The Tormenter

Short Story
By Stephanie Geary

Sitting outside the school gates, I wait nervously for Stan Foster to come out of class. My mind whirls at the prospect of seeing him, knowing what I must do. Nerves and fear play a part in making my decisions. I can see a crowd forming, they have heard about what will be happening shortly. Hands in pockets, I glance at the growing audience, knowing that I am about to be put on display and that I must perform. My hands are clammy, and I wipe them roughly down my school trousers. I pull a handful of change from my pocket and count the coins.

Not enough, I need more.

What will he say about that?

I see him making his way out of the school, a group of friends surrounding him, offering him encouragement. They all look this way, none of them wanting to admit that they play a part in this scenario. As they get closer, I feel my heart racing, adrenaline kicks in and I feel ready. My eyes never steel away from his, I stare him down and gulp down on the salty saliva building up in the back of mouth and throat. I feel nauseous, but I know that is due to the fire burning in my gut.

Racing towards Stan, I see the fear in his eyes as he sees me, his secondary school bully approaching him. He looks at me, tears ready to spill from his eyes and I feel the raw fear that comes from his every pore.

And I love it.

I wish that I didn’t! I feel the hold that I have over him and the feeling of being powerful is like a drug I can’t get enough of. I clench my fists eagerly.

My audience waits as I approach my prey; all eyes are on me. I cannot let them down.

 

Featured post

Diet Coke, Twisted Strawberry

I have always been a fan of Coca Cola shaking things up with their inventive, sugar free, fizzy drink, concoctions.

Diet Coke with Vanilla, Diet Coke with orange or Diet Coke Exotic Mango have all won me over, helping to make my favourite drink even more enjoyable.

But now those lovely generous people at The Coca Cola Company have brought us a flavour that has surpassed all of the above. A cheeky, sexy, tantalising Twisted Strawberry flavour.

This drink had all the usual fizz that can be found with the fizzy pop ‘underdogs’ plus a sweet strawberry kick. It is sweet but not too sweet; with the fruity flavour not being overpowering….my tastebuds were very happy with what I was offering them, let me tell you that! I was immediately pleasantly surprised, and I have added this to the list of drinks to buy.

Being a member of a ‘fat-club’ means that I am always on the look out for new sugar free alternatives to shake up my drinking experience! And this new tasty drink ticked all the boxes! It is delicious, fizzy and thirst-quenching! A drink that is always best enjoyed chilled, straight from the fridge!

Keep a look out for this drink in all stores, especially on those hot summer days (here’s hoping the sun comes back out to play) – but to be honest, this drink can be drunk anytime! And would be perfect added to a glass with a shot of gin and sliced strawberries!!! Oooooohhh!

Check the link below for nutritional information straight from the manufacturers!

https://www.coca-cola.co.uk/drinks/diet-coke/diet-coke-twisted-strawberry#ath

Advertisements

My Head Hurts…

Hi All,

Just when I thought I had it all sorted with my writing and what direction it actually was that I wanted to go, then I start doubting it again. I love writing and it would be a dream to make a career out of it. And I thought that the NCTJ Journalism course I was booked onto in September was what I wanted, but I am having a few doubts. I love creative writing, I enjoy fiction and I adore creating plots and stories. Journalism, obviously, is a lot more real…and I am not 100% convinced that it is what I want to focus on.

When I enquired about the course at Wolverhampton College, I was in a job that I disliked and I felt like I was eager to find anything to get me away from it. Now, I am looking at that course deeper and wondering at how interested I would be in it. Yes, its 12 months and its a qualification that I can get onto the CV. It would be ideal for showing how passionate I am about writing, but I am worried about studying a course where my heart isn’t into it. The thing is with me is that there is more than one thing that I could imagine doing with my life. Each career choice is circling around my head, and I am struggling to decide what I actually want to do.

Photography is still a passion of mine, and I can foresee myself picking it up again, although wedding photography is no longer a service that I want to provide (apart from the odd job that I still have booked in)

Writing is still a big passion of mine and that will never change, but do I want to go into reporting the news? Do I want to have a structure and style based on where I write for? Do I want to study a course and learn all of the differing laws and guidelines that Journalisms adhere to?

