Tag Archives: mental health

ADHD ADDults: The Ultimate Success Manual by Jim Livingstone Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Get FREE SHIPPING on all custom printed books at BookBaby.

Author Jim Livingstone works to end the stigma surrounding an ADHD or ADD diagnosis and helps those working through the diagnosis to find ways to remain productive and achieve their goals in the book “ADHD ADDults: The Ultimate Success Manual”.


The Synopsis

Millions of adults are diagnosed with ADHD—but few find solutions needed to thrive…

An ADD or ADHD diagnosis—simply a label for the underlying cause of behaviours—doesn’t mean surrendering to the challenges. In fact, understanding how the brain works will change your perspective and help you become the best version of yourself.

ADHD ADDults: The Ultimate Success Manual serves as a guide—helping you navigate this daunting, uncharted territory in your life. Author Jim Livingstone—diagnosed with Adult ADHD at age 45—gives a first-hand account of his journey and shares everything he wished someone had explained to him when feeling discouraged and overwhelmed.

Jim hopes to erase the stigma around ADD and ADHD, and help others learn to manage and succeed. In this book, he explains ways to set goals, how to get a support system in place, and the seven key elements for action. He includes all the tips and tools needed to turn distractions into developments.

If you have ADHD or know someone who does, you know that living with it can be challenging. You might feel like you’re not doing as well as others or that you’re “different” from everyone else.

And while that’s true, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dreams or things like being organized or getting things done on time—it just means finding new ways to do those things!

ADHD ADDultsThe Ultimate Success Manual is the ultimate ADHD manual. It is an all-inclusive adult ADHD toolkit that will help you understand what ADHD is, how it affects certain areas of your life, and offer a helping hand to get you to a peaceful and rewarding life.

The fact that it was written by someone who was finally diagnosed with Adult ADHD at the age of 45 means you’ll be getting a first-hand account of his journey and everything he wished someone had told him when feeling overwhelmed or demoralized.

Here are some reasons why this book is a must-have:

• An Ultimate Guide and ADHD Planner: This book is a practical guide with plenty of ADHD¬friendly ways to organize your life. It helps you stay relaxed and calm even in the most stressful situations.

• Helps You Feel Understood: Find caring and helpful advice from the journey of Jim Livingstone to help you feel understood when you feel demoralized or disheartened.

• A perfect book to deal with ADHD: In this book, Jim has shared his journey and experience

ABN Banner

The Review

This was a well-written and engaging book. The author does an amazing job of really honing in on the experiences of living with ADHD and the lessons it brought him to find success. The balance the author struck in his tone and writing style between personal experiences and guided lessons to help the reader understand how to combat and live with their own diagnosis was supremely helpful and well-developed, and the way the author writes allows the reader to feel seen and engaged on a personal level. 

What makes this book so unique is unlike other books in this genre, the author comes from a place of personal experience and not a straight-up medical or doctoral approach to the subject matter. It allows the reader to truly connect to the lessons the author is teaching and gives the reader the tools they need to implement these guides into their lives in a sensible way. The author also does great work to de-stigmatize the world of mental health overall but in particular ADD or ADHD. As someone with family members who suffer through their own mental health diagnosis, I understand the importance of shedding society’s labels and ideas about those going through these things and allowing the right course of treatment to be found without the pressures of judgment from others. 

The Verdict

Memorable, enlightening, and thoughtful in its approach, author Jim Livingstone’s “ADHD ADDults: The Ultimate Success Manual” is a must-read nonfiction book on success guides and understanding one’s ADHD or ADD diagnosis. The informative nature of the book and the compassion for which the author writes stand out in the book clearly, and the tips the author gives for setting up routines that work for you and having the support system you need in place to help out made this a truly must-own book for anyone dealing with this. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Jim Livingstone remembers when ADHD wasn’t a recognised or diagnosed health disorder. He was simply described as “overactive, stupid…a pain in the arse.” After spending four decades feeling discouraged by life failures, he was diagnosed with ADHD. He decided not just to survive—but to thrive. For the past 30 years, he has cultivated successful relationships and businesses—and is now on a mission to support others on ADHD journeys. He hopes his story will help others change their narrative—and learn to capitalise on their unique abilities.

