Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 – Surviving or Thriving?

This week is mental health awareness week. Here are some harrowing statistics about it and as you scroll down help how to support those you know with challenging conditions

The Last Krystallos

This week 8th – 14th May is Mental Health Awareness Week,
and this year the Mental Health Foundation have chosen the theme:
Surviving or Thriving?

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 - Surviving or Thriving - The Last Krystallos

It’s a thin line.

Two thirds of people in the UK say they have experienced a mental health problem, with women, youngpeople, and those who livealone affected most. The survey, completed by The Mental Health Foundationin 2017, also discovered that those over the age of 55 cope best with taking steps to make their lives better, 85% of the unemployed have experienced mental health issues, and that 3 out of 4 low income families suffer compared to 6 in 10 in the highest income positions.

4 in 10 people live with depression and over a quarter of the population experience panic attacks.

Out of 2,290 people surveyed, sadly, only 13% reported…

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Get Your Scare On for 99cents! Mister Jones Mystery Series by @macmillanjones

I’m proud to be part of a blog tour for Will MacMillan Jones’s book promotion. Will is an author whom I got to know via open mic sessions, book fairs and some of his work in book form. Will is a great character and his books are, too. I’m including two reviews of his books. Enjoy!

Welcome To Mister Jones Mystery Series!
Get Your Scare On For 99Cents!

The Showing

This is the first book by the author that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it:
It is a humorous and gripping story of a haunted house. When an estate agent goes missing just after she showed Mister Jones a house he’s connected with, he becomes a suspect in the investigation. He’s hiding something from the police, but we don’t know what. The atmosphere of this is spooky, lightened with the humour and some quirky characters. The author knows just how to create tension and suspense but not to overdo it. The book has a clever plot, and is a very compulsive read.

His visit to the house has awoken that which was sleeping: how many must be taken before IT can be laid to rest?’

For Sale again is Mister Jones’ family home: a house he had known and feared since his childhood. On a nostalgic whim he decides to visit the house, with disasterous results. The house reacts to his appearance and the estate agent who is showing him around vanishes. Shortly afterwards the next agent appointed to handle the sale of the property also disappears.

Mister Jones wants nothing to do with the property. His visit has awoken old memories for him, and the memories are not pleasant. But it is clear that something else has also been awoken by his visit, and when he is begged to help find the young agent who has vanished, he can no longer avoid the responsibility of facing his legacy of evil, and dealing with the curse laid upon the house.

But what will happen when he faces IT, and who will emerge alive?

If you knew just how much of this story is true, how well would you sleep tonight?

Portrait Of A Girl

Does lightning ever strike twice? It would seem so for the unfortunate Mister Jones. After a harrowing encounter with the paranormal in The Showing, once again he again finds himself in mortal danger on the borders of that shadowed world.

An antique painting holds a strange fascination for him – and others. What does the girl in the portrait want from Mister Jones and from the others who become entranced by her beauty? And can she be stopped before she unleashes her ancient evil into our modern world in a lake of blood?

‘This is a great read. I literally devoured it in less than 24 hours. If you liked The Showing… it’s better. Spooky. It reads a bit like Sheridan LeFanu or Guy de Maupassant. Awesome. Classic horror short story, except this isn’t short. It’s a full novel. Just wanted to clarify, it READS like a classic horror short story. Tight, spare and invoking tons of imagination.’

The House Next Door

Mister Jones thought that he was finished with the world of the paranormal: but the paranormal world hadn’t finished with him… His next door neighbour is attracted to a statuette and takes it home. Shortly afterwards, her mother is brutally murdered, – and that isn’t the only death. As the casualties mount and the dead roam free, can Mister Jones stop the tide of evil?

When Sheila Balsam finds herself compelled to buy a genuine antique in a strange little shop, she didn’t bargain for what came with the statuette – and Mister Jones finds himself once again drawn into the dangerous world of the paranormal : this time via the house next door.

An ancient evil has found a way to break from his enchanted prison and the only one who is going to stand in his way is the unfortunate Mister Jones, who seems destined to live in interesting times.

The Curse Of Clyffe House

This is the second book by Will that I’ve read.
Mister Jones just doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break. This time he’s getting involved in supernatural ghostly and spooky adventures on his holiday. With MacMillan’s unique blend of laughter with scarier and darker tones this is yet another excellent installment of this series. Set in beautiful South Wales we get location mixed with athmospheric setting. Jones and Sheila are an excellent double act and Eric, who joins them later, brings even more colour to the mix.
This is hugely enjoyable, intense and rewarding.

It was supposed to be a holiday, time away whilst his friend and neighbour wrote a book about their last adventure. But as soon as Mister Jones arrives at the holiday cottage things start to go wrong, and waking up to find a skeleton in his bed is only the start. Terror stalks this cottage and before long Mister Jones discovers an ancient Evil is plotting to wreak devastation across the land; and it plans to start with his death.

Poison, fear, and a horrific Shadow from long ago stand between their survival: can Mister Jones and his friend defeat the Curse of Clyffe House and live?

