“Monkey Bandit Takes a Bath” by Maria Ellis

Monkey Bandit cover

Monkey Bandit Takes a Bath (Monkey Bandit Funny Children’s Books for Babies and Toddlers Ages 0-4 Book 5)

by Maria Ellis

Genre: Children/Growing Up & Facts of Life/Health/Animals/Monkeys

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

Don’t make me take a bath! Don’t make me!… Ooooh, that’s nice…”

Do you have a toddler who will not gladly take a bath? Then you will like the story of Monkey Bandit who finally takes one!

Monkey Bandit is never quite ready for taking a bath. He has so many other things to do first… playing with paints, eating strawberries and kicking a ball outside in the mud are just three examples. But when he realizes that he will not be able to jump on the bed, or hide in the armoire or do other things inside the house while he is dirty, he reconsiders taking a bath… and discovers that he even likes it!

This colorfully illustrated, funny children’s story will amuse your toddler and gently teach him the value of being clean.

Amazon KU



“Franky the Finicky Flamingo: The Cure for a Picky Eater” by Wanda Luthman


Franky the Finicky Flamingo: The Cure for a Picky Eater

by Wanda Luthman, Mara Reitsma (Illustrator)

Genre: Children’s Books/Growing Up & Facts of Life/Animals/Birds/Health

2.99 at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

Award-winning children’s author presents a fun rhyming beautifully illustrated picture book that your child will enjoy!

Franky is a beautifully colored pink flamingo but, he doesn’t know the right food to eat. He tries food that other birds like but he doesn’t enjoy any of them. Then, the unthinkable happens. His adored pink color begins to fade. What will Franky do now? Find out in Franky, The Finicky Flamingo.

Amazon KU

#BlogTour “Amy Cole Has Lost Her Mind” by Elizabeth McGivern




Amy Cole is a stay-at-home mum and a woman on the edge.

After a very public breakdown and failed suicide attempt, Amy finds herself trying to make it through her everyday life as a high-functioning zombie.

Elle De Bruyn is a force of nature ready to shake Amy back to life whether she likes it or not.
After a fortuitous meeting, the two embark on a journey together which will change them both and help them find out exactly what they’re capable of when rock bottom is just the beginning.

Amazon US     |     Amazon UK



This extract takes place at Elle’s art class, where Amy has come along to discuss her marital problems. Amy and Ben have encountered a sex drought and it’s come to her attention that she needs to do something about it:

I hated talking about this type of thing. I was always embarrassed at the thought of anyone asking me about my sex life, or worse still, anyone asking me for advice on it. I was never comfortable in my own skin and although I was finally kind about my body (mostly) I would never dream of a world in which I would gladly step into a lingerie department and kit myself out for a night of kink with the husband.

“When’s the last time you fooled about with him, or anyone?” She quizzed.


“Yeah, maybe you can’t be bothered boning him because you’re doing the nasty with someone else.”

“Just so I know, how many euphemisms for sex should I expect in this conversation?”

“Few hundred I suspect.”

“Excellent,” I replied flatly.

I explained that I wasn’t sleeping with my husband because the sheer effort to shave my legs was enough to put me off the notion completely, never mind shave anywhere intimate to impress a new man.

“What has shaving got to do with it? I once let my underarm hair grow so long I was able to dye it violet. I couldn’t deal with the upkeep though, the dye kept sweating off and ruining my bed sheets.”

“Can we stick to my problem please?”

“Well, no, actually I have to teach. The world doesn’t revolve around your little-repressed arse. Now, sit over there. Here’s a pencil and try to keep your clothes on during this class.”

I snatched the pencil and glumly walked over to a free space. I had no idea why I agreed to this class. I can’t draw nor do I want to learn how to draw a bunch of grapes in a fruit bowl. I decided on doodling on the paper until someone needed their brushes washed. I didn’t need to wait long before hush descended on the class and Elle commanded yet another room she was at the centre of. I was starting to see a pattern here.

“We have a newbie tonight guys, this is Amy and she can’t draw for shit. Everyone say ‘hi’.”

I glared at her direction as I heard an unenthusiastic welcome from my classmates.

“Right, you know the score. The model will be changing position every five minutes so you guys have to get used to the movement and the change in shadows from every angle. Let’s get to work then.”

Model? Great, now I get to stare awkwardly at anywhere but the direction of this poor shmuck student, who is so broke they need to get their kit off in front of a room full of strangers.

The first thing I noticed about this stranger was that he wasn’t remotely young. He was old, not death-knocking-on-his-door old, but still old enough to know better. He was balding at the back and was wearing a cosy looking gown. As he turned to face us and bare all, as it were, I looked at the man and quickly realised he wasn’t a stranger at all. Instead, I saw the man I respected more than anyone else on the planet, the man who I measured all other men up against, the man whose penis was eye level with me and I had nowhere to run.

“MOTHER OF GOD, PUT IT AWAY!” I screamed as loudly as my lungs could manage.

“Amy? Oh, Christ what are you doing here? You can’t draw. Oh Jesus, don’t tell your mother. Givemethetowel, givemethetowel!”

In his hurry to grab the robe he managed to tumble sideways giving me – and the rest of the class – a full view of his anus. I was tempted just to gouge my eyes out with the pencil just so this horror would end.

Elle was busy trying to help my dad up, whilst shooting daggers at me for interrupting her precious class. I sat wringing my hands as if I were Lady Macbeth trying to get that damn spot out and I hadn’t realised I was muttering to myself until I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder trying to shake me back into the room.

“What the fuck is happening, Amy?” asked Elle.

I couldn’t manage words yet, I was still trying to process what had just happened.

