Okay so on Sunday this happened…

Tennis – Wimbledon – London, Britain – July 16, 2017, Switzerland’s Roger Federer poses with the trophy as he celebrates after winning the final against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Toby Melville

Well okay, it did but that was not what I really wanted to talk about, what I want to talk about was this that happened afterwards…

We now know who the new Doctor will be and it is a woman!

First let me express my disappointment, not at the choice but at the fact we know! I really had hoped that they might fly in the face of modern convention and kept it a secret until the Christmas special, they could have had closed sets, invited several front runners to the set to hang about to mislead speculation. I would love to have been able to tune in on Christmas day and be surprised by the regeneration, not had to listen to months of debate about the chosen replacement which brings us to Jodie Whittaker.

Going to be honest, other than her appearance in St Trinians I haven’t really seen her in anything, I have yet to watch Broadchurch despite the fact I have been meaning to since it first aired. I don’t think overall the gender of the Doctor will make a real impact on the series, I will be far more concerned with plots, storylines and the character development. Do I have concerns? Of course, I worry they will give her a beefcake for a companion, have him saving her constantly and her fall in love with him, though to be fair male Doctors have frequently been saved by their female companions. I would love to see a non-human in the TARDIS, yes we have just had Nardol and I hope the Doctor will collect him before leaving the spaceship but he is still shaped as a human, I have seen suggestions K9 may return but honestly, let’s have something different and shake things up completely.

We live in an age where we see all male performances of Swan Lake we see boundaries pushed in all directions, I know many are not happy to see a change from the norm in ‘their’ favourite show, and I say that in quotes because I don’t think my view of the show and theirs have anything in common, theirs is an exclusive club, mine is inclusive, theirs is restrictive, mine knows no boundaries, they would rather travel to the past, my show is heading full speed into the future.

Live Event Catch Up!!!!

Hi guys, so I decided today I would post a quick round up of the events I am signed up for over the next couple of years so far! Now I know with a few of these it might seem like they are so far away but people have to book time off work, save up and lets face it find the perfect dress for the evening do lol. Even if you cannot make it to an event then I highly recommend joining the FB groups, there are loads of cool things and giveaways going on in these groups so it is worth the time to pop in and visit them.

First before I start a couple of weeks ago I did the Thirty question challenge you can read my answers here but the wonderful #Darker author Joey Paul has taken up the gauntlet and you can read her answers to the question by clicking here.

So let’s begin and take the events in order…

The Darker Side of Fiction

Hosted by the wonderful Hourglass Events Ladies Jo & Rachel

There is a promotion running at the minute on remaining tickets…

***Summer Mayhem Competition ***

Do you want to win an Amazon Gift Card?!

This is our last offer before the Darker Side of Fiction Event on the 7th October!!
So we KNOW you love reading crime, horror, fantasy, thriller, sci-fi , paranormal and dystopian books which means you’ll want to win the £15 Amazon voucher we are giving away!!!
All you need to do is buy your Darker ticket before midnight on Tuesday 29th August and be entered into this fabulous prize draw.
You know there’s always room for a few more signed books 😈

Just click the Ticket Link
https://thedarkersideoffiction2017.eventbrite.co.uk/

You can join the FB group here and I am going to be hosting a takeover there on Wednesday evening 19th July from 9pm BST

The End of Year Indie Masquerade Party

This one is not a signing but a party to celebrate all things Indie, it is open for readers, authors and bloggers and has been organised by the amazing C.A. Bell you can find out more here in the FB group and apply for tickets, I would say if you want to come book sooner rather than later it is being held in Birmingham on 25th November 2017

Leeds Author Event 2018

Again hosted by the lovely Hourglass Events ladies on Saturday, 3 March 2018 from 10:00 to 23:30

You can get tickets and find details of the evening event here  

The FB group can be found here  I will be doing a page takeover there this Thursday 20th July at 10pm

Shenanigans West Midlands Signing 2018

Hosted by the delightful Maria Lazarou This event will be held in Telford on 14th April 2018, tickets go on sale later this month and if you would like to find out more then the place to find out more is the FB group here

The Heart Of Sheffield Signing Event 2019

Hosted by the fabulous Yvonne and Helen this is a new new signing event and the first they have hosted though it is lining up to be a fantastic event. You can find out more booking details here and keep track of things at the FB group here and there is a prize draw running until the end of this month for people buying tickets

 

There maybe one or two more things in the pipeline that I cannot talk about yet and I prmoise to go into events in a lot more detail in weeks to come.