Jim lives Down Under on the scenic Sunshine Coast. He loves driving country roads with his beloved wife and taking his dogs to the beach. When he’s not writing or reading about ADHD, you’ll find him working out at the gym…or tinkering with racecars.


Thinking Yourself Confident: 15 Keys To Increase Confidence, Ignite Performance & Unlock Full Potential (THINK Yourself® SERIES) by Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas gives readers the 15 keys to turning the negative, self-doubt thoughts that impact certain areas of your life into a powerful force to serve your future in the book “Thinking Yourself Confident: 15 Keys to Improve Confidence, Ignite Performance & Unlock Full Potential”, part of the THINK Yourself® SERIES. 


The Synopsis

“It’s never going to work. You’re not good enough!” Are you tired of hearing that nagging voice inside your head? And what if you could do something about it? Do you have a dream or a project that’s been on the back burner for too long? Even with all your accomplishments, do you still doubt yourself sometimes?

Bookbaby.com helps independent authors bring their creative vision to the marketplace. Sell eBooks online in the biggest retail stores.

Statistics show that 85% of people suffer from a lack of self-confidence in at least one area of their lives. Draining negative self-talk creates procrastination, stress, anxiety, and burnout. People know what they want or need to do, and yet they do the reverse—they resist change and can’t adapt to the fast world we live in. That makes them feel powerless, frustrated, and insecure. In a work environment, this can lead to a demotivated and unhappy team, low overall performance and a high employee turnover rate. With the layers of stress people are already buried under, important decisions are clouded by emotions or limiting beliefs, instead of being based on skills and experience. Bottom line: whether on a personal or professional level, most people admit to not working—or living—at their full potential.

Through Nathalie’s D.N.A. System, you will discover 15 proven Keys to Confidence, real-life, simple skills and strategies to transform your inner thoughts and beliefs into a serving force that will empower you to be your best. Get ready to ignite performance and get the tools you need to THINK Yourself® CONFIDENT.

ABN Banner

The Review

This was a well-written and inspiring read. The overall atmosphere and tone the author set felt very positive and confident, really selling the reader the confidence they would need to make these changes to their outlook on life and the things holding them back. The personable writing style the author adapted made the personal experiences the author reflected on feel more relatable and spoke to the reader in a natural way. 

To me, the heart of the narrative lay in the way the author used positivity and encouragement to tackle the impact mental health has on both our daily lives as well as our professional lives. Mental health is a real issue facing our world and without addressing it and making it part of the normal fabric of our society’s way of thinking, the negative thoughts and emotions the author addresses in this book would continue to spiral out of control, impacting our drive to move forward. The author’s guided steps and lessons helped to address this issue and made for an even more inspiring read.

The Verdict

Captivating, invigorating, and enlightening, author Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas’s “Thinking Yourself Confident: 15 Keys To Increase Confidence, Ignite Performance & Unlock Full Potential” is a brilliant and well-written guide and self-help journey for professional and personal dealings with mental health and confidence. The relatable and inspiring nature of the author’s words and the engaging way the author addresses the reader directly made this a truly impactful book to pick up over and over again. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

2021 Canadian Presenter of the Year Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas is a Confidence Expert. She is the international No.1 Bestselling Author of seventeen books about success, communication, wellness and empowerment. She has proven that negative self-talk, imposter syndrome, resistance to change, past trauma, and low performance can all be addressed with increased confidence. She is the Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, offering keynotes and trainings, leading-edge online courses, laser-focus business strategies and one-on-one transformation coaching.

Over the past 30 years, Nathalie has inspired over 100,000 audience members and empowered thousands of clients internationally. She combines over 10 years of experience in human resources, 25 years in sales and over 30 years of distinguished service in the fitness industry.

Reckless Grace: A Mother’s Crash Course in Mental Illness by Carolyn DiPasquale Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A mother struggles with the knowledge of her daughter’s painful journey through mental health and addiction after discovering her daughter’s journal after a heart-shattering loss in author Carolyn DiPasquale’s “Reckless Grace: A Mother’s Crash Course in Mental Illness”.


The Synopsis

Fourteen-year-old Rachel guards a collection of secrets for ten years, journaling to vent her terror and loneliness.

