WOW (Women on Writing) Blog Book Tour for Mari L McCarthy’s “Heal Yourself through Journaling Power”

Hello Bookworms;

Here’s the first leg in my participation in WOW’s blog Book Tour for Mari L. McCarthy’s Heal Yourself through Journaling Power. In this week’s post I’m including a guest post on the subject of journaling power for emotional health and an interview with Ms. McCarthy.

Journaling for Emotional Health:

When you decide to be more attentive to your physical health, you usually know where to start. You may strive to eat more vegetables, go for morning walks or quit smoking. But what about when you want to care for your emotional health? What steps can you take to make it as much of a priority as your physical well-being? 

Journaling has a way of shining a light on your inner life. In the pages of your journal, you can safely express all of youremotions, fears and desires. Regular journaling will help you define what you are feeling and why, giving you insight into what is going well in your life and what you’d like to change. 

Try one of these journaling exercises to give your emotional health the attention it deserves. 

 1. Name That Emotion 

 Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now?” Can you identify your emotions – boredom, worry, frustration, happiness, enthusiasm? Notice and name your current feelings in your journal. Explore why you might be feeling a certain way and how your emotions are affecting your actions. This processhelps you build self-awareness, minimize the impact of negative emotions and make healthy changes. 

 2. Let It Out

 When you are feeling unpleasant emotions – anger, shame, sadness, envy – give them an outlet in your journal instead of bottling them up. Vent about whatever is bothering you, jotting down stream-of-consciousness thoughts until you feel you don’t have anything else to say. 

3. Gather Gratitude 

A funny thing happens when you practice focusing on the positive moments in your life: you notice more and more of them and encourage an attitude of gratitude. Positive psychology research shows that simply remembering and writing down three good things that happened to you in a day can give you a huge happiness boost over time. 

 Every day for at least a week, write a detailed description of three things that went well that day. Why do you think it happened? How did you feel at the time? How do you feel now, looking back on it? The items on your list can be as small as, “I sat in the sunshine during my lunch break,” or as big as, “I finished my last round of chemo today.” 

Incorporating journaling into your daily routine – even just a few minutes a day – can have a remarkable impact on your emotional health.

The Interview:

Q: What made you choose this subject matter?

My Journal prompted me in this direction. She’s my muse and mentor. We’ve been partners for 21+ years and she’s always sending me universal messages and one day the message, journaling power trilogy, appeared so I knew it was time to write and publish my journaling power experiences. With her help, I published the first book in the trilogy Journaling Power: How To Create The Happy, Healthy Life You Want To Live in 2016 which is an introduction to Journaling Power. It was my Journaling Journey story. I call it a self-help memoir as it contains lots of practical exercises for people to create and enhance their own life-changing journaling practice. The second book in the trilogy, Heal Your Self With Journaling Power, the book I just published, focuses on the Journaling Journeys of 10 other writers and how they use journaling to master life’s mental, physical, and spiritual challenges. My Journal and I have so far created a title for the third book in the trilogy Create Unconditional Self-Love – A Journaling Power Book which will be another self-help memoir about my journey from self-sabotage to self-love.

Q: What made you choose writing as a profession?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I majored in journalism looking for a practical major that would help me be a success in the real world. After a short stint as a weekly newspaper editor, I set off into the business world and then the only writing I did was business reports. A health challenge forced me off the road (I owned a management consulting firm traveling 24/7) and I took up journaling (Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages) for physical therapy purposes only since I’d lost most feeling on the right side of my body and needed to teach myself how to write with my left hand. But lo and behold, Journaling opened up many, many memories and I remembered how I loved words, writing essays and stories and I was back into the writing profession.

Q: Do you have any advice for future writers? Especially women?

Keep a Journal. Pen to Paper every day. That way, you’ll stay connected to your Muse, your Inner Writer, your True Self. Inner Critics hate it when we take care of ourselves first. So write, write, write in your Journal every day and you’ll never encounter page fright, writer’s block or other literary ailments.