When it comes to writing I can see myself writing fiction, I can see myself writing screenplays and helping to produce dramas. I can see myself working for businesses to help write up information about what they are selling. And I can see myself working for myself from home.

I have also toyed with the idea of having a complete career switch and studying for a career that is more people orientated. I envy people who work within the NHS and I can see myself as a midwife. I have thought and thought about this over the past 18 months and it is still something that I feel like I would like to do at some point in my life. One thing that puts me off more than anything is how much time I would be away from the boys, which is something that I would like to look more into in a few years when the boys are a bit older.

Aswell as this, I also like the thought of training to be a early years teaching assistant. I love little people and I would love to work in a school, not forgetting that this career choice would guarantee all of the school holidays off with the boys.

So, I have a lot to think about. I feel like I am going through it in my mind every single second of the day….I know it seems like I’m flipping from one thing to the next and I contradict myself left, right and centre, but this is an important decision…I don’t want to waste anymore time than I have to.

One good thing that currently work is not a factor that is affecting any decisions. I can literally do whatever I want….and it is a great feeling. I just need to decide what it is that I want to do!

I am sure that by the next time I write on here, then I will have made my mind up.

 

We can but hope, eh? 😀

Blogtour: Dead and Talking by Des Burkinshaw (A Porter and The Gliss Investigation)

Blogtour – Sunday 14th July
Dead & Talking
Hi all,

I have been busy lately haven’t I with all of these wonderful books that I have been able to read. 😀 – I love book-blogging, as I am doing two things that I love…reading and writing. I have come across a lot of great books since I joined forces with Rachels Random Resources and this one is bloody fantastic!

The book summary had me intrigued and I really couldn’t wait to get stuck into it. I loved the character interaction and the flow in which the story was written, made the book so easy to read. It was definately one of those books that are difficult to put down.

Big thanks, as always go to our host, Rachel – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com
and to the author, Des Burkinshaw – www.desburkinshaw.com
Dead & Talking Kindle sleeve FINAL DES.jpg
Before I delve deeper into my review, lets have a little bit about the author.


About the Author

Des Burkinshaw

Dead and Talking - DES DARK.png

Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government.

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too.

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in.

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again.

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky.

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire.

He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax).

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school.

Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.


About the Book

Dead & Talking Kindle sleeve FINAL DES

Dead & Talking

If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do? When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations. The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead – if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else. Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved – because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they? Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.

Purchase Links:
US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PLLNB4M
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PLLNB4M


My Review

How could a paranormal investigation two-man-team where one of the team is a ghost be so intriguing? Let me tell you, this book hooked me from the start! Fantastic character build ups and interactions helped to create a likeable, enjoyable, story and one that had my interest peaked.

Porter Norton is a man who is in a dark place when we meet him. A lot has happened in his life, which leads him to wanting to take his own life. This doesn’t go as planned, and he finds himself saved by The Gliss, a ghostly figure who tells him that he has to make up for all the ill-deeds that his family have done through the years. With this comes a story that is thrilling, mysterious, dark and funny. We read as together, this unusual team look into death of a British man in WW1. There was a fantastic dialogue between Porter and The Gliss, which created some humorous moments. The characters added were fantastic, each creating differing levels of like and dislike from the reader.

As the case unravelled, the characters were taken on a journey as secrets and tortured memories are disclosed. Porter struggles to deal with what he is discovering about his families traumatic history, and I read greedily as I raced eagerly towards the dramatic conclusions.

This book was amazing from start to finish and I really do hope that we read more from this fantastic crime duo!


Conclusion
Fantastic book! Great read! I will be looking out for future books of this author and I hope we read more about Porter and The Gliss.

Rating – 5 out of 5

If you guys would like to read more reviews, please check out the other bloggers on this tour.
Dead & Talking Full Tour Banner.jpg
Giveaway to Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494246/?

 

Blog Tour: Chloe Never Forget by Dan Laughey

Blogtour – Thursday 11th July

Chloe Never ForgetHi all,

For those of you who follow my blog, you will know that my last post was a review that I wrote for the first book in this series, written by Dan Laughey, the link for which can be found here.

