Therapist, Psychologist, or Something Else: Choosing a Mental Health Care Provider

Image result for mental health provider

So you have come to the decision that you want to seek help with any mental health issues you may be experiencing.  First of all, you should feel proud that you’re making the choice to strive to be your best self.  But it can understandably be overwhelming when you begin the search to find the right type of provider for you.  There are so many choices now, which is absolutely a good thing, but it’s not always easy to determine where to find care.  I’d like to provide a small guide to help you make that choice.

TYPES OF PROVIDERS

To start off, just the terminology can be confusing! From psychologists to therapists, counselors to psychiatrists, it might be hard to know where to start.  Here’s the difference between providers and what they can offer you.

  • Psychologists–have a degree in psychology.  They have studied behavioral and personality disorders and psychotherapy. They can make diagnoses but can’t prescribe any medication.  They can help you determine a course of treatment and what your next steps might be.
  • Psychiatrists–possess a medical degree. They don’t typically provide therapy sessions, but instead meet with a patient to discuss prescribing medications.
  • Therapists–can have a degree in various fields.  They are ready to help you talk about and address problems and feelings, and guide you through them at your own pace.
  • Counselors–the same as therapists but usually they concentrate on one specialty or another, i.e. marriage counseling, family counseling, etc. Much like psychologists they can help you assess problems and follow a plan of action.

HOW TO CHOOSE

One of the first steps you will want to take is checking what exactly your insurance will cover.  Many insurances will only have a certain number of each type of provider in network.  It’s up to you to figure out if you are able to afford to go in or out of network for your coverage. Be aware that mental health issues often require multiple visits to deal with, so cost might be one of the most important factors.

Once you’ve got your list, start calling around.  You need to see who is taking new patients.  This can be a little disheartening at times because it seems that no one has an opening to suit you, but don’t give up. Providers can only take so much of a patient load and within a short amount of time there may become an opening available at your chosen provider.

If you live in a more rural area, you might have a more limited list to choose from.  I know I am in a small town and the only choice available in my town is a counselor.  Keep in mind that you might have to travel to find the provider with the right fit for you, but it’s an investment in yourself.

 

I hope this short guide has helped make your choices a little less daunting.  Most importantly, know that you are not alone, and there are people in the world who want to help you.

Advertisements

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger

Tell Me No Lies

by A.V. Geiger

YA Thriller

Book Description

Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she’s finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat… That’s safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

TELL ME NO LIES (Follow Me Back Book #2) is available for preorder.
About the Author
A.V. Geiger is an epidemiologist who spends far too much spare time on social media. By day, she studies women’s psychiatric and reproductive health. By night, she can be found fangirling, following people back, and photoshopping the heads of band members onto the bodies of unicorns. Her writing career began with celebrity fan fiction, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with online fan culture. Her original teen fiction has received millions of hits on the story-sharing website Wattpad, ranking as high as #1 in the mystery-thriller genre. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin boys.
PURCHASE THE BOOK:
FANTASTIC NEWS!! We have an awesome E-Book Sale for A.V. Geiger’s FOLLOW ME BACK running from MAY 7th until 11:59 pm (PST) on May 18, 2018 JUST FOR $1.99!
KINDLE | NOOK | iBOOKS

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

– 1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of TELL ME NO LIES (Follow Me Back #2) by A.V. Geiger.

– 1 Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon/PayPal Gift Card.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

FILM SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Beyond the Sun

A heartwarming family film is releasing this week.  Distributed by AMBI Distribution, BEYOND THE SUN, is a modern day tale of hope, faith and courage based on stories from the Bible. This delightful family movie chronicles the adventures of four young friends in search of God.

The film features a very rare special appearance by Pope Francis.  In support of the film, AMBI Media Group is holding a special contest where one lucky winner will win an Exclusive Private Tour of the Vatican and Front Row Tickets to an Audience with The Pope For Four!

For anyone who has ever wanted to visit Italy and The Vatican, this is your chance!  For additional details about the contest and to enter, please go to:

www.freetriptorome.com.

BEYOND THE SUN will be available for purchase across multiple platforms including iTunes, Amazon, and TUGG on May 15th.

 

My family and I are not “outdoorsy” types of people at all!  When it comes to an adventure, we’d rather keep it of the indoor type, or the personally challenging type!

I would say a great adventure we have undertaken is the addition of a second child after being an only child household for seven years!  When I became pregnant with my now two year old, I was feeling so many emotions at once.  I was shocked, happy, worried, and overwhelmed.  I knew our lives were about to change drastically but I really had no idea just how much.