Q: Use this space to give yourself a shameless plug about this work/any other works/your website(blog)?

I’m the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of, The Journaling Power Center. I mentor health conscious writers in using Journaling For The Health of It, also known as therapeutic journaling, to heal the issues in their tissues and grow and transform their life. We have tons of resources: complimentary ebooks, 375 unique and soul searching Journaling Power Prompts, a Journaling Power Journey Blog where other writers share their journaling experiences and AHA adventures, and a store with 20+ Journaling Power workbooks that cover life challenging topics such as Empower Your Self, Heal Your Life and Journal Magic For Writers.

Please come visit and please always #JustWriteON!

Here are the remaining dates for the tour:

As always, make Ms. McCarthy feel welcome feel free to post any questions you have in the comment section of this post. Next week I’m posting my review and all additional information about the program. Have a blessed day and enjoy 😉

Promo for Friday’s Blog Book Tour and My Radio Show Eclectic Weekends

Hello Bookworms;

Here’s a promotional video for Friday’s portion of WOW’s blog book tour. I made some changes in the order which I’ll explain in the clip. See y’all Friday!!!

WOW Blog Book Tour for Rina Z. Neiman’s “Born Under Fire”

Hello Bookworms;

Who is this strange lady in the video below? Click on it and find out….

Now that we’ve answered that question, here’s a link to the promotional video for the book.

And here’s the media press kit information for the tour. I look forward to seeing y’all. Hopefully, I didn’t scare you with the above video. 😂😂😂

Rina Z. Neiman’s


Born Under Fire

Tour Begins May 20th

Book Summary

Born Under Fire is a historical novel that tells the story of a girl coming of age and her drive to excel despite the devastating effects of long-term war. Born in Jerusalem under British rule in 1928, Shula grows up in a world in turmoil as Hitler rises to power and nations enter into war. Amid a landscape of ancient stone ruins next to modern Bauhaus architecture, and desert scrub ending at newly verdant farmlands, Shula grows into her independence as the State of Israel is born. Based on historical documents and events, Born Under Fire is also about the context surrounding the founding of the State of Israel, as well as the horrors and dangers of growing up in a conflict zone. Shula battles grief and depression due to the shattering events affecting her, her family, and the entire world. Despite this struggle, her resilient spirit enables her to reach great heights as a concert pianist..


Print Length: 258 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN-13: 978-1986349147

ISBN-10: 1986349144


Born Under Fire is now available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Thrift Books.


Praise for Born Under Fire


“I went to high school in Israel in the late 50’s and heard many personal stories about the early years and the struggle for independence. Your book makes these years really come alive. Also, most of my relatives’ tales were set in Kibbutzim and rural Palestine. Your book describes life in Tel Aviv as just as heroic. Lastly, I share your mother’s love for Yemenite embroidery and am happy that your book calls attention to this beautiful art form.”


Vita Hollander


“This lovely coming of age story provides a view into the challenges, conflicts and dilemmas facing the European Jews fleeing Hitler’s reach and trying to make Palestine their home. It pulls no punches and honestly acknowledges the dilemmas posed by the creation of this new country, but as it tells the story from the eyes of a young girl, we see those intricacies as she would have seen them, allowing the reader an understanding not only of historical events that readers may not be aware of (the proposed partition, the ethical dilemma posed by Jewish terrorist groups, etc.) but also of the emotional journey of these refugees and their children. This story is an important reminder of the effects of war and provides a critical piece of history necessary for understanding the world today.”


Nima M. Vincent via, 5 out of 5 star review


“This story drew me in from the very first page. The vivid descriptions of smell, sights and taste, longing, disappointment and joy, evoked real emotion and made me wish I were sitting at the kitchen table with Shula and her aunts. I appreciated the many history lessons tucked into the adventures, and was relieved to discover details about this time period without being burdened by the author’s politics.”


