You – A review of life and Netflix

So, literally ten or so minutes ago I finished watching the Netflix ten part series, You. My ironing is done!

This is something I have been watching over the last few months and the Facebook conflict hasn’t escaped me. I’d came up with a similar plot for a novel a while ago, okay, not similar but the theme was not dissimilar…Let me tell you why…

Sit here as you are reading this blog and close your eyes (after reading my instructions), whilst your eyes are closed imagine the person that may stalk you…what do they look like? What job do they have if any? Picture where they live. Please close your eyes now and picture your stalker and the aspects of their life.

In a male or female mind you imagine a stalker as someone that you’re not attracted to, or in the very least a person you never took notice of, for example, someone thats’ decidedly average in looks. So, now you’re thinking that it’s not about looks? Perhaps you’re right, but that would imply you know them and they know you which complicates the dynamic. I’m guessing the stalker was attracted to his victim, maybe it wasn’t to do with looks, maybe it was a quality that initially piqued their interest? That’s why I asked you to think about their profession, I’m guessing you didn’t have your stalker down as a doctor or a lawyer? Or moving onto where they live…I bet it wasn’t a nice clean apartment let alone a mansion…

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…have you ever looked a person up on Facebook or any other form of social media, scrolled through their stuff, all the while being terrified of clicking something by mistake? Don’t worry, I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t. Does that make you curious or a stalker? I personally think that makes you a nosey parker, when you find yourself acting upon what you found…that makes you a stalker… That’s my opinion!

Back to You, Joe is a bookstore manager. I’ve seen people comment that he is ‘hot’ or ‘cute,’ but to me he is an average guy, not ugly nor hot. He meets Beck who comes into his store and flirts a little, she uses her credit card and basically hands her life over to him to investigate. Her life is so splashed over social media that he finds out everything about her. He is able to watch her through her apartment window having sex with a guy and the subsequent masturbation when it didn’t exactly come to fruition. He hangs around her interactions with her awful friends and is able to see her weak spots from a mile away. The girl is a train wreck…

So, what does Joe do? He tries to sort out her life for her. Unfortunately, that’s mostly by murdering those that aren’t of use to her or a hindrance. There’s a short spate mid series when she finished with him and he maintained a functional relationship with someone else, but Beck is back with vengeance.

So, why is this series making us question our beliefs about stalkers? Because, pardon the pun but Joe is ‘the average Joe’ and Beck didn’t see it coming until he’d killed off her conquests and friends.

The series made me think about what to say without looking completely insane, that’s mostly the problem…men and women, especially of the British variety hate to look stupid and/or paranoid.

I’m pretty sure I had a stalker for a period, a local man who seemed to appear in every public house I frequented. Luckily, I was always with my partner. The issue was that overtime we were in different places at the same time and the man was there, seemingly he couldn’t help but stare at me and/or make comments about touching me etc. It was only when I was complaining about my partners paranoia to my best friend that she asked if there was a chance the man could be stalking me. Having always been a pleasant person a sudden realisation dawned on me that it could be true.

The following story from my friend about a ‘nice guy’ in a friend of a friends local put the fear of God into me. Apparently, this lady didn’t for a minute think that the guy was laying in wait right up until the moment when she had been in her garden hanging her washing on the line until she went back inside and found him there. That evil person raped her for hours. My friend is full of cheer!

This revelation that I may have a stalker carried on for a number of weeks until the point that I was on my own with the man. I completely turned my back on him and pretended he wasn’t there, this was an alien concept to me, but I pulled it off. Anyway, the next morning I pulled off my drive and heard a huge bang. There was a ginormous piece of metal in my tyre, and that was the last of it. I’ve seen the man maybe once or twice since eight months ago. This means it’s difficult for me to separate all of this and I have no proof!

The last thing I would want is to give away any spoilers, but if you’re sitting there contemplating your next Netflix watch, then you need to go ahead with this one. Similarly, if you’re worried you may have a stalker…Well, watch it too.

The Sins of the Sire by Emily Royal

Hello, lovely followers. I have the pleasure of introducing Emily Royal and her historical romance, The Sins of the Sire set for release on 13th March 2019 but available for pre-order NOW!

Two years ago, English noblewoman, Elyssia De Montford, risked her life to free the Highlander held prisoner by her sadistic fiancé. She cannot forget the man who first stirred her heart–a memory that burns anew when she finds herself once more on the road to Scotland.