What the single, working mother recalls is a far cry from what happens, as dramatically revealed in tandem chapters gleaned from Rachel’s journals. While the mother sprints from task to task, the daughter details the baffling emergence and frightening progression of bulimia, diabulimia, and borderline personality disorder; her eventual substance abuse; and heart-wrenching reasons for not seeking help.

Following Rachel’s fatal overdose years later, her mother, Carolyn DiPasquale, stumbles upon her daughter’s diaries. Shattered, she searches for answers, retracing her steps to figure out how parents and doctors missed three major mental illnesses.

Despite her loss, DiPasquale hopes her story lights a path for victims of mental illness while awakening all readers.

The Review

This was such a powerful, emotional, and heartbreaking read. The author’s passionate story of loss, discovery and the journey through grief that was presented was emotional and captivating all at once as a reader, and yet heartfelt and tragic for any parent out there who has had to deal with this level of loss. The honest and poignant way in which the author wrote kept the reader invested in the story throughout the narrative.

The things that really will stay with readers long after reading the book are both the style in which the author presented this story and the themes that were talked about. The way the author presented both her perspective as a mother and her journey through grief and then also her daughter’s perspective through diary entries that explored the struggles of mental health and other disorders was not only very balanced but came across in a very narrative way. The themes however were plentiful enough for a multitude of different readers to relate to. For me personally, as someone who has someone in their life that has had to deal with many of these mental health and eating disorders, I have experienced firsthand so much of the author’s own experiences, and while I may not understand it from a parental perspective, I do know what it is like to yearn to help and care for someone you love who is struggling with something outside of their control. 

The Verdict

Heartbreaking, emotional, and engaging, author Carolyn DiPasquale’s “Reckless Grace: A Mother’s Crash Course in Mental Illness” is a must-read nonfiction book on mental health, grief, and the journey of a parent with their child. The story presented is difficult, and yet brings an urgency and need for all parents to understand and utilize in their journeys, and with that awareness, readers can have the much-needed sense of healing and hope that many parents are seeking out there. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Carolyn DiPasquale grew up in Franksville, Wisconsin, graduating from UW-Milwaukee with a double major in English and French. In 1983, she moved to Rhode Island where she raised three children while pursuing her Master’s in English at the University of Rhode Island. Over her career, she taught literature and composition at various New England colleges; worked as a technical writer at the Naval Underseas Warfare Center in Newport; and wrote winning grants as a volunteer for Turning Around Ministries, a Newport aftercare program for ex-offenders. She has been an active member of the Newport Round Table, a professional writing group (founded in 1995), since 2013. 

DiPasquale currently lives in Richmond, Rhode Island where she has started working on a sequel to Reckless Grace. She has also ventured into writing children’s books. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking with healthy ingredients, hiking and trapshooting with her husband Phil, and volunteering at the New Hope Chapel food pantry in Carolina, Rhode Island.  

Visit her website to follow her updates. You can also follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

Purchase a copy of Reckless Grace on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list. 


Blog Tour Calendar

– Blog Tour Calendar

August 1st @ The Muffin

Join us at WOW! Women on Writing as we celebrate the launch of Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.


August 1st @ Mindy McGinnis

Join Mindy as she features a guest post by author Carolyn DiPasquale on the topic of how mental disorders travel in packs. Don’t miss this! 


August 3rd @ Pages and Paws

Join Kristine as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. You don’t want to miss this powerful memoir!


August 8th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he features Carolyn DiPasquale’s guest post about lessons learned from querying agents and publishers.

August 9th @ The Faerie Review

Join Lily as she features Carolyn DiPasquale and her memoir Reckless Grace.


August 10th @ Word Magic

Come by Fiona’s blog where she shares the author’s guest post about memoir writing. Don’t miss this important post if you are interested in this writing genre!


August 13th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion

Join Linda as she interviews Carolyn DiPasquale about her memoir Reckless Grace. 


August 15th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdra as she features Reckless Grace by Carolyn DiPasquale.


August 18th @ Pen and Prosper

Join Jennifer as she interviews Carolyn DiPasquale about her memoir Reckless Grace.


August 19th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. You don’t want to miss this touching memoir.


August 20th @ Choices

Join Madeline as she shares Carolyn DiPasquale’s guest post about whether women can age with grace.