Lisa Fliegel via, 5 out of 5 star review


About the Author, Rina Z. Neiman


Rina Z. Neiman is a writer, event producer and public relations professional. Born Under Fire is based on the true story of her mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman, a Sabra, a musician and one of the first generation of modern-day Israelis. Rina lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son. This is her first novel.


You may find out more about the author and her book by visiting the website Also, you may find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


— Blog Tour Dates


May 20th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin! So, grab your coffee and join us today as we celebrate the launch of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.


May 21st @ Karen Brown Tyson Blog

Make sure you stop by Karen’s blog today where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how to manage time and distractions during the book writing process. If you are writing a book – or thinking about writing one – this one is a post you don’t want to miss!


May 22nd @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog today where you can read her review about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.


May 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where you can read the author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about why researching primary sources is so effective.


May 23rd @ Bri’s Book Nook

Looking for a new book? Make sure to stop by Bri’s Book Nook and find out why you need to add Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire to your reading list.


May 24th @ One Sister’s Journey

Today is a can’t miss review by Lisa over at One Sister’s Journey blog. She’s sharing her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.


May 26th @ Reading Whale

You won’t want to miss today’s stop at the blog Reading Whale where you can read this Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about when you can finally start writing your book after all that research.


May 27th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf

Fill your bookshelf with good books! Stop by Veronica’s blog and read author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about writing biographical fiction and when to dramatize real events.


May 28th @ Helen Hollick’s World of Books

Join Helen Hollick’s Tuesday Talk over at her blog and read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how videos can reinforce your historical novel.


May 28th @ Book Collab Blog

Make sure you stop by Morgan’s blog Book Collab where you can find out what she has to say about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.


May 29th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

If you love historical fiction, make sure you visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he features author Rina Z. Neiman’s blog post about how she researched her historical fiction novel Born Under Fire. You won’t want to miss this!


May 31st @ Jess Reading Blog

Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess’ blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.


June 1st @ The World of My Imagination

Come by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire and enter to win a copy of the book.


June 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Can’t resist a good book? Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog today when he reviews Rina Z. Neiman’s incredible historical fiction book Born Under Fire.


June 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Looking for your next great read? Make sure you stop by Bev’s blog today and catch her opinion on this fascinating historical fiction novel Born Under Fire.


June 4th @ Amanda Diaries

Today’s stop is at Amanda’s blog where you can read what she thinks about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.


June 5th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today where you can not only read her review of Born Under Fire but also enter to win a copy of the book!


June 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Feeling bookish today? Make sure you stop by Anjanette’s Bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s powerful historical fiction book Born Under Fire plus read an interview with the author.


June 8th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Today’s tour stop is a fantastic guest post written by author Rina Z. Neiman about how to make stories interactive. A must-read for all the writers out there!


June 9th @ Jess Bookish Life

Need a new book in your life? Stop by Jess’ blog today where she shares her opinion about the historical fiction book Born Under Fire.


June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Are you doing research for your novel? Make sure you visit Bev’s blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman is talking about top 5 ways to research secondary sources.


June 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Get to know author Rina Z. Neiman at today’s stop over at author Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews the author.


June 14th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog today and read a guest post by the author who talks about making your story interactive and why adding music is so effective.


June 15th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog at Strength 4 Spouses where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about the importance of writing during deployment.


June 17th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog over at 12 Books and find out her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

June 19th @ Inquiry and Beyond

Join Kathy on Instagram and on her blog PYP in Paradise as she reviews and features Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.


June 21st @ Choices Blog

Interviewing someone for your book? Make sure you visit Madeline Sharples’ blog today where Rina Z. Neiman talks about how to conduct interviews with people who are (and who are not) willing to talk with you.


June 23rd @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Need a new book? Make sure you stop by Wendi’s blog where she reviews Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman.