I told you all how much I loved this first book; it was gritty, thrilling and left me wanting more with the delectable cliff-hanger at the end. I left a 5 star review and ran head first into the 2nd book, hoping to the find answers to all the mysteries within the pages. I enjoyed being re-acquainted with  D.I Carl Sant, the leading investigator who is out to solve all of the pieces to the cases that are currently plaguing him. We dive deeper into this story and I read eagerly as drama, tension and suspense tumbled together creating a fantastic, well written story; one that had my heart beating fast and my head reeling.

As always, I must thank the wonderful people who have invited me on this tour! Big thanks go the wonderful Blog Host, Rachel of Rachels Random Resources – www.rachelsrandomresources.com

And an author who is quickly becoming one of my favourites, Dan Laughey – https://twitter.com/danlaughey

Chloe-Never-Forget-Main-File.jpg
I want to bellow quite loud about this book, but I really don’t want to give any spoilers away. This book was as intense and intriguing as the first and I was not disappointed when I read the final pages.

Before I get more into my review, lets have a bit about the author.


About the Author

Chloe Never Forget - Dan Laughey-1 Staff Profiles- AET-1 (002).jpg
Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.

Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.

His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.

He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.

All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Social Media Link–
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/danlaughey


About the Book

Chloe-Never-Forget-Main-File
An off-duty detective gunned down. A dead woman. A student missing, feared dead. And now, a former policeman in search of his past. All these people, dead or alive, have one thing in common. D.I. Carl Sant must discover what it is.
A series of cold-case enquiries leads D.I. Sant and his colleagues to investigate a botched assassination plot dating back to the 1980s. The deeper they dig into the case, the more secrets are revealed, including shocking connections to the infamous National Front.
Meanwhile, the memory of former P.C. Tanner, survivor of the assassination horror, is beginning to recover. Sant must find Tanner, and find out who is behind it all – before his superiors lose their rag and more lives are lost.

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PH2MXQR
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PH2MXQR


My Review

Will we ever find Chloe?

I loved every page turn in this book, just as much as the first one. I read with greed as Sant and his colleagues in the police department created a fighting force, one which was paramount in finding out the answers to some of the cases that they were covering. There is believable determination between the characters, and the dialogue and dynamics helped to create people that were believable and likeable.

The twists and turns made for amazing reading and I came away feeling satisfied as we sped closer to the ending. The pace was brilliantly handled and my attention was held by the many mysterious links, which were expertly threaded together creating a fantastic read! I was a fan of Sant’s in the first book and I loved him just as much in this next instalment.

My only disappointment was knowing that currently there aren’t any further books. I would love to see more from D I Sant, and I hope that Dan Laughey takes heed of this. Brilliant writing, Brilliant story and superb characters! One fantastic book series….I highly recommend.


Conclusion
Brilliant, from the first page of book 1, all the way through to the final page of book 2. I look forward to reading more from Dan Laughey.

Rating – 5 out of 5!

If you like what you have read, and would like to read more from the other bloggers on this tour, please check out their blogs below. 

Chloe Never Forget Full Tour Banner.jpg
Thanks for stopping by guys!

I look forward to seeing you very soon.

S x

Blog Tour – Chloe: Lost Girl by Dan Laughey

Edit – Unbeknownst to me, this post didn’t post when it was scheduled and due to some technical issues with my mobile phone and me being away most of yesterday, I was unable to see that this hadn’t been posted. Big Apologies go to Rachel and to the author, Dan for this being a day late. This book was amazing and I was so excited to share this with you.

Albeit late, please see my review below. I hope the fantastic review I am leaving will make up for my lateness. 😀


Blogtour – Wednesday 3rd July 2019

Chloe Lost Girl.png
Hi all

Welcome to my stop on this fantastic, thrilling book-tour ride! I was thrilled to be asked to take part in this tour as the book sounded absolutely brilliant and I am so glad that I hopped on board!

The face that there is a 2nd book has seriously had me smiling from ear to ear….and I am not shy to say that I am already part way through it. This story has been exciting with each and every page turn and I look forward to seeing how the next book pans out.

Big thanks as always MUST go to the people who have invited me onto this tour. Shout out to the brilliant blog host, Rachel and the author, Dan Laughey.