August 22nd @ World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s powerful memoir Reckless Grace.


August 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony again as he reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s powerful memoir Reckless Grace.

August 28th @ Liberate and Lather

Join Angela as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. 


September 1st @ Peaches and Cream Pages

Join Kelly as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. You’ll definitely want to add this book to your reading list.


September 2nd @ Heidi Lynn’s Book Reviews.

Join Heidi Lynn as she features Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace.


September 3rd @ Kelly Sgroi’s Blog

Visit Kelly’s blog today and read the guest post written by Carolyn DiPasquale about how to make your writing sing. Feel inspired today!


September 4th @ Free to be Me

Join Leslie as she reviews Reckless Grace by Carolyn DiPasquale.


The Evil I Own: My Son’s Prisoner by K.S. Penn Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author K.S. Penn shares her harrowing story of breaking free from a cycle of violence and abuse and sheds a light on the rarely discussed cases of a child against parent abuse in her book, “The Evil I Own: My Son’s Prisoner”. 


The Synopsis

A schoolgirl’s crush turns into a nightmare. Her fairy tale will not be coming true, and breaking free won’t be enough to stop the cycle of abuse.

The Evil I Own is a harrowing and brave story about family abuse. Partner abuse. Child abuse. Child-to-parent abuse.

This memoir recounts the painful and courageous story of Ellie, whose journey entails finding her way out of a life of violence and abuse. It will introduce a taboo-subject: Child-to-parent abuse, also known as child-to parent violence. It is one of the most under-reported and under-researched subsets of family violence. It is often ignored or misidentified. The effects of experiencing abuse from one’s child can be profound. Ongoing parent abuse has been found to impact on a parent’s and other family members’ physical and psychological health, with specific negative emotions such as fear, shame, humiliation, guilt and despair, and so they rarely seek help. There is stigma and disgrace around the concept that a child might choose to hurt a parent, and parents often attempt to ignore, placate, or surrender to these behaviours. It may include verbal abuse and name-calling, property damage (such as punching holes in the walls), financial abuse and the ultimate- physical abuse. Tragically, in some cases, even sexual abuse. Child-to-parent violence has been found to occur more commonly when the offending child has experienced violence perpetrated by a parent.

Ellie’s story will resonate with those who have lived with violence and educate others who may not understand how difficult it can be to leave an abusive situation. Sometimes life’s challenges and struggles can make you a stronger person. Perhaps Ellie was meant to survive and share her story. Perhaps in sharing, people see their own lives and stories more clearly.

Clearly written with insightful awareness and interspersed with messages of resolve and hope.

Recommended for readers 18+ due to scenes of graphic violence and sensitive issues.

The Review

This was such a heartbreaking yet engaging story. The author’s raw emotions and painstakingly vivid accounts of the years of mental, verbal, and physical abuse she suffered both at the hands of her husband and her child made this tale so tragic, and yet the author’s strength and courage in sharing her story help showcase the importance of speaking up against the cycle of violence so many people find themselves in throughout their lives. 

The vivid details of the years the author experienced this tragedy did an important job of highlighting the patterns and signs that exist within these types of relationships. The balance the author struck with memoir-style storytelling and the harrowing accounts of abuse and the signs and symptoms associated with it made this story feel both well-rounded and vital to read. The thing people rarely ever look at when studying the life of a violent person is how their parents were affected, and how parents can be targets of abuse just as children or spouses can. The exploration of such a difficult subject was handled with honesty and courage on the author’s part, and this was reflected in the author’s superb writing.

The Verdict

Emotional, painful, yet vitally important, author K.S. Penn’s “The Evil I Own: My Son’s Prisoner” is a must-read memoir and nonfiction read. The heartfelt way the author wrote and the thought-provoking content of the author’s personal story is filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and shocking twists and turns that leave the final chapters with a shocking and gripping conclusion. The impact of abuse on both children and spouses is explored heavily throughout half of the book, and the impact is felt when the child becomes the abuser later on in the story, and the author’s fight to overcome both is one many readers can either identify with or root for, and we are grateful to see the author’s strength in every chapter of this book. if you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


Sisters in the Storm by Linda Hoff Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Linda Hoff helps parents, in particular, mothers, who must take on the painful task of caring for their adult children as they develop a terrible mental illness and navigates the rough waters that journey will take them on in her book, “Sisters in the Storm”.