WOW (Women on Writing) Blog Book Tour: Black Madonna: The Pope’s Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane’s

Hello Bookworms:

It’s time for another blog book tour, courtesy of our friends at WOW (Women on Writing). This tour is going to be a two parter. Today’ I’ll be posting a guest post by Ms. Kane called “Heroes and Villains”, where she discusses how grey areas, inner moral conflict, and villains help with the character development of heroes.

I’m also posting a brief interview with Ms. Kane where we discuss how she decided to focus on this topic for her current work and how she became an author.

Next week I’ll post a review on “Black Madonna”. As always, make Ms. Kane feel welcome, ask her all the questions you want, and comment as much as you like.

Heroes and Villains:

Most thrillers tell the story of a hero who leaves the comfortable, know world and ventures into the dangerous unknown, often at risk to his/her life, to bring benefit to humanity. As such, thrillers hearken back to myth is that span all cultures and epochs. Look at Wikipedia’s list of Heroes and World Cultures and Heroines in Folklore and mark those that appeal to you the most. Keep a list of ideas, and heroes in a notebook to refer to later.

When creating motivations for heroes and villains, a fundamental principle to remember is that making a decision between good and evil is never really a choice. All humans will choose well as they see it. You must tell why your villain is picking his own right (which your reader will perceive as evil). This is where your moral gray area becomes essential.

In the Black Madonna, A Popes Deadly Obsession the moral gray area is whether or not to bring the last written words by Jesus to light. An offshoot of the Catholic Church doesn’t want it to come to light, but Luci in her naivety believes that by doing so it will bring truth to the bible and in doing so bring light to all mankind.

All stakes, no matter what kind of novel you’re writing, should involve death. This can happen physically (the hero’s life is in danger), psychologically )the hero stands to lose his identity or a vital aspect of his soul) or circumstantially (or at some point of the hero’s life will be lost forever-a career, a marriage, his family, etc.). When you’re designing your hero’s central conflict, ask yourself which kind of death your hero is going to confront.

Sometimes a moral gray area turns a hero into a villain. In fiction, this is known as an anti-hero. Check out these television shows as an example:

Tony Soprano of The Sopranos

Walter White of Breaking Bad

Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and observe how the character of Indian Jones is revealed. Which character traits are shown first? Which ones come later? What motivates Jones in his quest?

What aspects of your hero can be reflected through your villain?

What aspects of your villain’s personality and life could create relatable motivations for what they do in your novel?

The Interview:

Q: What made you choose this subject matter?

 Thank you, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this question. I picked the topic because I read an article on the BBC about the Cathars. I had never heard of this religious group before. While researching, I found information linking the Tarot cards with the Cathars. After that, I just had to keep digging, it was far too compelling.

 Q: What made you choose writing as a profession?

 If you look at my website, I’ve had several professions. When I became a professor, I ended up writing grants, this leads me to the history of the institution I was writing the grant fo, so the next progression was to retire and write full time. 


Q: Do you have any advice for future writers? Especially women?

If you decide to become an author, learn your craft. Take classes, and never give up on this dream. You may never make very much money…the average author earns about $10,000 a year. So if you’re doing it for the money or the fame, forget it. Do it because you love to impart stories to others, you love the creative process. Do it because you can’t think of anything that you would rather be doing.

 Q: Use this space to give yourself a shameless plug about this work/any other works/your website(blog)?

My website is

I’ve written several books… Death on the Vine, Chilled to the Bones, Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories (this will be coming out in October 2019), and several Children’s books that I’m quite proud. I am finishing up the edits on the sequel to Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. 

I do have a blog, it’s on WordPress…Herstory: Because of them…we can! It’s about historical women who have made an impact that many have never heard about. My favorite is Sybil Ludington, a young woman of 16 who rode further, faster and warned more people that the British were coming than Paul Revere. Now wouldn’t that make a great children’s book!

Black Madonna is now available to purchase on AmazoniTunesKOBO, and Barnes and Noble.