Rachel of Rachels Random Resources – www.rachelsrandomresources.com
Dan Laughey (Author) – https://twitter.com/danlaughey

Chloe-Lost-Girl-Main-File.jpg
I have often mentioned that I love most genres…a book has to grab me from the bio and the book cover and then I am in there. This book intrigued me by both bio and cover….I have not been left disappointed! This book was intense, exciting and a non-stop page turner. Where is Chloe? Who is causing all of these awful crimes? This mystery-thriller had me reading each page greedily and I was so eager to get to the end so that I could find out what was happening.


About the Author

Chloe Lost Girl Dan Laughey-1 Staff Profiles- AET-1 (002).jpg
Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.

Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.

His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.

He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.

All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Social Media

Twitter –https://twitter.com/danlaughey
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laughey


About the Book

Chloe-Lost-Girl-Main-File
A missing student. A gunned-down detective. A woman in fear for her life. All three are connected somehow.

Detective Inspector Carl Sant and his fellow officers get on the case. But what links the disappearance of a university student, the death of an off-duty police sergeant, and a professor reluctant to help them solve the case?

Their only clue is a sequence of numbers, etched by the police sergeant Dryden on a misty window moments before he breathed his last. Soon it becomes clear that Dryden’s clue has brought the past and present into a head-on collision with the very heart of Sant’s profession.

Racing against time, D.I. Sant must find out what’s behind the mysterious events – before the bodies start piling up.

Purchase Links:
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PDLDS7N
US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PDLDS7N


My Review

I loved this book!

The story, The characters, The writing, The mystery that is wrapped within the pages; all helped to make this a very exciting, thrilling read.

I have a read a lot of books over the past 18 months through blog tours, etc and it is always nice to find a story that gets an INSTANT 5 stars! This book blew me away with how fantastic it was. Dan Laughey is not an author I was familiar with before now, but he has now been added to my Fave Authors on Goodreads! Fantastic writing! I cannot fault it at all. It flowed brilliantly and his style helped to create a story that was believable and intriguing. The dialogue and character development was so strong and I found myself reacting to what I was reading with a host of emotions; Anger, excitement, horror, hope…The book was a real rollercoaster that had me riveted from start to finish.

The characters were far from perfect, but each was a breath of fresh air; real and believable. Can I say that I love Detective Carl Sant? He was honest, hardworking and thorough with his crime-fighting skills. There are twists and turns a plenty in this book and I was left wanting more! I will not lie….when I got to the cliff-hanger at the end, I groaned…quite loudly!  This story left me wanting…so much so that I started book 2 within moments of finishing book 1! Check out my review on the 11th July to see what I think!


Conclusion

Brilliant writing! I am so eager to find out the mysteries surrounding this book. It has left me so intrigued and I am so excited to see how this story ends. I have not been this excited about a book in such a long time!

I have rated this book a massive 5 out of 5 stars!

Check out my next review for Chloe: Never Forget on the 11th July!

If you liked my review, check out the reviews from fellow bloggers on this tour.

Chloe Lost Girl Full Tour Banner
Thanks all

S x

 

I am writing…

Slowly, yes…But I am making progress with some of the chapters in my book. 😀

Just a little peek at what I am working on…this is a working progress, nowhere near a final draft.

Raising his right hand, he looks at the shiny, sharp knife which he has taken from the knife block in the kitchen. Any blame that comes from tonight will rest entirely on Meghan’s shoulders. She will feel the shame of her decisions; every sordid act she has carried out has brought her to this moment. Wanting her to feel the pain he felt when she tore the family away from him is all he wants. These children will be collateral damage in his campaign to making her feel guilty. The anger he has towards Meghan is cold and dark; it harbours in a similar dark place deep inside of him that he always tries to keep buried. He wants to see her pain, wants to know that he has punished her. Wants her to feel her heart ripped from her body; this will hurt him too, but he needs to make her see; make her pay. And ultimately, these children will be better off. There is a part of him deep down that knows what he is about to do is wrong. Every nerve in his body is willing him to turn away and leave them be, but even stronger is the need to get back at the woman who has stepped over his heart and his all consuming need for a family. If she wants to be with the other man, then she can do so without her children; she doesn’t get the best of both worlds.