The Synopsis

What do you do when your adult child receives a frightening and severe mental illness diagnosis that is progressive and incurable-and barely manageable? How do you support him or her without losing your own self to the disease? Sisters in the Storm is your coping tool. Written with love and extreme vulnerability, author Linda Hoff shares her journey of being a mom of a mentally ill adult child (MIAC) and guides you to navigate this rough road as only a seasoned veteran can.

The problems are numerous and never-ending: problems of finances, of living arrangements, of medication management, of medical authority, of your own mental equilibrium-and the issues of your breaking heart as you lose your formerly capable, enthusiastic child to the downward spiral of an incurable mental disease.

But you are not alone. You’re part of a sisterhood of mothers who are trudging the road together, supporting each other along the way, and emerging as changed but strong. Strong in their commitment to their child and strong in their commitment to themselves. Strong in their resolve to help their child and strong in their resolve to live their own full life. You are sisters-sisters in the storm. 

The Review

This was such an emotional and heart-wrenching yet hopeful read. The author does such an incredible job of delving into the heart of the journey that people take when caring for an adult child suffering from mental health awareness. The honesty and heart for which the author writes pour through on every page, and the way each chapter is crafted to take the reader through each stage of this process, no matter how painful, really showcases the author’s personal approach to the subject and the way in which readers are able to relate to this topic.

The thing that struck me the most was the author’s unique perspective. Rather than getting a professional psychologist’s POV or getting a more clinical approach to the topic, readers are treated to an honest, heart-to-heart conversation between a mother and the readers out there who need to hear this amazing author’s words. While not a parent, I am all too familiar with the effect mental health can have on both the people we love the most and those around them, and reading the author’s words and their experience with this topic was something that was not only identifiable but emotionally connective as well.

The Verdict

A memorable, tragic, yet emotionally connected and engaging read, author Linda Hoff’s “Sisters in the Storm” is a must-read book on mental health awareness and the journey parents must take to seek help for and care for their adult children suffering from said illness. The focus not only on caring for her child but finding a way of caring for herself and finding a way back to finding her new normal in life was a breath of fresh air in regards to this topic, and the emotional and heartfelt journey chronicled here is something readers will not want to miss. Be sure to grab your copy on May 1st, 2022! 

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Not only has Linda Hoff survived the storm, she has created a life of balance, joy, and purpose for herself and her mentally ill adult child (MIAC.) In her debut book, Sisters in the Storm, Linda shares her struggles, heartache, and lessons learned over the last ten years as she navigated through her son’s unexpected schizophrenia diagnosis. Linda shares a home on the outskirts of Saint Louis, Missouri with a friend and fellow mom of a MIAC, two dogs, and two cats. She visits her son regularly and loves to spend time in nature, traveling, reading, and enjoying time with her four grandchildren.

The Clash Inside Me by John Moondragon & Kelly Alblinger Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young man living with dissociative identity disorder finds himself the witness to a horrific crime, and must determine if one of his alters was responsible in author John Moondragon’s “The Clash Inside Me”. 


The Synopsis

THE CLASH INSIDE ME opens with a young man perched on a ledge and contemplating an unusual predicament: did he or did he not commit murder? And if he did, which of his alter-personalities will ultimately be held responsible?

The young man, who remains nameless throughout the tale, recounts the story of his life and the diagnosis of his mental illness –dissociative identity disorder – with refreshing candor. Speaking directly to the reader, he describes his personal history in a manner that is both relatable and engaging. Despite the obvious disadvantages of coping with multiple personalities, he is not a victim of his circumstances. He is a survivor with expectations of a bright future, including a tender romance. There are moments of fear and anguish, but his is not a story of despair; rather it is a tale of ongoing courage to define oneself while coping with a serious mental illness.

The Review

The author really found the perfect harmonious balance between entertaining narrative and emotionally-driven character growth under the umbrella of understanding mental health more clearly. The narrative was definitely character-driven, focusing on the protagonist and his alters in vivid and gritty detail. The fast-paced narrative and the imagery that was conjured with the author’s words made the reading experience fun yet thought-provoking.