Coming In The Summer Of 2017
Demon’s Reach

Mister Jones discovers more about his family in this fifth novel about his adventures. A relative he had never known appoints him both executor of his estate, and the beneficiary should the main beneficiaries have died before him. Surprised and curious to learn more about his family and their past, Mister Jones journeys to the mist haunted eastern coast of England, and the village of Hawkstowe.

There he finds that his family have an unsavoury reputation locally for their dealings in black magic, and that his arrival is viewed with fear and horror. So scared are the locals that Mister Jones might herald a return to the dreadful times they experienced many years ago that they decide to burn down the house in which he is staying.

Mister Jones must confront demons, monsters, and members of his family both living and dead to escape with his life and his sanity intact.

Visit Rukia Publishing To Read A Sample Of Each Book

Meet The Author ​Will Macmillan Jones


Will Macmillan Jones lives in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV. A just sixty lover of blues, rock and jazz he has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases. When not writing, he is usually lost with the help of a satnav on top of a large hill in the middle of nowhere.
He writes Dark Fantasy, fantasy he fantasises is funny, and books for children. Some of his pieces have won awards but he doesn’t like to talk about that as it draws attention to the fact that other pieces haven’t.
Connect With Will With Using These Links!

Review: “Initiation (Sky Raider Academy Book 1)” by Kirstin Pulioff #youngadultfiction

This is a very promising start to a new series. On one level it’s a boy joining a new school and having difficulties fitting in. On another it has a touch of magic, as the school in question is nothing else but the Sky Raider Academy.
Tom lost his father, so there is tragedy, but if you read anything by this author before, you’ll find that soon hope, inspration and fun adventure awaits. In this case the adventure is rather huge, as responsibility beyond the call of duty awaits.
The characters are very relatable, the young adult feel is perfectly met spot on and whether you’re young or an adult, this is a lovely and very refreshing read. Absolutely loved it.

Find Saving Alex on Amazon US and UK

Princess Madeline and the Dragon on Amazon


Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids, church and the family business.

I love to hear from my readers and fans. Please connect with me on my other sites:

May’s promises

May failed as Home Secretary to get immigration down. Yet as PM, she expects voters to believe she can reduce it as PM. Why trust a failure?

Today is the 77th anniversary of VE Day.
Then, Britain led the way to save Europe from Fascism.
Now we need Europe to save us from our own form of fascism that started with UKIP and now has morphed into May’s Conservatives.

Mystery Mondays: “In the Stars” by Zanna Mackenzie

In The Stars: A Humorous Romantic Mystery (Amber Reed Mystery Book 1) by [Mackenzie, Zanna]

I had a great time reading this cosy mystery about a former horoscope writer and her involvement in the CCIA – Celebrity CIA. The characters have excellent chemistry between them and you can’t help liking Amber Reed, our amateur sleuth from the word go.

Light hearted and with a lovely touch of screwball comedy this is truly great fun. The plot revolves around a murder investigation that needs extra discretion. Amber knows the victim, so she is teamed up with the special agent. While cosy and entertaining, the mystery part is well done and keeps suspense and tension nicely up. I’m not surprised that this is the first in a successful series.


Here is an excerpt from an interview with Zanna on this blog:
ITS red shoe coverFLIP FINALTell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?

I’m not sure where the idea came from to be honest – that’s often the case with me! Plots, concepts and characters pop into my head out of nowhere! The first series I created is centred on a former horoscope writer who ends up becoming an amateur sleuth purely by accident. She has to team up with a special agent who works for the CCIA. I thought it would be fun to take an established crime fighting organisation and put a spin on it, creating something that was a play on the official agency. I took the CIA and got the idea of the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency, otherwise known as the CCIA! It’s an elite agency used by famous people when they have a crime they need solving. The second series is a spin off from the first and is called Celebrity Mysteries. I intended the first book (Murder On The Menu) to be a standalone spin –off but my editor liked the characters so much she convinced me to make it into a series. The Celebrity Mysteries follow ex-CCIA-agent-turned-private-investigator Jack and wannabe baker and amateur sleuth Lizzie as they take on cases for famous people who visit the trendy tourist hotspot area where they live.ZannaM scale

Tell us about your Detective / main character.

Both of my series contain two key characters who are in a relationship, one an amateur sleuth, the other a professional. In the Amber Reed books, Amber is a nosy, stubborn young woman with some self-esteem issues and a love of custard tart cakes. She becomes involved with CCIA special agent Charlie who is a charming workaholic with romance issues. In the Celebrity Mystery series, it’s Lizzie who is desperate to be able to bake like her Aunt Molly used to so she can continue in the family tradition of suppling baked goods to the local store to earn some much-needed cash to make ends meet. She gets pulled into working with her new neighbour and ex-CCIA special agent Jack (who is funny, smart and sexy) when her celebrity chef boss is murdered and Lizzie becomes a suspect.

What is more important in your books – the plot twists or the characters?

I think they are both equally important. The plot needs to have enough going on to keep people reading but the characters have to be likeable enough for the reader to care what happens to them, so they keep reading!Menu (1)

Is there such a thing as cosy in murder mystery?