“Damien you don’t have to raise your hands if you want to ask a question, this isn’t a classroom. Well, it is but you don’t need to be such a brown-nosing little twat,” she said.

He sheepishly put down his hand and said: “Was that one of his poses? Should we be sketching now?”

“No, Damien,” I said in my best attempt at keeping my voice steady, “I would prefer if you didn’t spend the next two hours sketching my father’s arsehole from memory.”

Unfortunately, by the time I reached the end of the sentence I was screaming again. My fingers rubbed at my temples and I was waiting for the room to stop spinning. By the time I looked up my dad was nowhere to be seen and I could see Elle struggling to contain her laughter. I shot a look which seemed to convey ‘I dare you to laugh, I double dare you’ and it seemed to do the trick because her cheeks dropped and her face was serious once more.

“Where is my father?” I asked.

“He must be getting changed in the storeroom; maybe you should go have a chat with him?”

“You think?” I replied as sarcasm dripped from my voice.

I picked up my jacket and bag and headed towards the storeroom in order to confront my exhibitionist father. I knocked the door deliberately and louder than necessary to ensure that I wasn’t going to be walking into anything else mentally scarring.

He opened the door, just a fraction, so I could see one eye peering out from his cupboard of shame.

“Are you kidding me, dad?”

“Amy, just meet me outside. We can go grab a drink and have a chat.”


Elizabeth McGivern
Picture credited to Jess Lowe

About Elizabeth McGivern

Elizabeth McGivern is a former journalist turned hostage-in-her-own-home surrounded by three men and a horrible dog named Dougal.

In an effort to keep her sanity she decided to write a parenting blog after the birth of her first son so she can pinpoint the exact moment she failed as a mother.

In an unexpected turn of events, the blog helped her to find a voice and connect with parents in similar situations; namely those who were struggling with mental health issues and parenting. It was because of this encouragement – and wanting to avoid her children as much as possible – her debut novel, Amy Cole has lost her mind, was born.

Elizabeth lives in Northern Ireland although wishes she could relocate to Iceland on a daily basis. To witness her regular failings as a parent you can find her on: www.mayhemandbeyond.com .

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Self-Care For When You’re Depressed

Excellent tips for dealing with depression! 😉

Keri L.

Depression. It happens to the best of us, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to walk away from this post feeling encouraged, and understanding that depression happens, no matter who you are, what you do, or how good life is. As someone who struggles with feeling down at times, I wanted to put together a list of things that help me get through it – they work for me, I know they’ll work for you. So let’s get started.

  • Firstly, understand that being depressed does not make you a bad person. It does not mean you are unworthy, or that you deserve to die. Some of us suffer from depression with no triggers, and some of us feel its claws only after we’ve gone through something painful. Depression happens, but it doesn’t have to control you.
  • As a Christian, this is the best piece of…

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Living With Invisible Illness: Hostage- Felicia Denise

Living With Invisible Illness…my turn.

Brave & Reckless

Failed plans.

Missed appointments.

I’m labeled rude, uncaring, and arrogant.

Invitations dwindle then disappear.

It’s not my fault.

I’m not to blame.

I’m a prisoner, held hostage in my own body by an illness most can’t pronounce, and even fewer understand.

No dinner.

Piles of laundry.

I’m labeled lazy and entitled.

Family and friends give my mister sympathetic looks which mean, “We know it’s not you.”

It’s not my fault.

I’m not to blame.

I’m a prisoner, held hostage in my own body by an illness which hides just below the surface. A master of disguise, it leads doctors on a merry chase taking my energy and thoughts with it… and leaving pain in its wake.

More tests.

More co-pays.

More pills.

More dubious looks from the very people who are supposed to understand this shit.

More dumbass questions and asinine statements. “Don’t you want you get better? You need…

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Living with Invisible Illness: Walking on Eggshells- Annabelle Franklin

The series continues – Living With Invisible Illness

Brave & Reckless

First, the threats.

Then a few slaps.

Then a major beating. And stamping and twisting and pummelling and jabbing and stabbing and burning – all where the damage won’t show.

‘Why do you do it?’ I ask.

‘It’s your own fault,’ he says. ‘If you stuck to my rules, I wouldn’t have to punish you.’

Or, ‘You should be grateful. Pain is good for you – it helps you to grow.’

‘Bollocks to that,’ I say. ‘You’re supposed to love and protect me, but you’ve turned into a monster.’

I want him out of my life, but it’s just not possible.

You can’t get an injunction against your own immune system.

Annabelle Franklin is the author of two children’s books, ‘Gateway to Magic’ and ‘The Slapstyx’. Her short story ‘Mercy Dog’ has been published in award-winning anthology ‘Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918′ (Accent Press). She is a member of…

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Living with Invisible Illness: The Gross Clinic- Henna Sjöblom

Living With Invisible Illness

Brave & Reckless

Thomas_Eakins,_American_-_Portrait_of_Dr._Samuel_D._Gross_(The_Gross_Clinic)_-_Google_Art_Project[warning – graphic]

The doctors will come,
I promised
as I stabilized the wound with a metal rail, stretching my abdomen for everyone to see
They all lined up, came by and spit into the orifice, one by one
granting me their final gifts of disregard.

Of course, I cried to them
You there, Sir! Won’t You take pity on this poor wretch of a woman?
Bring her home, slice her, carve her up like a snuff prostitute
then hang her torso over your bed as a lucky charm
to ensure that you, honored Sir, will never succumb to the same madness!

Believe me, I didn’t ask for it either.
But the strange thing about roadkill
is that it’s not a roadkill until you choose to get out of the car and look,
inspect the wheel-tracks carved into it’s stomach like the fingerprints of god.
I prefer to drive by,

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