I now look at my two boys and I know they are living proof that God does everything for a reason.  Having my boys spaced seven years apart was just what I think I needed.  I feel like I will have enough time to dedicate to both of their young lives without being too frazzled.  There is no greater feeling as a mother than seeing your children bond, and let me tell you, my baby loves his big brother!

Having two boys in my home to raise is an amazing adventure and I know God gave me care of my two angels for a reason.  I have learned that you will be given what you need, when you need it (and even if you don’t know you do) if you just have faith.

COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY: Chloe Shipton & the Quill of LeFay by Lynn Veevers

Today Lynn Veevers  and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive content for CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY, her new YA Fantasy which releases June 12, 2018! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!
On to the reveal!
 
 
 
Title: CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY
Author: Lynn Veevers
Pub. Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Lynn Veevers
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 263
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon
When fifteen-year-old Chloe mysteriously disappears, the rumors at Grammaire Hall point to murder, but spiritual
entrapment isn’t the same as dead. In a library that’s believed to be nothing more than a myth, Chloe’s spirit is separated from her body after witnessing another student’s murder. Try as she may she can’t remember what happened to her before she woke up as a spirit in the campus graveyard. As Chloe uncovers clues leading to the mythical library’s location and her body, a secret the Magical Parliament doesn’t want to get out, starts to unravel. Rogue sorcerers have infiltrated the school, intent on reinstating the Third Edict, and sorcery students are dying because of it. Destroyed long ago for horrific crimes against humanity, the return of the Third Edict would spell disaster for both magical and magicless societies. To prevent her own demise and the fulfillment of the Third Edict’s return, Chloe must find a way to reunite body and soul without giving the rogue sorcerers the weapon they need to succeed, a weapon only Chloe can activate.
 
Exclusive Excerpt!

The screams ripped at my heart as I listened to the desperation that permeated them, “Please don’t hurt me anymore,” the voice cried, “I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
The girl’s voice in my mind was a familiar one, and not in a good way either. Unwanted concern weaseled its way into my heart because there was genuine pain echoing in her words. I tried shaking off the unsettled emotions her pleas left in their wake and headed toward the librarian’s desk again. I didn’t want to care about whatever jam she’d gotten herself into.
Suppressing the guilt that riddled me proved difficult, but for a short time, I was successful. Mrs. Martin checked out my books and the inescapable feelings of guilt kept growing as the desperate cries continued. Finally, my conscience
caught up with me as I reached for the door leading outside. A defeated sigh wiggled its way through my lips, and I cast my eyes upward because I couldn’t ignore this even if I wanted to.
I needed to do the right thing, not because it was my first choice, but because I felt compelled to. My morals demanded nothing less. If someone was in trouble, you tried to help, even if you didn’t like them. That’s what my parents raised me to believe anyway, and so it didn’t make a difference that the girl’s voice belonged to Lydia Nostredame—the single biggest bane of my existence. Hate is a strong word, but my feelings toward Lydia were
something dangerously close to that. My gut told me not to get involved, to ignore my conscious and leave instead. Unfortunately, my intuition was next to never wrong. Maybe I should have listened to it. However, my views of right and wrong were a force to be reckoned with, and they weren’t pulling any stops. The two opposing sides battled it out as I stood there with my hand on the knob.
After a few moments of inner turmoil, my moral stance won out. So I left the door and headed back into the library. Lydia’s cries ricocheted through my head like a stray bullet looking for a mark. They became tortured screams as I
hurried in the direction my mind told me they were coming from.
“Ms. Shipton,” Mrs. Martin said sternly. “We do not run through the Library!”
I cringed at the sharpness of her tone and slowed my pace to appease the librarian. As soon as that same group of snickering girls snagged the stoic woman’s attention, I darted forward. Lydia’s screams had grown to a deafening intensity. Like the tolling of church bells, they drowned out every other sound. The sharp shrill of them poked at my temples, and the pain was worse than any migraine I’d ever had. My feet carried me across the familiar parts of the library and into the further reaches which were seldom ever visited—by anyone. That should have been my first clue.
“Stairs—dark, ominous stairs, of course; why wouldn’t that be the case,” I sarcastically mumbled as I came to a door.
I assumed I’d just never noticed the stairs. After all, I’d only ventured to this part of the library maybe once before. The stair’s door was only partially open but had it been closed I would have thought it was a broom closet. The stairs twisted down into the unknown depths, dimly lit, and narrowing by the second. I was starting to feel as if they might spiral on forever when I finally reached a stone floor. The smell of musty tomes and aged ink filled the stagnant air. There were rows upon rows of shelving easily fifteen feet high. Layers of dust covered sheet draped chairs and tables.
Cobwebs, also thick with grime, adorned most everything in this hidden library.
“Please stop, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I swear—I don’t know anything,” Lydia screamed, but it was weaker than before.
I was close enough by then to hear her conventionally. Her voice was drenched in terror and quivering with tears. It echoed and bounced off the milled stone walls of this underground secret I quietly snuck through. Once again my gut adamantly insisted that I turn back, but I stubbornly ignored it. My tendency to be good-natured had baited and lured me into the situation entirely. There would be no turning back no matter how much my intuition
screamed at me. I slinked through the columns of shelved books as the feeling of danger settled over my skin like static cling on a warm blanket. I glanced at my arm as goose bumps raced across its tawny surface and the thin layer of peach fuzz stood on end. The sensation sent an unsettling shiver running down the length of my spine. The further in I moved through the rows the thinner the air seemed to become. It felt like I was trying to breathe around a piece of food lodged in my throat. Sweet smelling smoke wafted around me in a lazy wisp as I stood at the edge of a row of books. I recognized the scent immediately as sweet grass, a common reagent used in spells.
 