 

Book Review – Hallowe’en Party By Agatha Christie

I have to be honest I struggled to find a copy of the cover to my edition but finally…

Let’s begin as normal with the Goodreads blurb…

A teenage murder witness is drowned in a tub of apples… At a Hallowe’en party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the ‘evil presence’. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer…

This book is a little darker than some of the other Agatha Christie books, it also is one of the few that breaks from her formulaic narratives and places the characters in a slightly different position to the normal you would expect. I confess Agatha Christie is a master at blindsiding you at times not always keeping the villain hidden but sometimes the motive or the people who are in collusion are the twists that come unexpectedly. This is one of those cases, you think you have a good idea about half way through about the guilty parties you are right to a point but it is the extra layers that make this a stand out for me in terms of her books. I make no secret of the fact I love Poirot but I also appreciate that for some the books are too quaint and tame, they lack the sex, gore and violence of modern books (my own included)  but they are nonetheless still wonderfully crafted tales and still worthy of reading.

So onto a score well it has to be 5 out of 5 stars for this one.

Lazy Sunday #43 & Vlog Time #103 – Quick Hello!

Everything seems really hectic here at the minute, writing, kids, swag, writing, babies, you get the picture. Part of the reason it is so hectic is I just have not managed to get my head around the time management aspect of my resolutions, I try but get distracted so for the next few weeks I am back to using a timer n the hope I can get back into more of a disciplined routine. The weather here is lovely today just loaded the washing machine again and have a line of clothes already fluttering in the breeze, line dried clothes are a pleasure those in warm countries take for granted, so much fresher than those draped over radiators.

Anyway, we need to get a move on as the tennis is due to start soon and I am hoping to watch Rgerwin another Wimbledon.

  1. First up is a post by a photographer I have featured a few times, I love the photos he takes of the Irish landscape but this I love for another reason, it is the idea of the stories behind ruined buildings, what tales they could tell, even those with mundane histories can become magical places with a little imagination  https://nigelborrington.com/2017/07/14/evening-poem-by-alice-oswald/
  2. The second of today’s posts and the first of the writing themed ones comes from fellow #Darker author Hemmie, who I am looking forward to meeting in just a few weeks. Staring at the blank screen can be incredibly daunting so her advice for those just starting out is well worth making note of https://hemmiemartin.com/2017/07/12/start-small/
  3. The next post is also writing related and I put my hands up that this is something I struggled with the first time I listed a book, it is hard sometimes to work out where your work belongs, to pigeonhole yourself against your own wishes but it has to be done, and if you hope to sell books, done well.   https://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/choosing-categories-and-keywords-when-publishing-with-amazon/
  4. Finally a humorous look at the rituals we all create around ourselves, whether it is having a certain playlist on, total silence, sitting in a certain position, https://aviatrixkim.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/on-writing-you-must-perform-the-ritual/

Just four blog shares today as I have a quick vlog for you, confession time I recorded this last week and it has sat waiting to be edited but next week we will be back on track I promise

Darker tickets

Still time to grab a ticket or two and come join the party

Hourglass events

​​
Don’t miss this event!

Come and meet some Wickedly Dark crime, horror, fantasy, thriller, sci-fi , paranormal and dystopian authors on Saturday 7th October 2017 at the Holiday Inn west Peterborough.
Later enjoy the Darker Ball, enjoy fabulous meal and dance the night away at our Charity Fundraiser Ball – supporting Young Minds and Sue Ryder Hospice
Get your tickets NOW by clicking the link below ⬇️⬇️

https://thedarkersideoffiction2017.eventbrite.co.uk/
#TheDarkerSideofFiction2017

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Thirty Questions – A Challenge to the #Darker Authors

I have decided that I need to get back to my schedule, Tuesdays are about live events, #Darker, and Leeds first, then, #HOSSE and others to follow.