You can find Linda at her website:

 You may also follow her on Twitter at @llkane2152.

 You may also follow her on Amazon and GoodReads.

Follow the remainder of the Tour at these blogs, then join me back here next week for my review of Black Madonna: The Pope’s Obsession.

April 13th @ Chapters Through Life

Visit Danielle’s blog where you can read her interview with author Linda Lee Kane and hear more about this interesting writer!

 April 15th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Bev’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post about finding the idea

 April 16th @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog where she reviews the exciting historical fiction book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession by Linda Lee Kane.

 April 19th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

 April 19th @ Jill Sheet’s Blog

Make sure you stop by Jill’s blog today where author Linda Lee Kane talks about finding the idea.

 April 20th @ Madeline Sharples’ Blog

Stop by Madeline’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s blog post about life as a writer.

 April 22nd @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on research.

 April 23rd @ Joyful Antidotes

Come by Joy’s blog today and find out her thoughts on Linda Lee Kane’s exciting book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

 April 25th @ To Write or Not to Write

Visit Sreevarsha’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting thriller Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

 April 26th @ To Write or Not to Write

Make sure you stop by Sreevarsha’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s fascinating blog post about the anatomy of a thriller.

 April 27th @ A Day in the Life of Mom

Visit Ashley’s blog and check out what she has to say about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

 May 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Be sure to stop by Anthony’s blog today where you can read his opinion about Linda Lee Kane’s exciting historical mystery Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession.

 May 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

May the 4th be with you on this day! Be sure to visit Anthony’s blog again where you can read Linda Lee Kane’s guest post on the anatomy of a thriller as well as an interview with this incredible author.


May 6th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read her review of Linda Lee Kane’s book Black Madonna: A Pope’s Deadly Obsession. Plus you can also enter to win a copy of the book!


An Afternoon with Wil Haygood: A Booklaunch for His Latest Work “Tigerland”

Bestselling author Wil Haygood is best known for an article he wrote, for the Washington Post, about a butler named Eugene Allen entitled “A Butler Well Served by This Election” (Haygood, 2008). This article would serve as the basis for the movie we recognize as Lee Daniel’s The Butler (which Mr. Haygood would use as a springboard for his book The Butler: A Witness to History). The purpose of Sunday’s (9/23/2018) book launch was to introduce his latest work Tigerland: 1968-1969 A City Divided, A Nation Torn Apart, and A Magical Season of Healing (Knopf, 2018).

Tigerland is the story of Columbus, Ohio’s own East High School during the time Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. This time period was marked by a great deal of racial conflict and strife. The focus of the story was about how East’s basketball and baseball teams thrived despite the racial climate and went on to win championships against wealthier white schools.

Tigerland also discusses the personal lives of many of the team members responsible for these triumphs.

Below are two links to. Sunday’s interview with Wil Haygood. There are two parts because my arms got tired and I almost dropped my phone (😂). Anyway, the remainder of this two part conversation is available on my YouTube channel ( An Afternoon with Wil Haygood Part 1 and Part 2).

Also here are some slides of the book signing afterwards.

I was able to find some biographical information on Mr. Haygood from the Miami University website. While I haven’t had a chance to read any of his books YET, I plan on ordering a copy of Tigerland and The Butler at my earliest convenience. I suggest you do the same. Let’s support our local talent.

Wil Haygood

Contact Info

Boadway Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence

Wil Haygood is the Boadway Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the Department of Media, Journalism & Film. Prior to joining the Miami faculty, he was a national and foreign correspondent at the Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and also where he was taken hostage in Africa by Somalian rebels. He joined the Washington Post in 2002, where he wrote the story, “A Butler Well Served by this Election,” which became the basis for the award-winning film “The Butler,” which starred, among others, Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Vanessa Redgrave, Robin Williams, and Cuba Gooding Jr. Haygood was an associate producer of “The Butler.”