The theme and message of the narrative surrounding mental health, in general, was a fantastic choice. The discussions and education that the narrative brings about mental health, despite the fictional aspect of the narrative, really do a phenomenal job of furthering our understanding of mental health and DiD in particular. The examination of the protagonists alters and the jarring experience of losing the control you would typically have over your own body was mesmerizing to behold.

The Verdict

Memorable, engaging, and thoughtful in its approach, author John Moondragon and Kelly Alblinger’s “The Clash Inside Me” is a must-read fiction thriller with a mental health focus. The intrigue and suspense of the main plot when combined with the emotional journey of the main character and his struggle with his mental health makes for such an amazing read, so be sure to grab your copy of this amazing story today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

John Mondragon is a self-published author of his first novel “The Clash Inside Me” and a caring father and husband.

He is passionate about helping people understand the importance of mental health matters, and encourages others to speak up and speak out.

Author Website: https://www.subscribepage.com/theclashinsideme

Book Purchase Links: https://books2read.com/theclashinsideme/

Social Media:




The Joy of Living: How to Slay Stress and Be Happy by Barry Shore Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and the Ambassador of Joy, Barry Shore, reaches out to readers to combat the threat of stress by focusing on practices to bring joy into our lives in the book, “The Joy of Living”.


The Synopsis

The JOY of LIVING (™) is Your passport to being Healthier and Wealthier. Barry Shore, the Ambassador of JOY, reveals the 11 Strategies that You can use to slay stress and be happy….no matter the circumstance. Imagine standing up in the morning fully healthy and in the hospital that evening completely paralyzed; and not from a car accident or a spinal injury, but a rare disease. You’ll join the journey as Barry moves from paralysis to now swimming 2 miles per day, 6 days a week. All with a SMILE. You’ll use these Strategies and transform Your world.

The Review

This is the perfect read for those who are looking for ways to really participate and educate yourselves for Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ve personally covered many topics within the field of mental health from myself and other writers here on my website, as mental health awareness is a very important cause to my heart. Whether people realize it or not, stress itself can be a critical factor in one’s own mental health. 

The author’s work here is quite amazing for such a short read, yet the words spoken within are quite powerful. As someone who lives every day with several physical limitations and health problems, it was an instant connection to the author’s own story. The first chapter hits readers instantly with the knowledge of the author’s own struggles in life, and gives the lessons shown to the readers here in this book a sense of authenticity and experience that will allow readers to feel comfortable taking in this knowledge for themselves.

The author expertly divides this book up into parts. First he takes the time to identify STRESS and the root causes often associated with stress, followed by the notion of how finding joy can physically and mentally combat stress and its affects on the body. Finally the rest of the book takes the time to establish steps and practices readers can take for themselves to implement joy into their lives, making for quite an informative and practical guide to happiness. 

The Verdict

Well-written, passionate and mentally refreshing, author Barry Shore’s “The Joy of Living” is a must-read non-fiction read on mental health. The author’s vulnerability in telling his own personal story and using this to not only find his own happiness to combat the stress, but showing readers how to do this for themselves, was a refreshing change from the self-help books typically seen on shelves. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Known as the “Ambassador of JOY,” Barry Shore is a mental health activist, philanthropist, multi-patent holding entrepreneur, speaker, author, podcaster, and former quadriplegic. After a rare disease paralyzed Shore from the neck down, he created the JOY of LIVING Institute™ (a platform that teaches people to live in joy, no matter the situation), Keep Smiling (a movement that has reached multiple celebrities and distributed millions of “Keep Smiling” cards worldwide), and Changebowl (a philanthropic platform featured in Oprah Magazine.) Barry’s podcast, The JOY of LIVING, is heard globally by hundreds of thousands and has over two million downloads. 

Barry’s latest book, “The JOY of Living: How to Slay Stress and Be Happy” is available on Amazon and Apple Books. For more information, check out Barry’s website and follow him @barryeshore on Facebook, or Instagram.


I am so proud to share with you all this amazing excerpt and article from author Barry Shore, from his upcoming book THE JOY OF LIVING: HOW TO SLAY STRESS AND BE HAPPY. I will be reviewing this book tomorrow, but in anticipating for the May 11th release date I wanted to share this excerpt. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and for anyone who knows me, you know that mental health awareness is a cause near and dear to my heart. Please take the time to read this book and share this post, and look for my review of Barry’s book tomorrow. Now, enjoy this exclusive excerpt. 