Tavish MacLean has sworn vengeance. It’s been six years since his beloved sister was raped and murdered by an English lord, a tragedy which almost destroyed his family. On his deathbed, his father demanded retribution and Tavish pledged before his clan to enslave the lord’s daughter then send her back to her father, pregnant with a Scottish bastard. When he learns that she is travelling north, he seizes his opportunity and orders her abduction.

But when his men fling the prisoner before him, Tavish recognises Elyssia, the woman who once saved his life. Loyalty to his clan trumps the debt he owes her and he claims Elyssia as his captive. Though she’s one of the hated English, her willing body ignites passion in him at night, though she fights him at every turn during the day. As time passes, he questions his loyalty, finding himself increasingly enthralled by his fiery captive.

Treachery surrounds Clan MacLean. When long-buried secrets come to light, Tavish must risk his life and his clan, or all that he holds dear will be destroyed.

Please support Emily, follow her and pre-order The Sins of the Sire, NOW!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eroyalauthor/

Twitter: @eroyalauthor https://twitter.com/eroyalauthor?lang=en

Website: http://www.emroyal.com/

Page on Publisher website: http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Royal_Emily/index.htm

Amazon linksUK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N974NW5/

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N974NW5/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43803946-the-sins-of-the-sire

Chrissie Bradshaw Spotlight

Today, I’m welcoming fellow RNA author, Chrissie onto my blog. I met Chrissie at the 2016 RNA annual conference. I seem to recall her being green with envy when she spotted me outside stylishly sporting leopard print silky pyjamas and rocking heated rollers…Bet Lynch eat your heart out!

Paws in books

I like it when a pet is a minor character in a novel I’m reading. Animals sneak into my own writing too. I suppose including them depends on whether paws tread over your everyday life or not.

In ‘ A Jarful of Moondreams’, the Moon family have an Egyptian Mau with a huge personality that can’t be ignored. Did I mention that I once had a wonderful Egyptian Mau? We really do write from experience. 

I needed a fiesty little dog who would win the heart of an old lady in ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’. Before I knew it, I was writing about a Welsh terrier. Did I mention that a Welsh terrier is the bane of my life? At least I could make my fictional Welshie, Bracken a well-behaved little fella. 

My own little terror has been through enough adventures to merit his own novel. For instance, one day I wanted a sundrenched stroll and I got a drenched Sunday stroll! It was quite a day and Oscar almost drowned. 

Oscar and I were walking on the beach with my friend and her lab, Ruby before lunch and the beach was really busy so we decided to walk around the old outdoor swimming pool as it was deserted at that end.

The pool runs alongside the beach and the sea at the other side of the pool is deep when the tide is medium to high but the barrier is waist height with railings after that so it seems safe and I wasn’t worried about Oscar, who detests water.

After a couple of minutes of walking along and watching the dogs race around the inner well where the pool had once been, I couldn’t see him and thought he must have hightailed it back onto the beach. I called him and a man from high up on the top prom called back, ‘Your dog’s slipped into the water!’

I just couldn’t believe it and ran to look over the high wall where he was pointing to see a drop of at least 10 foot and deep choppy sea water ( there are rip tide signs around this bit of the beach) I verged on hysterics because I couldn’t see Oscar. 

The man called out, ‘He’s scrabbling to try to get back up the wall!’ But Oscar was so far below I couldn’t see him.

We all sprinted back to the beach and I waded in to the ice cold sea up to waist height but then the sea bed fell away to rocks and deeper. The lovely man had run down to us and came into the sea too. He had the foresight to remove his jacket (I was just in there quilted coat and all) and he told me to stay put and he’d swim around to find him. I was frantic in case he’d drowned and worried in case he barky-faced the swimmer away. After a lifetime, the man swam back with Oscar under his arm and I gave them both the biggest hug! Our hero just shook off the water and picked up his coat and went back to his friends soaking wet! What if he hadn’t been around? 

Some day, that scene might just appear as a first encounter of the hero in one of my novels. I much prefer my pet drama to be contained in my books where I can control the outcome. 

Biography

Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist’s Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar.
A JARFUL of MOONDREAMS, a contemporary story about family relationships, secrets and how dreams can come true, is her first novel. 
THE BARN OF BURIED DREAMS, a contemporary story about two sisters who are struggling after the death of their mother, is out now as an ebook and a paperback.
Chrissie has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. When Chrissie is not writing or reading, you will find her walking Oscar on the beach, trying to avoid the gym and spending time with her family and friends.
Chrissie enjoys tweeting to readers on @ChrissieBeee
Her instagram account is chrissie_bradshaw_author
Her blog is http://www.chrissiebradshaw.com
and she has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook.
She would love to hear from readers.