Wil Haygood is a Fellow of the Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Alicia Patterson foundations. He is the author of seven nonfiction books. His latest book, “Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America,” was awarded the 2016 Scribe Book Award from the American Society of Legal Writers, given annually since 1961 to the best book about American law. “Showdown” was also an NAACP Image Award nominee and an Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence nominee. Among Haygood’s other books are “Two on the River,” “King of the Cats: the Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.” “The Haygoods of Columbus: A Family Memoir,” “In Black and White: the Life of Sammy Davis Jr.,” “Sweet Thunder: the Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson,” and “The Butler.”

WOW (Women on Writing)Blog Book Tour for Renee Antonia’s “I’m NOT Okay”

About the book:  When she wakes up in the morning, the first thing that goes through Alejandra’s head is whether or not she will be forced into another anxiety inducing situation. The struggles of being a young adult living with an anxiety- ridden brain becomes too much for Alejandra to deal with. So, with the help of her friends, she forces herself out of the I'm Not Okay by [Antonia, Renee]bubble her anxiety has placed her in.

Hello Bookworms;

It’s time for another blog book tour from our friends at WOW (Women on Writing). Today’s guest author is Ms. Renee Antonia, author of I’m not Okay. Today’s post will include an interview with Ms. Antonia, a review of her book AND a guest post about mental health misconceptions. As you always do, make Ms. Antonia feel welcome and feel free to ask any questions about her work, mental illness, and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Comment all you like. Enjoy each other’s company. I will be dropping in from time to time to answer comments. So enjoy!!!

Mental Health Misconceptions

One of the hardest things about living with any mental illness are the never ending misconceptions that are thrown around in today’s society.  It isn’t that I don’t know that they are all fabricated lies, because I do. I am aware that the people who say that anyone who is clean and neat are OCD or that anyone struggling with depression is suicidal are wrong.  I know these things, but the rest of the world, the world that doesn’t struggle with mental illness, don’t.

Every misconception is taken as gospel, and since mental health is still a pretty taboo topic, people who suffer aren’t given the opportunity to defend themselves.  Hearing what people think about my mental illness weighs heavily on me, especially on days where it’s at its worse. However, those are the days that I have to take a step back and remember how wrong these fallacies are.  And, this is how I do it:

  1. Nobody knows what it feels like to live with my mental illness.  No matter how much research they do, they will never know how I feel, how I cope, or how I live.  Because of this, their words are nothing more than sounds coming out of someone’s body. Once you start to look at their words of ignorance as just white noise, ignoring them become easier.
  2. Do you think you’re crazy?  Violent? Weird? No? Okay, then that’s all you have to worry about.  I’m not saying that hearing those names won’t hurt, but if you know they aren’t true, then they have no control over you.  This was definitely something that I had to practice. Hearing people who know nothing more than your diagnosis, call you disgusting and heartless names is difficult.  It definitely wore on my confidence, but after I realized that these people saying these things didn’t know who I actually was, I was able to get over all of their comments.
  3. Your mental illness is NOT you.  You are not anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenic, obsessive compulsive.  You are so much more than your diagnosis. Their misconceptions forget to factor that in.  So, just remember when they’re talking about anxiety, they are not talking about you. They are talking about a small part of you.  A part of you that isn’t as important as every other part.
  4. I feel like the hardest part of living and struggling with mental illness is the isolation that it tends to brings.  However, mental illness and mental health is no longer as taboo as it once was. There are huge communities who are willing to not only accept you, but help you grow and learn.

At the end of the day, misconceptions about mental health will always be around.  There will always be people who believe they know the best for you, and everyone who suffers from mental illness.  Not allowing those people to dictate how you feel about yourself is how you take control of your life.

Interview with Renee Antonia:

Q: I did a little bit of research on you and I see that you are a fellow blogger. Is blogging therapy for you? 