I saw this over on Martha Reynolds page and decided what better way to get to know myself and hopefully some of the other Darker authors, so you can read Martha’s answers here, and if any of the other authors rise to the challenge I shall reblog them here.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?  Well of course the first thing I wanted to be was the Doctor’s companion, then an athlete until I realised that I was never going to be as good as I wanted to be. I always knew I would write a book, and considered being an English teacher, but honestly I think it is tough expecting you to work out what you want to be when you are a kid.

Which Friends character do you relate to most? Why? I would be the genetic lovechild of Monic and Pheobe, I am a bit of a hippy and free spirit like Pheobe in many ways but there is an innner Monica that is a bit of a control freak, likes lists and plans.

Do you like your name? Why? No! I ended up with the name Paula by default, I was supposed to be a boy, my parents were so convinced that I was they only picked the boys name it was the midwife who suggested adding an extra ‘a’ when they couldn’t think of anything else on the spot.

Are you messy or neat? I would love to say neat but with kids and pets I fight a losing battle, however my desk is organised chaos whic maybe is a truer reflection of how I operate lol.

How tall are you? I’ve always said 5ft 5 but recently I got measured during a medical appointment and they said 5ft 6, I did wonder if it was due to the spinal surgeries, maybe they made  stand up straighter?

How tall were you when you were ten? I would take a guess at about 5ft 2, I grew in height really quickly for a while and until I was about 14 was taller than most of my friends and classmates, then I seemed to stop growing and they all went past me.

What is your guilty pleasure? I am not sure I I have one, don’t get me wrong, plenty of pleasures but none I feel guilty about unless maybe it is buying more books when I still have loads waiting to be read.

What are you saving money for now? Darker of course, I know there are a few books I want and I need to spend an afternoon with the pre-order list choosing which books I want.

How many Pringles can you eat at once? What flavour lol but seriously if you are asking in one sitting about half a tube if I do not restrain myself, I only put one in my mouth at a time though but you know how it goes, you are watching a good film not paying attention to the tube and before you know it half are gone.

Tea or coffee? Coffee in the morning, then pop or water for most of the day unless I am editing in which case more coffee is required.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? By nature probably an extrovert, I have always been fairly confident loved dancing, can chat to anyone, however there are times when because I have gained a lot of weight I can be quite self concious and introverted.

What will be your Hallowe’en costume this year? I have brought a dress for Darker which will double as am amazing vampire or witch outfit, I love dressing up and am lucky enough to have a day job that lets me occasionally.

Sweet or salty? A bit of both, preferably in the form of salted caramel!

Favourite social media? Facebook for keeping in touch with people, though I have to say I love Instagram for all the pretty pictures without the other political stuff you have on FB.

Who is the last person you kissed? My son, that counts surely? Romantically? Last summer I kissed a guy I went on a couple of dates with, it didn’t work out but damn those kisses were good.

What is your favourite breakfast? It depends, I am not a big eater first thing on a morning so normally it is breakfast biscuits dunked in coffee, but if I can take my time or if I am at a hotel then I do like a full english, the only time I make it at home is Christmas day, I do bacon butties sometimes on a Sunday morning.

When is your birthday? September, I am a Libra and yes I do have the traits.

When did you start your blog? I first started a blog on my birthday 2011 over on eblogger but it was a few months after that I moved here to WP and have never looked back.

What is your opinion on the Kardashians? Not really spent a lot of time thinking about them, I guess savvy business women with lousy taste in men, attention seeking but I do like the fact that Kim does not fit the stereotype size zero.

How would you describe your style? Casual, don’t get me wrong I love to get dressed up and I love a lot of the steampunk clothes but at the size I am now I am very self concious about what looks okay, plus with my spinal issues comfort is also something I consider for everyday dressing, plus I have to wear a uniform at work so I love lounging in yoga pants and baggy t-shirts at  home.