Buried Dreams by Chrissie Bradshaw

Erin and Heather Douglas are struggling. Their mother’s death has left a void in their family and everyday life has side-lined their dreams. 

Erinhas buried herself away in the family home and left her stage career. By hiding away, she is avoiding the pain of returning to London and the acting world where her ex-fiancé is enjoying success and a new relationship. When she meets charismatic Texan Jackson McGee, she wrestles with her feelings for him. Should she trust another man?

Heather is juggling babies, work, a rocky marriage and running on wine. An overheard conversation makes her ask, would Mark cheat on her?

Can the sisters help one another to face their fears, dust off and revive those dreams and find joy in life?

As soon as I started talking to the characters, I knew I was hooked.’ 5 star review  

‘This is a book with a number of serious threads running through it that make the whole so much more than the sum of it’s parts… a very well written story and the characters are so well rounded that you really feel for them and hope that everything will turn out right for them all.’ 5 star review

‘This is the second book I’ve read by this author and it didn’t disappoint. Like the first book, the characters are believable and have you involved in their lives from the start.’ 5 star review 

Thanks for doing me, Chrissie! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us 🙂

Grab your copy of THE BARN OF BURIED DREAMS:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1719995176

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Barn-Buried-Dreams-When-daylight-ebook/dp/B07GY3YFQ7/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1548606335&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=The+Barn+of+Buried+Dreams&psc=1

A little something for the weekend…

I’m back with a gift for all of my followers. It occurred to me, once back on the writing train that I haven’t run a promotion on my first book since 2016! I’m such a bad person! So, if you’re looking for a gritty, tense, paranormal read this weekend, look no further!

For just 99 of your pennies or cents for an almost 5 star read, I mean, what’s half a star between friends? Or if you are the proud owner of an Amazon Prime membership it’s completely FREE!

Falling to Pieces by L.T. Kelly

When Teagan Lewis moves from rural Montana to the bright lights of London with her maker Thomas, she expects to live as harmoniously as she has for the last one hundred-fifty years.
Teagan didn’t know she had a heart or soul until she met Marc Romano. 
However, it quickly becomes clear that Marc is forbidden fruit. All the signs that he isn’t human were there from the beginning, but she chose to ignore them…to her peril.
Can she simply walk away from this mesmerising stranger? Or should she risk her immortality to be with the man she has fallen in love with?

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Falling-Pieces-L-T-Kelly-ebook/dp/B00E6SH4VK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548496895&sr=8-1&keywords=Falling+to+pieces+lt+kelly

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Pieces-L-T-Kelly-ebook/dp/B00E6SH4VK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548497396&sr=8-1&keywords=Falling+to+Pieces+by+LT+Kelly

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Happy New Year and ***REVIEW*** The Beginning of Loss by Nancy Adams

Happy New Year to you all! We’re almost two weeks into 2018 and let me tell you, it’s been bad luck from the beginning for me. Whilst it hasn’t been the best start for a plethora of reasons I’m looking at the positives. I added over 3k to my current WIP and I’ve set a New Year’s resolution to write 5k per month which is an achievable amount in my books. I also plan on reading and reviewing at least one book per month. I’ve read two full length novels already, but the first one I read left me with almost nothing to say by the end. I wanted a book to make me feel something. I called out for people to submit for review and had no submissions! So, I had a little scoot around on Amazon and found The Beginning of Loss by Nancy Adams, it’s the first book in the series of Billionaire Romance novels. Read on for my review!

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Blurb

Nineteen year old medical student Claire Prior finds her heart torn by her affair with billionaire Sam Burgess. Sam, meanwhile, struggles with his own emotions as he watches his terminally ill wife slip slowly away. Can their love survive beyond the deceit that it was born out of? Or will they succumb to the barriers standing between them?

At the same, on the other side of the world, Jules Lee travels to a small Colombian village hoping to be reunited with the love he hasn’t seen for fifteen years, Juliette. However, dark shadows from their past threaten to ruin everything before Jules has even had a chance to be with her.

These two seemingly unconnected tales of love and the things we must endure to survive it, begin the foundations for a story that will span over a decade and entwine the fates of each of the characters as they experience life after love.

Review

When I was looking for a book to read I wanted something to make me feel something…anything! This title didn’t disappoint me in the least. The writers prose is excellent with an almost poetic quality.