Yes, definitely. I would describe my books as cosy in the murder mystery sense. There is no violence or gore and the focus is firmly on the various aspects of the mystery and solving the puzzle, not the unpleasant side of things.

Do you include humour?

Absolutely. My books are all lightheaded for most of the time. There are serious moments along the way in terms of relationship issues and the mystery side of things, but there’s plenty of comedy too.

What are you working on now?

A new series of paranormal romantic comedy mysteries. There are witches and vampires, a mysterious setting in the Scottish Glens and lots of intrigue, humour and romance. The prequel novella and the first book should be out this summer.

What makes you laugh?

I love sitcoms like Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Home Improvement, Frasier and The New Adventures of Old Christine. I also enjoy comedy drama series like Brothers & Sisters, The Gilmore Girls, Parenthood and White Collar.

Who are your favourite authors?

There are so many! OK, here goes, Caroline Fardig, Sarah Louise Smith, Kristen Painter, Jane Lovering, Carole Matthews, Belinda Jones. I could go on and on with this list!

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I’m reading Caroline Fardig’s Mug Shot (Java Jive mystery book 3). It’s brilliant. I’ve read all of her books.

Buy links:

Series buy link for the Amber Reed books:
Buy link for the first book in Celebrity Mystery series:
Author bio:ZannaM scale

Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
She can often be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on and loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

Find out more about Zanna:

Goodreads –
Amazon Author Page –

My Review of Queen of Trial and Sorrow by Susan Appleyard #RBRT #FridayReads

Judith Barrow

Queen of Trial and Sorrow by [Appleyard, Susan]

I was given this book by the author as  a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team #RBRT in exchange for a fair review.

 I gave Queen of Trial and Sorrow  4* out of 5*

 Book Description:

A B.R.A.G. Medallion winner, this is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of King Edward IV and the mother of the Princes in the Tower. As an impoverished widow, she was wooed and won by the handsome young king and believed her dreams had come true. But she was soon swept up in the War of the Roses, enduring hardship and danger as her husband struggled to keep his throne. When he died Elizabeth was unable to protect her family against the ruthless ambitions of the man he trusted above all others. It was the king’s brothers, the unstable Duke of Clarence and the loyal Duke of Gloucester, who would prove to be Elizabeth’s…

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Historical Saturdays: Jean Gill reviews: “And the Rest is History” by Jodi Taylor

After meeting Jodi at the Llandeilo Lit Fest I’m back on this series, having read and reviewed book one here recently.

Here is Jean Gill’s review of book 8. Jean was also at the festival and held a talk about 12th Century figures in literature and is a reliable source for reviews:

“History and relationships explode, comic and tragic in turn

I confess to binge reading the whole series so far (apart from the shorts, which are not my cup of tea – a St Mary’s metaphor if ever there was one) and I still want more. I love and am irritated by the main characters in equal measure. I can never predict what twists of time and relationship will be served up. I love witnessing key historical moments along with the St Mary’s team and the mix of humour, trivia and real emotion is addictive.

I’m just back from listening to Jodi Taylor at the Llandeilo Festival and she said she doesn’t want her readers to assume that any character is safe. I think this is part of what keeps me turning those pages. I really want to know what happens, dark or not! And parts of Book 8 are dark! 18198662_1344149172344116_321136435434959249_n

If you love history as I do, you have to read this book for the Battle of Hastings – a tour-de-force! I really felt as if I was there with Max, witnessing this turning point of English history in all its gore and glory. Jodi Taylor makes history come alive and I can’t wait for my next time trip in one of those pods that smell of cabbage and are well-stocked with tea.”


No one knows quite how, but Max and her baby are safe at last.

No one knows quite how, but Peterson has persuaded Dr Foster to marry him.

No one knows quite how, but Markham’s marital status remains unknown.

Certainly no one knows quite how a twelve-foot-high teapot could mysteriously materialise on the South Lawn, but it does.

But they do know that Clive Ronan is back.

They do know that he hates them and that this time he has good cause. And they do know that he will bring death and destruction in his wake.

Follow the disaster magnets of St Mary’s from the Egyptian desert to the Battle of Stamford Bridge, from Hastings to the Sack of Constantinople, and from tragedy to triumph and back again, in this, the eighth book in The Chronicles of St Mary’s.

Jodi Taylor jodi-taylor-cropped-headshot


Jodi Taylor is, and always has been, a complete history nut. It takes vast amounts of chocolate to get her out of bed for anything after 1485. And if it’s raining, there’s no chance.

Habitually tongue-tied when asked to talk about herself, she gets round this by describing herself as tall, incredibly beautiful, witty and technically proficient.

The Chronicles of St Mary’s –

Just One Damned Thing After Another
A Symphony Of Echoes
A Second Chance
A Trail Through Time
No Time Like The Past (published in Feb 2015)

St Mary’s Short Stories –

When A Child Is Born
Roman Holiday
Christmas Present

Romance Novels

The Nothing Girl
Little Donkey (Short Story)

You can catch up with all the latest happenings on her Facebook page –