 
About Lynn:

Lynn Veevers is originally from Washington State. With her mother being from Christchurch, New Zealand and her father being a well-traveled retired Navy Chief, Lynn has always had a fascination with different cultures around the world. An avid reader, she prefers books that take her to a place she’s never been and teach her something new at the same time. The Young Adult Genre is her absolute favorite to read, so it
comes as no surprise that it is also her favorite to write. Lynn, on average,
pens two to three novels a year with the sequel to Pinnacle in the publishing
process now!

Today Lynn lives with her husband and kids in Southeast Oklahoma. Her young adult and adolescent children are supportive and avid beta readers of her work and give her a straightforward and honest point of view about how authentic her characters voices and
personalities are for their age group. What better reference than someone close to the same age as the main character? Her kids always have and always will be her greatest inspiration.


Giveaway Details:
One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card, International.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee

What I Leave Behind

by Alison McGhee

YA Contemporary

Book Description

After his dad commits suicide, Will tries to overcome his own misery by secretly helping the people around him in this story made up of one hundred chapters of one hundred words each.

Sixteen-year-old Will spends most of his days the same way: Working at the Dollar Only store, trying to replicate his late father’s famous cornbread recipe, and walking the streets of Los Angeles. Will started walking after his father committed suicide, and three years later he hasn’t stopped. But there are some places Will can’t walk by: The blessings store with the chest of 100 Chinese blessings in the back, the bridge on Fourth Street where his father died, and his childhood friend Playa’s house.

When Will learns Playa was raped at a party—a party he was at, where he saw Playa, and where he believes he could have stopped the worst from happening if he hadn’t left early—it spurs Will to stop being complacent in his own sadness and do some good in the world. He begins to leave small gifts for everyone in his life, from Superman the homeless guy he passes on his way to work, to the Little Butterfly Dude he walks by on the way home, to Playa herself. And it is through those acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and truly begin to live his life again. Oh, and discover the truth about that cornbread.

About the Author

Alison McGhee writes novels, picture books, poems, and essays for all ages, including the forthcoming novel Never Coming Back (out in October 2017) and the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller SOMEDAY, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. She lives in Minneapolis, California and Vermont.

 
PURCHASE THE BOOK:
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
One winner will receive a copy of What I Leave Behind.  US ONLY, Ends 5/22.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Why Finding a Great Pharmacy Makes Life Easier

I have lived in big cities, but I was born and raised in a small town.  Now that I’m back in my original hometown raising my children, I can appreciate some of the finer points of small town life that some people might not realize.  Although sometimes it’s a drawback that every person in town not only knows who you are, but also who the members of your extended family are and therefore will know things about you that you might not even know yourself, having this sense of camaraderie can be a benefit in many cases.  One thing that comes to my mind is using this information at your local pharmacy.

There are no big chain pharmacies in the town where I live–we have one within a bigger store, but the other two are small, family owned places that have been in business for decades and offer friendly, personal service.  Here are just a few of the ways having a great pharmacy makes my life easier.