The blurb and the fact the book has a billionaire male and a young girl almost put me off, but the unusual story line grabbed me. This writer has serious guts to have placed her male protagonist in a position where he is having a sexual relationship with a young girl whilst his wife lay dying and yet possesses the skill to make the reader buy into the relationship from the off. The only way I can describe the way it made me feel is like finding out my best friend is having an affair, I feel a little bit guilty inside for her husband but ultimately I’m on her side. It’s weird! So, yes, I felt somewhat conflicted from the beginning, but, I believe that’s what the author intended, who doesn’t love a secret? That’s what I felt I was in on, but I was cheering for all of them? I’m giving myself whiplash even writing about it!

Claire is volunteering at a local hospital during summer break and strikes a rapport with Marya, terminally ill wife of Sam Burgess who is a reclusive billionaire and tech genius. As Marya’s illness progresses Sam and Claire begin spending more and more time together and exchange the finer details of their disastrous early lives which bring them together.

Another story is included in this novel. It’s the tale of Juliette and Jules, a couple that have been torn apart and brought back together after many years apart. The author alludes that the two stories are connected, however, there is no clear reason as to why in book one which I did find a little annoying. Additionally, I didn’t connect with Juliette at all. I found her to be awful in an ungrateful sort of way. I failed to find any redeeming qualities in her at all. Whilst I didn’t enjoy the storyline of J and J as much as I did the aforementioned, it will be interesting to see how the author connects the two tales.

The cover above is not the same as the one on Amazon, but they’re both great covers and helps to give insight to what the book is about which is important to me both as a reader and a writer.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something a little different to the norm and with a storyline that will completely conflict you. I applaud the author for being so brave, I really loved that! The writing is gorgeous, too. For these reasons I award The Beginning of Loss:

Four-half-stars for Brent Weeks.png

 

Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

 

Hooked.

So, I have been absent without leave for a while now and I apologise, well, sort of. The truth is that although I have missed writing and chatting to other writers on Facebook, I’ve been enjoying myself with a new hobby that appears to have robbed me of my spring and summer. Alas, I don’t think I’m cut out to face a harsh winter on a riverbank freezing my implants off.

In my 35 years of life I never guessed for a minute that I would be explaining to an audience that I’ve become a fisherwoman, a lady that fishes, or any words to that effect. Nonetheless, here I am telling you just that.

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It all started out when a friendship with Nick grew into much more and has continued to grow over the past eleven months or so. My son had been begging to go fishing for a long time and saw his opportunity to do so when Nick and I became an item. They have been many times together and love each others company. I even tried to get my daughter involved by buying her a pink rod, alas, she didn’t bite.

 

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I went along one day with my computer and wrote whilst he fished in a match, but I could barely concentrate because I was so focussed on watching his float bob up and down (this is not a euphemism ;).

I watched him fish in matches a few times, but I wasn’t allowed to join in for obvious reasons. It is amazing what a competitive sport it can be and the varied range of baits that can be used. Who’d have ever thought that Carp have a taste for spice? The equipment is also mind-boggling and if I’m honest I don’t have much of a clue of what’s what, and I have a feeling that it will take years to learn the ropes, or hooks and lines as the case may be ;). I digress. Anyway, I knew I wanted to have a go.

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I wish I could remember the first day I ever went fishing was in terms of what month it was. What I will never forget is the feeling of having something on the end of my line, the thrill of not knowing what’s there and reeling it in with an air of mystery hanging thickly in the air until finally catching a magnificent sight of the scaled beauty that chose your bait as a snack. This feeling hasn’t diminished since the day I started and for the people who have known me for a long time are baffled by how much I love it. The first fish I caught was on a rod, which I still haven’t quite got the hang of and I still have a lot to learn. So, I moved onto the pole and things have improved immensely since then. The size and weight of my fish are growing which each dangle of my maggot. The tug of the fish trying to escape (which many sadly have) is exhilarating, and of course the subsequent smug grin flashed in response to the arching rod or a huge length of elastic protruding from the end of my pole (again, not a euphemism.) In fact, on the last couple of trips I’ve caught the biggest fish and put a few of the men to shame. Ssshhh, but that’s the best part, I couldn’t have been more delighted on the last trip where I even had a bit of a crowd proclaiming ,“She’s caught a whale!” coupled with a half envious and half proud comment from Nick, “I can’t take her anywhere.” Of course, it’s the woman’s touch. I am yet to beat the hell out of Nick in overall weight, but I figure the gap in experience has to close at some point?