What colour is your hair? Purple!

What colour socks are you wearing? No socks at the minute, the ones I had on this morning got soaked on the school run so I took them off, will put on more later.

What is your dream job? I want to be able to quit the day job and make my living from writing, I see author friends travelling the country doing signings and while I might never be an international best seller (though of course I live in hope) I want to be able to make writing my career.

Dogs or cats? We have both, two cats one dog, technically I am a dog person but I am also a sucker for sob stories which is what both my cats are, one Molly mog is a stray that came to live with us and we have no idea how old she is but we know she is not young, the other two pets I expect to have for at least another ten years.

What makes you weird? Me weird? Probably, what makes me weird, I am a geek, I watch very little TV and spend half my life with characters inside my head, occasionally my thoughts can only be described as sick and twisted.

Celebrity crush? Jason Mamoa is the current crush, there have been a couple of WWE wrestlers at different times and John Taylor is my life long crush from being a teenager.

Opinion on cigarettes? Oh dear, Hands up I am an ex-smoker, I will have been smoke free 5 years on Halloween, the last cigarette I smoked was the morning of my last spinal surgery, I have come close to breaking twice, once when my gran died and the second last week when I was under stress due to my son’s issues.

Do you want/have any children? Was never really fussed either way about kids, then I got pregnant and had my daughter, she was enough, then years later her brother came along and I started over again.

Three favourite boy’s names. Jack (my son), Michael, struggling to come up with a third, guess it is something I never really considered, maybe Baldrick, of course I would never call a child that but would love a horse called Baldrick.

Three favourite girl’s names. Samantha (my daughters name), Isabella, Ecaterina (After Ecaterina Szabo the gynmast)

Lazy Sunday #42

As you are aware this has been a stressful couple of weeks,I am feeling tired at the minute but I also have lots to be thankful for and while I cannot control the things going on with my son I now have to find a way to keep pushing forward with my writing. In an ideal world I will push forward release lots more books and get to a point I can earn enough from writing to give up the day job, write Monday to Friday and then attend a signing event each month, that is the dream and would also allow me much more flexibility in time with my son to take him more places and try to show him more of the world.

  1. This week I needed things to make me smile and this blog always does that, this post in particular made me giggle I like the bath though not sure it would be good to soak in but I really want the piano water feature https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/06/24/just-when-you-think-you-have-seen-everything/
  2. The first blog also gets a second post this week and that is because they posted this earlier today and I love it, I could sit for hours watching the stars https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/07/02/the-new-pillars-of-creation-hubble-image-video-is-amazing/
  3. I love these designs and I hope she can forgive me for messing her about over a cover I wanted when life got in the way and that I can persuade her to work on a series of covers for me later in the year and through next year https://melchelledesigns.com/2017/06/20/new-covers-and-new-gallery/
  4. Okay I picked this post to share because one the rubber ducks are so cute, my son has a Batman one and we have several other cute duckies, but mainly because I love the paisley shark https://markbialczak.com/2017/06/27/we-cant-duck-our-walk-through-chatham-to-meet-the-sharks/
  5.  The final thing for today is a video, you have my daughter to thank for this, she showed me it when I was having a bad day and this guy is my hero now, he is hilarious. So I shall leave you watching this and catch up next week!

What’s going on!

Okay let’s talk honestly, the issues over the last couple of weeks have been two-fold, first, the computer failed, then secondly I failed at life, well not really it just feels that way.

The computer did an update which because of my poor internet connection failed to instal properly, the end result was I had to wipe everything, reinstall windows, then find all the various apps I use and reinstall them. Of course, this also meant trawling through emails to find the registration codes for paid upgrades and apps, mental note to self, put them all in one folder next time! It has taken two weeks so far and I am still finding annoying little things that are missing or that I need to tweak but finally I can get back to actually doing some productive work.