 

PERSONAL SERVICE

When I call my pharmacy, most of the time I know who the person is answering the phone, and they know me.  I can quickly tell them who I am and what I need, and they don’t have to stay on the phone with me for ages trying to find me in their system, or misspell my name, etc.  This personal service also means that whomever you are speaking with will most likely want to exchange some small talk with you, but that’s not a big price to pay and it makes you feel like a person and not just a prescription number.

HELP WITH COSTS

Let’s be truthful, prescription medications can be expensive; this is especially the case for older people who live on a strict budget.  When you know the people who are working at a pharmacy, they will often take the time to give you extra help when it comes to giving you the best possible price for your prescriptions.  This can mean deciding which insurance to go through, whether to pay in cash, or finding a coupon for you to use such as this Advair Diskus discount. Many times the employees will do this before you even ask, so I see this as an amazing benefit.

TEACHING YOU ABOUT YOUR MEDICATION

It’s always the best idea to tell your doctor and pharmacist which medications you are on so you will know how new ones may or may not affect you.  But if you’ve been using the same pharmacy for years, the people who prepare your medicines will get to know you and therefore can offer advice your doctor may not have thought of.  For example, if you are a mother and need to be alert to take care of your kids, your family pharmacist might tell you not to take a pain medication until your kids are already in bed for the night.  They will often take more time to speak with you than a doctor will, and therefore are eager to help you be at your best.

Keep in mind, I’m not necessarily saying that people working within big chain pharmacies won’t have this fantastic level of customer service, but it’s just been my experience that every time I got to one, there are different people working…how can you get to know anyone on a personal level in such a situation.  If you can, find a smaller, family owned pharmacy to support small business and receive the care you deserve.

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Fairies of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe

The Fairies of Sadieville

by Alex Bledsoe

Fantasy

Book Description

Charming and lyrical, The Fairies of Sadieville continues Alex Bledsoe’s widely-praised contemporary fantasy series, about the song-wielding fairy descendants living in modern-day Appalachia.

“This is real.” Three small words on a film canister found by graduate students Justin and Veronica, who discover a long-lost silent movie from more than a century ago. The startlingly realistic footage shows a young girl transforming into a winged being. Looking for proof behind this claim, they travel to the rural foothills of Tennessee to find Sadieville, where it had been filmed.

Soon, their journey takes them to Needsville, whose residents are hesitant about their investigation, but Justin and Veronica are helped by Tucker Carding, who seems to have his own ulterior motives. When the two students unearth a secret long hidden, everyone in the Tufa community must answer the most important question of their entire lives — what would they be willing to sacrifice in order to return to their fabled homeland of Tir na nOg?

Justin put his arm around her shoulders. “It must’ve meant a lot to him, to have such a tangible way to remember her.”

Veronica wiped her eyes. “I’m just so glad they won’t be thrown away.”

“Me, too,” he agreed, and kissed her cheek.

“Excuse me,” a new voice said behind them.

The English department chair, Dr. Coffin, stood in the door. He was in his sixties, dressed casually, and looked over the neat stacks Justin and Veronica had already sorted. “You’ve made some headway.”

“A little,” Justin agreed.

“I appreciate you doing this. If we’d had to pay an archivist to start from scratch, all this material might’ve sat uncatalogued for years. Just sorting it into basic piles saves us a great deal of time and money.”

“It’s a pleasure to do it,” Justin said.

“Do you agree?” Coffin wryly asked Veronica.

“I do,” she said. “I loved Doc Adams.”

“We all did,” he said sadly. “He’ll be impossible to replace.”

“Any word from the faculty search committee?” Justin asked.

“No, with the school’s budget like it is, his position may stay empty long enough for you to claim it.”

“Hopefully not. The students deserve better.”

“The students always deserve better,” Coffin said. “But the men who hold the purse strings over in Nashville don’t see the profit in studying things like folklore. And to them, if there’s no profit, there’s no value. And that reminds me, Mr. Johnson: come see me tomorrow, so we can get you set up with another masters committee advisor. Does eight o’clock work for you?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then I’ll leave you to your work. Thanks again.”

When he’d gone, Veronica said, “Do you think that’s true? That the only things that matter are ones that turn a profit?”

“I think he’s right that the people who control the money think that way.”

She shook her head. “Then you and I will never make a living.”

“Sure we will,” he said, and pulled her into a kiss. “Me with a degree in folklore, you with one in parapsychology, we’ll be rolling in it.”

“My degree is actually in psychology, you bum,” she said against his lips. “So at least I’ll be able to get a job.”

“Then you can support me until my research makes us rich.”