A: Blogging is definitely therapy for me.  I write short stories for my blog, but every short story that I write almost always comes from something that I am going through or something that I have went through.  I find it comforting to be able to put my feelings out into the world without explicitly making it my story.  

Q: Tell us about your background. What made you decide to write about mental illness? About anxiety? 

A: I decided to write about mental illness because I suffer from both anxiety and depression.  When I first began writing I’m Not Okay, I was going through a really hard time in my life with my own mental illness and I needed a way to express myself.  While I was writing it, I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to go through with publishing it, but I knew that I had to.  I’m Not Okay really helped me grow and understand that my mental illness wasn’t something I had to be ashamed of, and if one person reads it and finds the same, then it would all be worth it.   

Q: When can we expect your next book? 

A: Well, my next book is definitely completely different from I’m Not Okay.  I am currently in the process of writing the first book of a duology.  The book follows a teenage boy who lives in the underground city of Seattle, and the reader gets to follow his quest to move away from the Underground City and to live in Seattle.  It’s completely different from what I have written before, but it has been a lot of fun to create this new world and I am very excited to see where it can go.   

Q: You can use this space to give yourself a shameless plug? 

A: When I am not writing for my next book, I love writing short stories.  Most of my short stories can be found on my website at, where you can also find a link to my book and other information.  I also write exclusive Patreon- Exclusive stories on my Patreon account,   

My Review:

   I’m not Okay is the story of Alejandra Vanessa Sanchez, a nineteen old college student who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is a mental illness that is characterized by uncontrollable, irrational worry as well as apprehensive expectation about events and activities. This excessive worry interferes with the person’s everyday life. These irrational fears can be triggered by almost anything in the person’s life (job issues, financial problems, family problems, etc.).  

People who have GAD also suffer from physical symptoms like headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, etc. In order to be formally diagnosed, sufferers must have had these symptoms for at least six months. Cognitive behavior therapy (also known as CBT) combined with medication have been proven to be effective in reducing severity of symptoms. 

There are several things I like about this book. The first thing I like is that it’s written in first person. Since we’re talking about mental illness, it’s always more interesting to hear about the reality of mental illnesses from the viewpoint of the actual sufferer and not just what you read in text books or the DSM-5. It makes the illness more humane and helps you to put a face on it.  

I like how descriptive Ms. Antonia’s writing style is. Especially when she describes the reactions Alex’s family has to finding out about her illness. Especially the sister who always took care of her internalizing, sort of taking blame for the diagnosis. As though she didn’t do enough to make Alex feel secure enough to tell her sooner about her issues. Classic caretaker mindset.   

I also like the fact that Ms. Antonia not only sheds a spotlight on the whole issue of mental illness, but also talks about the whole issue of women feeling as they have to be “strong” and “keep a stiff upper lip” while inside they are crumbling. I’m not Okay makes it okay to not be okay and admit it and remove the shame that often accompanies mental illness. This book is an excellent read and comes highly recommended!!!

Our Guest Author:
Renee AntoniaRenee Antonia

Born in Downey , The United States

Renee Antonia grew up in a small city near Los Angeles. She always had a love for writing, but never acted on it until she graduated high school in 2014. When confronted with the question of what she wanted to accomplish, she realized she wanted to publish books. So, she changed her career path and began to write about anything and everything. Soon after, she started writing her first novel, “I’m Not Okay,” which she self published in 2017. She hopes to continue publishing for years to come.

WOW (Women on Writing)Blog Book Tour for B. Lynn Goodwin’s “Never too Late”Pt.2

Hello Bookworms;

   Here’s post 2 of my participation in WOW’s blog book tour for B. Lynn Goodwin’s Never too Late: from Wannabe to Wife at 62. In this post I’ll be reviewing Mrs; Goodwin’s work and posting the remainder of the tour dates so you can show our guest author some love.