Now the hard bit to talk about, life! I have mentioned before that the monster has had a few issues, but I have really not talked about how hard it is to see your son hurting and not be able to fix it. We have been on a waiting list for over two and a half years for my son to be tested for Autism, everyone who spends any time with him agrees he is on the spectrum, where or whether there is a specific category he will fit into we do not yet know. It has also been suggested that if he is not actually autistic his issues may result from lasting brain damage from the meningitis that nearly took his life when he was seven and a half. As he gets older and more is expected of him he is finding it increasingly difficult to cope in the mainstream school he attends, but we have no other choices, without a diagnosis he would not be accepted at one of the schools who cater for those with more complex needs. He is also incredibly intelligent, it is not the work in school he cannot cope with it is the environment, he requires more one to one help but again without a diagnosis, the school do not get the funding for this.

Since just before Christmas he has been struggling, it is so hard to see and hear about you child talking about not wanting to exist, wanting to hurt themselves and at times physically attempting to hurt themselves but be able to do nothing to change their perception of themselves. He hears every negative word and replays it but the positives go by un-noticed. Things were really bad for a while through January, then with a lot of positive reinforcement, it seemed we were getting somewhere. However last week he started a six weeks counselling course with the hope it would help with his self-esteem, instead we are right back at square one.

Yesterday was a bad day, he tried to physically hurt himself, he said a lot of things that once more broke my heart and for the first time I questioned my ability to deal with this, Don’t get me wrong I will of course, you have no choice, there is no magic wand that anyone can wave and make it all okay. But for the first time, I feel tired, weak and alone. I have been crying on and off, day and night for the last 26 hours. I don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me, but today, I felt it was time to be honest.

I have spent the morning making phone calls and so far have got nothing, hopefully, the paediatrician will get back to me in the morning but the agency that deals with the autism referral are still not answering the phone nor have they called me back yet, I do not expect them to, I have lost track if the number of voicemails I have left over the last 6 months, they never call back. I am however logging the times and dates I leave the messages this time as well as calling repeatedly in the hope eventually someone might pick up the phone. I feel so tired

I feel so tired, and cannot at the minute see a light at the end of the tunnel. I love my son to pieces, that goes without saying, but today I feel like a failure as a parent because I can’t fix this for him, I can’t make him feel better. We find ways to get through one day at a time, do our best to enjoy the good days and survive the bad ones. I felt the need to share this today because I can guarantee there is at least one other person out there reading this who feels like they are struggling today, not necessarily in the same way, but I just want them to know they are not alone, very few people have the perfect lives they pretend to have on social media, and sometimes it is okay to not be okay, it is okay to say I am struggling today. Today I may cry, I may scream, I may very well throw the phone handset against the wall, but I will get through it and get up tomorrow and hope for a better day, one day at a time is sometimes all that we can do.

Lazy Sunday #41

Good Morning!

Well it is morning as I begin posting this whether I get through it all is a different matter, it has been quite a stressful week here in the UK due to politics and people being determined to fall out with each other because of it. It has been a week many have felt the need to dive into something stronger than coffee to get through it. On the plus side, there was the fantastic benefit concert put together by Ariana Grande, my rugby team have won again, and hopefully have turned a corner for the season, that will get them away from the dreaded bottom four. So let’s get on with things and this week I have picked things that have a feel good factor…

 

  1. I love this first post because it imparts wisdom passed down through generations and in this world where so much emphasis is placed on material possessions it reminds us what is important, my dad’s car advice to me was similar, he was talking about speeding and pointed out ‘there is nowhere you need to be so badly it is worth dying for!’ https://lifewithblondie.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/its-just-a-car-baby-girl/
  2. The second post today I also love but this time is it is because this fantastic lady has taken a chance, turned her life upside down, taken the risk to turn her back on the normal jobs and do something physically harder but ultimately more rewarding I hope she will keep posting and share her journey in her new job, I want piglet pics  https://terahvandusen.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/farm-her-new-job-new-life/
  3. A special shout out to all those who attended this year’s Annual bloggers bash, I had hoped to get there but childcare issues made it a no-no, however, I am determined to be there next year http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/06/10/winners-of-the-2017-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-bloggersbash-bloggersbash/
  4. There are some blogs you know when you visit they are going to make you smile and that happens every time I pop over to this one, I especially love the emoticons bit  https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/06/10/bookish-delights-13-memes/
  5. My final post for today is a photo blog but these guys really go out of their way to make sure you know exactly what you are seeing and as a result you experience the places they see on a whole new level as well as learn something new, they also make me want to visit places I had never considered before https://sartenada.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/hanami-in-helsinki-hanami-en-helsinki-hanami-a-helsinki-hanami-em-helsinquia/

As I suspected we are now into the afternoon and it is time for me to head off to the kitchen and stuff the chicken.