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Alas, winter is coming hard and fast and I admitted wholeheartedly whilst watching Wet Nets last night and seeing the presenter perched on a snowy river bank whilst excitedly describing a recent catch, that I couldn’t face the harshness of winter for hours upon end. To be honest, even heavy showers have me running for cover. No, nope Siree, I hereby proclaim to be a fair weather fisherwoman and that annoys Nick no end.

That brings me to my next point. I have started a new title tentatively named, Done Fishin’. I’ve managed to get a few thousand words down and I’m hoping to finish at least the first draft by spring. It’s a romance with a woman who you’d never expect in a million years to be proudly displaying her catch whilst wearing pearls and lipstick, oh and not forgetting the aromatic scent of Eau De Toilette Carp .

Reflections

We’re all here welcoming a new year, and I as much as anyone waves a fond hello to 2017.

2016 was a strange year for me, I said goodbye to a job with East Midlands Ambulance Service that treated its staff so badly that it’s criminal. I can only hope that things have improved since I left, especially in the way of staff support. Last Christmas I was left on the line for three hours per time in a row (a total of six hours) with suicidal callers. This, I’m happy to say, was addressed with new measures put in place and some training on how to help this specific kind of caller. Though, I do hasten to add that I am yet to receive an apology, and I know that if I expect one than I’m going to be waiting a long time. Just to add insult to injury they docked three-hundred odd pounds from my wages as I left. Cheers to you too! I’m glad to have leapt from the sinking ship, no matter how much I loved that job.

Anyway, on 31st March I started a new job with my own giant office and a great supportive boss. Of course the job is stressful, but having support in place seems to keep the hell to a minimum!

Life bobbed along as it always has until August when all hell seemed to break lose. August 2016 seemed as though it was the armageddon of my life. My marriage hit an irretrievable breakdown and I lost half a book with a co-author.

Those were the highs and lows from my personal life that made my life as an author suffer beyond what I honestly thought it would. I lost half a book and could have opted to turn it into a whole again, but honestly, right now, I never want to look at it again. I still have my printed, edited version, which I am keeping in order to burn on one fine day. I think that day will come when I have finally produced something in which I’m proud of that signifies that I didn’t need a co-author (Sssshhh! don’t tell anyone, but I knew I didn’t anyway ;).)

On the positive note of authoring; I released Kissing Katie in January 2016. I also finally, after a long hard slog, managed to gain full membership into the Romance Novelists association. I attended their conference in July and every moment was fun filled and inspiring, even flashing my ass at my flat mates after rather a lot of wine :). Sorry about that!

I submitted Kissing Katie into the RONA’s when I got home from Lancaster. I laughed and laughed at the thought of getting shortlisted and subsequently used up all my annual leave in complete assurance that it will never happen and I won’t have to attend the award ceremony in March.

That leads me on to announcing my next project (a positive), A Winterbury College Novel: Zephira. I attended the best of all the talks at the RNA conference and I can honestly say I don’t know why I chose it other than fate. Catherine Fox is amazing, she completely turned my head to the idea of blogging a novel. So, here I am, probably pissing into cyber space, but none the less doing the aforementioned (blogging a novel, hopefully not pissing into cyberspace, that is.)

I’ve always wanted to write a witchy YA, in a breathtaking location, and chock filled with mystery, angst, and wonder. I hope that’s what I’m doing with Winterbury College and I hope it gets a little readership. If nothing else it certainly sets the deadline I need and the kick up the ass as well. Anyway, if you want to help me not to piss into cyberspace please go ahead and follow the blog here, chapter one is already up and you also have the chance to name a character :). I can’t talk about Winterbury College without mentioning the exemplary artist behind the coat of arms design, Victoria Skye. If you need anything custom made from a painting to a book cover then you need to check her FB page out here, that will also give the link to her Etsy page.

This year has taught me that I can take ownership of my failings, even though others seem to fail in that area. More than anything, this difficult year has proven to me who my friends are. I sincerely thank my writing friends for their undying encouragement to put fingers to keys; MK Meredith and Jenni Keer. Also, to the friend I’ve had for so many years, Caroline, who has listened to me complaining and bitching so much. Most of all, even though he has  utterly destroyed my ‘writers pain’ the friend that turned into my partner, Nick, you’ve helped more than you could ever know.

Happy New Year to all my wonderful followers! I personally wish you all an amazing 2017! 🙂