When they broke the kiss, she said, “I need a break,” and looked for someplace to sit down. The desk chair was filled with a stack of papers, so she chose what looked like a solid pile of magazines. As soon as her weight settled on it, though, the slick covers slid out from under her and she fell to one side with a surprised yelp.

“Graceful,” Justin said as he helped her up. “Been sitting long, or just reading about it?”

She looked down at the magazines, frowned a little, and said, “Hey, look.”

From the very bottom of the pile she lifted a metal lockbox. It was gray and featureless except for touches of rust on the corners. She placed it on the desk and tried to open it.

“Locked,” she said. “Wonder what’s in it?”

“Probably something personal,” Justin said, and turned back to his work.

“Wait, you’re not curious?” Veronica said.

“Of course I’m curious, but I imagine we’ll find a lot of curious things before we’re done. We’ll make that the start of the ‘curious’ pile.”

Veronica looked down at the box. It was big enough to hold a stack of notebooks, and clearly had something inside, but that something was not heavy the way papers or text would be. And it rattled when she shook it.

Copyright © 2018 by Alex Bledsoe

 

About the Author

ALEX BLEDSOE is the author of the Eddie LaCrosse novels (The Sword-Edged Blonde, Burn Me Deadly, Dark Jenny, and Wake of the Bloody Angel), the novels of the Tufa (The Hum and Shiver, Wisp of a Thing, Long Black Curl, and Chapel of Ease), and the Memphis Vampires (Blood Groove and Girls with Games of Blood). Bledsoe grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He now lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Enter the captivating world of the fae in Alex Bledsoe’s Tufa novels:

The Hum and the Shiver
Wisp of a Thing
Long Black Curl
Chapel of Ease
Gather Her Round
Sadieville

 Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodreadsAMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY6 Winners will receive a Copy of THE FAIRIES OF SADIEVILLE by Alex Bledsoe.Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

5 Big Cities Every Southern Girl Will Love

Nashville

In 2017, Las Vegas was the hottest housing market in the country with the average property rising by just under 7 percent.  However, Sin City lacks the charm of many cities in our great nation – something which is proven out by the fact that just about every other housing market in the Top 10 nationally was in the South.  This just goes to show that there is something about southern living and here five of the best big cities every southern girl will love.

 

Dallas

Everything is bigger in Texas and while cities such as San Antonio have received a lot of attention in recent years, the housing market in Dallas is red hot.  So hot that you’ll probably have to spend a small fortune to get the home of your dreams.  But this hasn’t slowed down demand as most builders are reporting that they can barely keep up.

What are the hottest properties in Dallas?  Candidates include the Soco Urban Lofts, which is in a building that is more than 100-years-old and has a two-story penthouse, or you could go for the slick, new Azure Condo.  But even these two properties have nothing on the Museum Tower development.  This project has redefined luxury in a city that always goes big or goes home, with prices starting at $1,000,000.

 

Fort Lauderdale

Long known for being a spring break destination, this city just a stone’s throw from Miami is finally coming of age – so much so that you will have to trade in the wine coolers of youth for a wine cooler.

A big reason for this is the awakening of Fort Lauderdale’s downtown with a mix of art districts, restaurants, condos, and rail connections to the broader region.  By the way, Fort Lauderdale is a great alternative to flying in and out of Miami International Airport.

One of the most sought-after properties in the city is the Icon Las Olas.  Not only does this development occupy a prime downtown location but all 272 of the units on sale are the epitome of luxury.

Before wrapping up our review of Fort Lauderdale, we need to discuss the beach – after all, this remains of the biggest draws in this up and coming South Florida city.  Again, the city does not disappoint as it has a laid-back vibe which sets it apart from South Beach in Miami or the ultra-monied set in Boca Raton.

 

Nashville

Besides Atlanta, this city has long been associated with the South and why not as the city is home to the Grand Ole Opry.  While the music is still big business in Nashville, the city is undergoing a transformation as it has become of the tech hubs of the South.  That’s right, move over Research Triangle, Music City is coming for your title.

In terms of where to live, developers in Nashville are rising to the challenge and any southern girl who is looking for a luxury condo won’t be disappointed won’t be disappointed.  For starters there is The Adelicia, not only does this development boast several celebrity owners the condos are some of the best in Nashville.

Beyond this, music lovers can choose The Rhythm at Music Row, which has turned out to be one of the trendiest locations in the city.  However, my choice for the best condo development in Nashville is The Encore.  This development has everything you want in a luxury development – great floor plans and top-notch design.  But what sets The Encore apart is that it is within walking distance of Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) and Bridgestone Arena (home of the Nashville Predators) – try walking anywhere in Atlanta.