An Excerpt From

“The JOY of LIVING: How to Slay Stress and Be Happy”

By Barry Shore the “Ambassador of Joy”


The Problem: STRESS…Kills!

Not directly. More like death by a thousand sighs.

It’s insidious. Invidious, invasive, and, if continuous and not stopped, will ruin Your physical, mental, and spiritual being.

Stress is a common occurrence. While You can’t remove every stressor from Your life, it’s possible to manage and reduce stress and maintain your health. This is important because chronic stress can cause mental fatigue, irritability, sleeplessness, obesity, skin ailments, heart issues, anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal problems.

Yes, that list of symptoms observed across the population tells You that You’re not alone in this battle.

But even when You know the physical and mental effects of stress, You may be unaware of the different stages of stress, known as general adaptation syndrome (GAS). When You understand the different stages of stress and how the body responds in these stages, it’s easier to identify signs of chronic stress in Yourself.

I’m writing this in the year 2020. The world is beset with panic, disease, and economic and societal ruin.

Right now, the most searched word in the world after Covid (and its related causes/cures) is STRESS. It’s affecting everyone.

STRESS is an acronym that I use to describe how to deal with the effects of untoward circumstances. Essentially there are three factors that cause STRESS.

These are and have always been:

• Money

• Work

• Home

Yes, these are universal and constant. Even in the best of times.

There are however two divergent ways to deal with STRESS, both revealed in my insights.

STRESS can stand for: Stomach-Turning Reality…Enabling Self-Sabotage.

There is little need to go into depth regarding each of the three stressors above. It is self-evident that money issues can and do cause tremendous pressures. The same for work. And, certainly, for home/family. Often in times of recession and disaster, these factors are intertwined and exacerbate one another. They truly cause a stomach-turning reality.

STRESS can also mean: Stomach-Turning Reality…Enabling Self-Success.

Same exact situation/s dealt with in a different way/s. Your response to the stomach-turning reality makes all the difference. Struggling is the continual and real test of life. And it’s something we all face every single day.

How You deal with the reality of these issues determines how Your physical and mental wellbeing will be affected. Certainly, You can’t be cavalier. Yet You can utilize practices, tips, and tools to enable You to direct Your mind and guide Your body to avoid falling prey to a pity party which can lead to the use/abuse of medications, alcohol, or to other aberrant behavior.

Mind is the master. Once You grasp this fundamental fact and leverage this powerful tool, You can and will achieve success under all circumstances and vicissitudes.

How do You maintain inner strength during stressful periods?

Consider a submarine. As the ship goes down, the pressure (strength) inside needs to increase to counterbalance the pressure outside. Likewise, when we are in stressful situations, we must make sure our internal strength is adequate to offset the external forces pushing against us.

Anger also produces stress. Have You ever known people whose lives seemed to have a thin veneer of civility and calm, yet once the surface was scratched, anger bubbled up like a volcano? Stress and anger go hand-in-glove.

We also know that there are two types of stress: vertical and horizontal. The vertical is healthy because it pulls You up. Think of a flower on a stem. Without turgor pressure, the stem droops. Without the fluids pushing through the cells, the flower dies. We can grow limp as well. A useful example of the sort of pressure that pulls us up is the sense of awe or reverence of God.

Horizontal stresses pull us apart and create damage. Designing our lives to meet others’ demands and standards is horizontal. All the current talk about self-image leads to horizontal stress. I do not mean that we should have no concept of self-worth. But we want to have a clear definition of self-worth that comes from knowing we were brought into this world for a purpose. That knowledge is a settled knowledge and doesn’t change just because of what others think or say.

In our competitive society there is another prevailing stress—the fear of losing. The specter of losing by our choosing stresses us. When we make one decision, we give up other options. These are the “Y” points. Marriage and career are two of the biggest examples. One of the pitfalls of our current day is buyer’s remorse. “If I choose the left fork and it grows dull, I opt out and choose another road.” This is a mistake. The stress of always looking around for the better option steals the joy of commitment.

The true test of life is never in what happens to us.

