway.

This giveaway isn't sponsored, I just got extra lucky and won the copy, and thought how better to support the author than to give it to one of my reading friends? Because once you love it, and her writing, and you will, you're bound to do some sharing of it yourselves.

Oh, and if you haven't yet read The Perfect Son? Go. Now. get yourself a copy because it's on sale on Amazon for Kindle and it's the best deal ever and if I'm being honest, it's my favorite book of Claypole White's. I love Echoes of Family, I promise I do, but The Perfect Son moved me in ways that my words do no justice. Which, honestly, is why - and I just realized this - I didn't publish a complete review of the book. That amazes me. I swore I had, but I think I was so moved by it that I never got it out there. Gasp! I did, however, include it in my Top Ten Reads of 2015. So, yeah, that's saying something.

Review for The Unfinished Garden

Review for The In-Between Hour

So - leave me your comment and let me know what you're reading, or why you want to read this book, or if you've heard of Barbara Claypole White before. And drop me a hey so I know you're sharing and you'll be entered to win.

Good luck, and happy reading!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Club: I Like Big Books

I've decided that after all these years of recommending books to my friends and family, and to you, my readers, that it's finally time to do a book club.

I've always wanted to start one, but been hesitant for a number of reasons.

What if nobody joins it?

What if people don't like the books?

What if people join it and then hate it?

There are so many what if-s, and if I believed them all I'd never get anywhere.

And so, I turned them around.

What if I succeed?

What if it's a lot of fun?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Goodbye Year, Kaira Rouda

books, amreading, fiction, new releases, Kaira Rouda, goodreads

Kaira Rouda's The Goodbye Year is the kind of read you don't want to put down. And honestly? I didn't. I devoured it in about two days, with a few stops to sleep, eat and possibly parent. #keepinitreal

And so - I start off recommending you grab yourself a copy as soon as you can.

*As always, these are affiliate links to facilitate your shopping experience.*

I received a copy from TLC Book Tours for review purposes. But you know me by now. All opinions are my own. I do my own reading and sing praises of books I enjoy. That's my jam.

Anyway, The Goodbye Year. A story of several families whose lives intertwine over the goodbye year - the last year that their kids are in high school - the year of decisions, frustrations, exhaustion, emotions - pretty much any -ion you can think of? It's happening here.

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