The Review:

As I read Ms. Goodwin’s book, I was impressed with her willingness to be transparent about her romantic history (especially about her ability to poke fun at following advice from women’s magazines and feminist blogs/Facebook pages). I was also impressed at Richard being a pastor and her being a virgin. Virgins at an advanced age are more common than people think and feeling that one has to hide it lest someone “prude shames” you,  is horrible. Also, no one talks very much about the dating lives of the clergy.  Richard’s Craigslist post was heartwarming as well as very humorous. It shows his ability to be personable and likeable. And their rapport as they began to email one another more and. more was touching 

Some questions that I asked myself as I continued to read were “why does she seem to be ‘coming out of her pocket’ so much?”” Is he telling the truth about his future inheritance or dangling it as a carrot?” “Are her comments about being a “nice girl” who never pierced her ears and about the “loose woman” who “puts herself out there” a form of shade? Or are they a reflection of the insecurity that gets played out after the anxiety about ‘finally being chosen’ starts to fade” 

As I continued to read though, I start to notice the emotional transformation that starts to take place as the reality of being in a committed relationship with Richard becomes a reality to her.  Especially, when she begins to elaborate on how even though she’s always been fiercely independent, she feels “softer” as she spends more time in Richard’s company. There’s also a transformative moment when she thinks she lost the engagement ring and accidentally calls it “her ring”, indicating a realization that makes the ring hers is that it is a gift to her from her intended that’s meant to symbolize his love and commitment.  

I won’t spoil the ending (like many reviewers do) by giving away the ending. I’ll just say despite some of the “red flags” that show up, Richard turns out be a pleasant surprise. A man of his word, in all actuality. Never is a really encouraging read that reminds us to pay attention to “red flags”, to also watch and pray. Everything may not be what it seems.


About B. Lynn Goodwin


B. Lynn Goodwin

B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice. She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing) and Talent (Eternal Press). Talent was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award and won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.


Her manuscript, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 was published by Koehler Press on December 20, 2017. Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun,, and elsewhere. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is a manuscript coach at Writer Advice. She always has time to write guest blog posts and answer questions. She loves working one on one, trouble-shooting, and helping writers find what works.
She can be found online at:







Here are the remainding tour dates:

February 12th @ Madeline Sharples Blog
B. Lynn Goodwin will be visiting Madeline Sharples blog and discussing one of my favorite activities in her post, “Need a Venting Partner? Try a Journal.”
February 14th @ Beverly A. Baird’s Blog
Blogger Beverly A. Baird will be reading and reviewing B. Lynn Goodwin’s book Never Too Late and sharing her thoughts with us.
February 14th @ Bookends Review
Come by and check out the review of Never Too Late at Bookends Review.
February 15th @ Mommy Daze: Say What???
Ashley Bass over at Mommy Daze: Say What??? will be sharing her thoughts about Never Too Late. 

February 16th @ Words From the Heart
Rev. Linda Neas will be reading and reviewing Never Too Late and be sure to check out her insights on this amazing book.
February 17th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Make sure to come by the blog Memoir Writer’s Journey and read about Lynn’s insight in her post, “The Authentic Writer.” Also, blogger Kathleen Pooler will be reviewing Never Too Late as well.
February 19th @ Strength4Spouses
Visit the blog Strength4Spouses to catch Lynn’s post called, “Craigslist Dating.”
February 20th @ Bring on Lemons

Nancy Cramer, yoga lover and retired schoolteacher, will be sharing her thoughts about Never Too Late on the blog, Bring on Lemons.
February 22nd @ Food Diary of a City Girl
Make sure to catch Cecilia over at Food Diary of a City Girl and her thoughts about the book Never Too Late.
February 23rd @ Strength4Spouses
Make sure you come by the Strength4Spouses blog to catch their insights into Lynn’s book Never Too Late. 
February 24th @ Becoming Zen Again
Shell LeBlanc will be telling us about what she thought about the book Never Too Late.
Keep up with the latest stops by following WOW! Blog Tour on Twitter: @WOWBlogTour