It is always in how we choose to respond to situations.

As we’ll learn later in the 11 Strategies, the six most important words You can learn and internalize are:

Choice, not chance, determines Your destiny.

Repeat this. Often. Think about it. Internalize and utilize.

Choice, not chance, determines Your destiny.

“The JOY of Living: How to Slay Stress and Be Happy” by Barry Shore is available on Amazon and Apple Books. For more information, check out Barry’s website and follow him @barryeshore on Facebook, or Instagram.


About the Book

“The Joy of Living: How to Slay Stress and Be Happy” is your passport to being healthier, wealthier, and happier in a time of unease and misgiving. 

Part journal, part memoir, part activity book, it’s a timely guide to slay stress, beat burnout, and cope with life, post-pandemic. Author Barry Shore reveals 11 strategies that you can use to slay stress and be happy….no matter the circumstance. Imagine standing up in the morning fully healthy and in the hospital, that evening completely paralyzed; and not from a car accident or a spinal injury, but from a rare disease. You’ll join the journey as Barry moves from paralysis to now swimming 2 miles per day, 6 days a week. All with a SMILE.

  • RELEASE DATE: May 11, 2021
  • GENRE: Healthy Living, Emotions and Mental Health, Journal/Workbook, Memoir, Motivational Self-Help, Nonfiction, Self-Improvement.
  • PUBLISHER: Joy of Living Institute Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-930376-15-1 
  • PURCHASING INFO: Available for Pre-order on Amazon or on Apple Books or by visiting https://www.barryshore.com/book 

About the Author

Known as the “Ambassador of JOY,” Barry Shore is a mental health activist, philanthropist, multi-patent holding entrepreneur, speaker, author, podcaster, and former quadriplegic. After a rare disease paralyzed Shore from the neck down, he created the JOY of LIVING Institute™ (a platform that teaches people to live in joy, no matter the situation), Keep Smiling (a movement that has reached multiple celebrities and distributed millions of “Keep Smiling” cards worldwide), and Changebowl (a philanthropic platform featured in Oprah Magazine.) Barry’s podcast, The JOY of LIVING, is heard globally by hundreds of thousands and has over two million downloads. 

Barry’s latest book, “The JOY of Living: How to Slay Stress and Be Happy” is available on Amazon and Apple Books. For more information, check out Barry’s website and follow him @barryeshore on Facebook, or Instagram.

Hinterland by L.M. Brown Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Trigger Warning: Themes revolving around mental illness are present in this novel. If you or someone you know suffers from illnesses such as schizophrenia and are easily triggered by these storylines, reader discretion is advised.

A husband and father trying to take care of his wife and child finds himself struggling as a childhood friend returns home, bringing complex feelings back to the surface and a dark secret threatens to tear apart his family in author LM. Brown’s “Hinterland”. 

The Synopsis

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was before Kate was born. When his childhood best friend, Ina, returns next door, tensions rise in the house. Already unstable, Kathleen suspicions of Ina and Nicholas grow until a day of violence ensues and Kathleen disappears.

Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s disappearance. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina helps to take care of Kate, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

The Review

This was a well written, slow-burn style mix of family drama and thriller. The author explores two important themes in this narrative: the lengths a parent would go to in order to protect their child, and the hardships of trying to care for someone suffering from a severe mental illness. 

The protagonist Nicholas is a complex man, with both many faults and a desire to protect his daughter Kate from heartbreaking truths. From the return of his childhood friend Ina to the struggle he has with his wife Kathleen and her struggle with a serious mental illness, the author beautifully focuses on character development to highlight the story within this book. 

The Verdict

An emotionally charged, dramatic, and evenly paced read, author L.M. Brown’s “Hinterland” is a must-read thriller drama. The heartbreaking circumstances that push Nicholas and his family to the edge are truly engaging and keep the reader on the edge of their seat, and definitely felt like the delivery of the narrative was very reminiscent of a classic Hitchcock thriller. If you haven’t yet be sure to preorder your copy today or grab it on October 13th, 2020!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

L.M Brown is the author of novels Debris and Hinterland, and the linked short story collections Treading The Uneven Road and Were We Awake. Her award winning stories have been published in over a dozen magazines. She grew up in Ireland but lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters.