Sunday, 21 April 2013

Bloodlines Trilogy has a new look!

I've toyed with the idea of changing my covers for a while now. I love the original, but I felt it was time for a change and to spruce things up a little. So, I worked hard on these. I think they are more eye catching.
Also, Bloodlines is being re-written. I've definitely grown as a writer, and I wanted to bring it up to date!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

International swag pack giveaway!

I'm currently holding a giveaway on my Facebook page. If you would like to enter, simply click the here. Good luck to all.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Torment gets a facelift!

Yes, it's official! In a couple of weeks, Torment will have a whole new look. I've designed a new cover and I'm completely in love with it. I think this is definitely more eye-catching.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Autism awareness! Help spread the world!

As some of you are aware, April is Autism Awareness month. This is something I completely support and I would like to try and help spread awareness as best I can. I also think it's important to try and understand just what Autism is. We have all seen the little pictures floating around Facebook trying to help spread the word. Images such as...

So what is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are sometimes known as the 'triad of impairments'. They are:
  • difficulty with social communication
  • difficulty with social interaction
  • difficulty with social imagination.
It can be hard to create awareness of autism as people with the condition do not 'look' disabled: parents of children with autism often say that other people simply think their child is naughty; while adults find that they are misunderstood.

All people with autism can benefit from a timely diagnosis and access to appropriate services and support.

I know people with autistic children. Some get the support and access to the services they need. Sadly, and wrongly, others do not. This needs to stop. Every child, or adult, for the matter, needs to have these services readily available to them. 

Before writing this post, I asked a few people who either have autism in their family, or who work with autistic children/adults, if they would write a note/paragraph or two for me to explain how they feel, and how much spreading awareness means to them. I would like to say thank you to them for helping me with this post. The responses I received are as follow...

My son was born with dark brown hair and deep blue eyes with eyes lashes that women spend hundreds of pounds trying to duplicate. He was the perfect baby. He was gorgeous and rarely cried.
However, as he grew older, I began to realize that something wasn’t quite right. He didn’t reach developmental milestones when he should and by two he wasn’t talking. I started taking him to specialists but it wasn’t until he was 6 that he was diagnosed with Autism.
I was devastated. The doctor’s told me that my little boy would never lead a normal life. He would never have a regular job, never live independently, never go to college, get married and have the family I dreamed of for him.
One night as I was sitting there pretending I was feeling sorry for my son but truly feeling sorry for myself, I flipped the TV to a special on autism. I sat there crying in my self-pity and Michael walked into the room. He sat down on the floor and began to watch the show. This was very unusual. Michael was never interested in TV unless it was commercials. He sat there for a long time and towards the end of the show, he looked up at me and said, “That’s what I have isn’t it, Mummy? I have autism.” My heart fell into a million pieces as I said quietly, “Yes”.
“Well,” Michael said, “that’s OK because I’m still your Michael,” and he got up and trotted out of the room.
It was at that moment that I realized he was right. It didn’t matter what label the doctors gave him or what challenges we faced. He was my little boy, my Michael, and together we would make it through this.
That is exactly what we have done. My son has made incredible progress.He is fully main-streamed in school and has an active social life. He’s in high school and plans to go to college and become a pediatrician. He faces challenges every day of trying to understand the social complexities of this world and trying to fit in. Math is incredibly difficult for him but reading and science are his things. He reads constantly and has an amazing innate understanding of biology. He is my hero. 

Lisa - Proud Mother - Manchester, U.K.

Due to having a son with fetal valproate syndrome, who has a low spectrum of autism. This shows mainly in his moods and frustration when doing various tasks and certain things like shoe laces if not tied a certain way, if you say you are going to do something he can't be kept waiting its got to be done there and then. 
This month means basically spreading awareness of all adults and children with autism and making able bodied people aware that people with autism are still people and don't mean to hurt anybody because of this. 

Sharon - Proud Mother - Droylsden, U.K.

I think autism can be treated by people accepting them into society, and not stare, and be aware to what autism really is.  I have come to realize the best way to keep autistic people happy is to do your best to not change routine, and to not let them down by saying we will do this one day and saying no we can't the next.

Ryan - P.A. - Tameside, U.K.

I think to be able to hear from people who deal with autism as part of their every day lives, really helps others to try and develop an understanding. People with this condition are still people, they deserve just as much love as respect as you and I. They shouldn't be seen as anything less than a beautiful human being, just like the rest of us.

Please help to spread the word and allow others to gain a better understanding. Show your support by sharing the Autism Ribbon on your page. You can find it here.

Monday, 1 April 2013

New look website!

As well as running my Blog, I also have my own website. It's been rather badly neglected over the last couple of years. Since I had to decide whether to renew it or lose it by June, I decided to re-vamp it. Keep it. And this time.... I'm going to actually use it!

It's taken me ages to get it like this. I've had soooo many backgrounds on it, trying new styles and yet something was always missing.... my girls! So now, I'm actually happy with it! YAY!

I do hope you will stop by and take a look! Just click here.