 

Glossybox Review March 2017

Back to a plain pink box which is always a comedown after the special edition ones but let’s get to the contents…

My initial response was to be quite pleased, I had chosen the palette from a couple of options so maybe we should start with that…

SLEEK MAKEUP Eye & Cheek Palette

Because I am reviewing this a few month on from the time I chose the colour option I cannot remember what the others were, however, I believe this looked like a fairly neutral palette, and I probably chose this as I had gone for brighter colours for the last couple of palette options.  When I opened it I was quite excited…

There were what seemed a nice mix of shades and I thought okay I can do quite a bit with these, however, let’s break it down, cheeks first…

This is a one swipe swatch, can you see the problem, while I might get away with a very light dusting of the paler one, no way can I use the darker side, I do not tan so I could not even use it then, the blushers are highly pigmented but all is not lost they are very nice colours still so I will use them on my eyes. So let’s take a look at those…

Again the colours are highly pigmented and with the exception of the cream are all quite dark, I think the colours are lovely but really not good on my complexion as a palette. As an overall palette this would great on black or dark olive skin but for us pale and pasty folks the colours will be used in conjunction with paler colours from other palettes. At £10 it is not expensive but if you are looking for one palette to carry with you that does both eyes and cheeks you might need to be careful which colours you chose with this.

Next…

OOLUTION Eye Love

Hmmm I have to hold my hands up I am not sure on this, first it feels great when you put it on, but I cannot honestly say it did a great deal for my dark circles or puffiness, simply because it is not often mine are really noticeable. That is not to say I don’ egt them but when I do am usually feeling so run down and crap I don’t think to try using a cream at that point. For puffiness I have a really good roller ball type product I received in a Glossybox a while ago so I cannot see me spending £30 on this cream, but in fairness I cannot say it doesn’t work and might not be worth the price tag to somone else.

Next is…

THIS WORKS in-transit camera close-up

As you can see this claims to be an all in one product, sadly for me it did none of the things it claimed particularly well. In consistancy it is very similar to Vaseline, it does work as a barrier layer between your skin and make up to protect pores but I found that my foundation moved a lot over it and was hard to get a nice finish so as a primer it fails. I used this up as a night cream as I felt it took a long time to soak in and left my skin looking too greasy for day use. At £30 I can think of individual products that you could buy to do all three jobs with better results for less money, however, if you have really dry skin and want one product to travel with this might work for you.

Just two to go so…

FRUU Fruitilicious Watermelon Lip Balm

I am going to be honest when I opened this and smelt it, I could only smell Mango, which I don’t like. But as I always promise to try everything where possibly I gave it a go and I actually love the the texture and the more I hgave used it the more I smell watermelon over the other scents. At £2.99 it is a resonable price and is a decent every day balm

And finally…

GOT2B Styling Primer

I have to be honest when I read the description of this I was skeptical about what it would actually do, but I have to say that when I tried it, it really did make a difference. Because I have a few layers through my hair when I plait it for work as a do occasionally bits tend to come loose, I put a little of this in my hands and worked it through my hair now I have to say you do have to work quickly as it dries fast and is less effective but once my hair was plaited there were no bits escaping. It did brush out, though my hair did feel like it needed washing, it was not unbareable. The one downside was it made my hands feel really stiicky and took a good wash to remove that sensation. At only £4.18 in is a good price if you wear your hair tied up a lot or wear it in plaits, I can’t really comment on how it works with other styles but even just using it for the plaits it is value for money as it removes the need to use hair spray afterwards.

 

Though there were a couple of negatives the positives made up for it in this box.