 

Memphis

Home of Elvis and the Ancient Greeks and there is a good reason why Memphis remains one of the best places to live in the entire South.  Ok, this big city does not have the same big city vibe as an Atlanta or a Dallas, and you won’t find mega developments like Vista Tower Chicago but there are plenty of great properties that you will love in Memphis.

Some of the best include the Paperworks Lofts in the boho South Main neighborhood and the Pie Factory Lofts in the Cooper-Young part of town.  Now there is something about Memphis as it has a different feel than almost everywhere in the south and if you love great barbeque and the view of The Mighty Mississippi, then this is the city for you.

 

New Orleans

Now there are so many great places to live in the South that limiting this list to five cities was hard.  For example, some readers might be upset about leaving Atlanta out of the list and there are great towns like Charleston which deserve honorable mention.  But when it comes to choosing of the best big cities in the south – and by extension the best properties – New Orleans can’t be ignored.

Of my favorites is The Paramount and true to its name this development in the heart of the French Quarter is one of the most sought-after properties in The Big Easy.  Honorable mention includes the riverside Rice Mill Lofts and the Blue Plate Artist Lofts – the latter captures the creative spirit of this city.

There you have it; five great southern cities and the properties that every Southern girl is bound to love.

5 Tips for Hosting the Perfect Movie Night

Looking for something to do that will bring your friends or family together, that won’t cost the earth and doesn’t involve and absolute mountain of effort? Then what you need is a movie night.

Movie nights are great, even more so now that practically every movie ever made is available through on demand services on the internet. Long gone are the days of relying on what your local video store had in stock – just fire up Netflix or Amazon Prime and away you go.

Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Here are five tips for hosting the perfect movie night.

Get your film choice right

The whole point of having a movie night is to watch a movie, so you’ve got to get your choice right. Is it a family event? Are the girls coming over? Or is it a set of movie buffs getting together to critique the latest blockbuster release? You’ll want to pick your film accordingly. While most will go for a film that most of the guests have never seen before, one smart idea that can help turn this into a regular event is working your way through the IMDb Top 100 movies. You can even get your guests to rate them, allowing you to come up with your own ranking system to see how it compares with IMDb.

Know if you should make a last-minute switch

You can have the best laid out plan in history when it comes to which movie you are going for, but don’t be afraid to change it at the last minute. The Shawshank Redemption might have been set in stone as your next movie night flick, but if it becomes readily apparent once all the guests have arrived that everyone is in a silly mood, don’t be afraid to switch track and go for a more light-hearted movie to reflect that.

Get the snacks in

Only a sadist goes to the cinema and doesn’t snack on something or other. For the full movie night experience, you need to supply your guests with snacks. These can vary from the classic staple of the movies, popcorn, to hotdogs, burgers, fries or how about giving these Irish Nachos a go?

Make sure everyone is comfortable

You can’t enjoy a movie if you spend half of it thinking about how uncomfortable you are or how hot it is. Make sure everybody is happy with the temperature in the room and provide adequate seating for all your guests. You don’t need to have a luxury sofa costing thousands of dollars to do that – just good old fashioned pillows, cushions and blankets to ensure everybody is comfortable.

Leave time to talk at the end

The very best part of any movie night comes at the end, when you get to discuss what you’ve just seen. Make sure you set aside some time once the end credits have finished rolling to sit down around the table and talk about what you made of the film. You can do this with questions to lead the discussion – “What did you think the director was trying to do?”, “Did the movie succeed in its aims?”, or by just going for the jugular and blurting out whatever you thought – “That was absolute rubbish.” See if they everyone else agrees.

 

 

 

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon

Monsterland Reanimated

by Michael Okon

YA Paranormal

Book Description

After Monsterland has been destroyed, the entire world is thrown into chaos. Wyatt Baldwin and his friends must go beyond the boundaries of their small town to reestablish contact with the outside world. During their journey they discover a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park. The danger of werewolves, vampires and zombies pale in comparison to an army of relentless mummies, Vincent Conrad’s reanimated monster and the menace of a life-sucking ooze they call The Glob.  Will Wyatt and his friends survive when they reenter the scariest place on earth?

 

 

About the Author

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

PURCHASE THE BOOK:

AmazonB&NiBooksKoboGoodreads

 

2 winners will receive a signed finished copy of MONSTERLAND REANIMATED, US Only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!