What type of writer am I?

Writing has always been in my heart.

From a young age I was writing constantly in diaries, creating short stories, entering writing contests and also interviewing my family members to create newspaper reports. I loved putting pen to paper and it was whilst I was doing this that I found I was more honest with myself and I could be whoever I wanted to be….this especially was the case I reached my teenage years; you know the ones, the angsty-i-don’t-love-myself years.

I look back at those early entries in my diaries that I have kept, and read back over those short stories and I find the innocent workings of a young girl who was eager to be seen and desperate to understand the world around her. I wrote of love and anger, I wrote about death and what came after. I now realise that this was all a way for me to understand all of the things I had been ‘protected’ from as a child. Things such as death of a loved one, what happens when someone passes away, and how short life seemed. I went through a stage when I was 14/15 years old when I seriously could never see the point in anything. I was stood in my friends bedroom and I was thinking how I could be killed at any moment and suddenly I was aware of my own mortality. I was aware of how close death was and I got depressed by it. I spent days and weeks feeling like I was outside of my body. I was doing the motions and the movements but I couldn’t get past the realisation I had had about life and death. All of those thoughts and fears were written into my diary and I now look back and see how powerful the words were. Over time I came to accept that life was for living and I chose to pursue a career in journalism.

As most will know, my path took a different path for some time – I studied and completed a GNVQ Media course which ran over 2 years. And I came away more confident in where I wanted my career to head. I wanted to be a writer (I wanted to include photography as-well, possibly be a photo-journalist as photography is also a big love of mine) but I wanted to create pieces that people would love to read.

For the past 15 years I have worked in a job which has been far removed from the one I wanted. It paid the bills, it gave me a ton of transferable skills and it helped to grow me as a person. I recently had the opportunity to work a few days at the Express and Star and I really do think that my experience of working at the council helped to give me confidence in the work experience – I wasn’t nervous, I asked questions, I introduced myself with a good handshake and without being asked to, I answered the phone calls. I showed that I didn’t need babysitting, I showed that I wanted to learn but that I didn’t need someone to hold my hand the entire time. I came away with a few articles with my name to them which was amazing.

I digress a little – sorry – I have been writing almost continuously since I left college. Short stories, blog posts, reviews; you name it and I can show you my portfolio. I started this blog in 2017, after losing my baby. I have had possibly the worst 3 years of my life with a lot of trauma, tragedy and grief – and it made me sit up and look at my life. Yes, I was comfortable in my job and I was cosy with the money it provided but I wasn’t satisfied. I want to do something that excites me, I want to travel with my job and I want to be my own boss; maybe working from home and seeing my babies grow up. So I made the decision recently to give up my job; the day I handed in my notice was scary….but I did it. I have a course lined up for September which I am signing up for tomorrow. It is a NCTJ Journalism Course and it is for 12 months. I really wanted to get off to a good start by having a relevant qualification under my belt. I am keen to write pretty much anything but I would love to work with the entertainment industry – working with the glossy magazines, covering gigs, interviewing celebrities maybe.

I have been fortunate enough where I have been able to work with a lot of amazing authors over the past 18 months and I am so grateful to be allowed to review their work in exchange for a copy. I have developed some good relationships with the authors I have worked with and this really reinforces how much I want to write and how much I want to share the things that matter.

As-well as this, I am keen to finish my own book and hopefully get it published. I am scared to say stuff like this out loud as I know it can come across a bit like a tall ‘pipe-dream’ but with the years I have survived then I am taking the stance that I will never know unless I try. Maybe in 12 months I will be working in another office doing a relatively normal role, but I would rather try and fail than always wonder what if.

So the answer to my question, what type of writer am I?

I am a freelance writer who loves sharing content. I am a freelance writer who loves reading books and writing reviews for them. I am the type of freelance writer who sees a short story opportunity in everyday life. I am a freelance writer who is keen to succeed. I am a freelance writer who wants to report on the latest news and gossip.

I am a freelance writer

I am a writer

This is me

So here I go…

#Blogtour – Birdie and Jude by Phyllis H. Moore

Blogtour – Saturday 22nd June 

Birdie & Jude Full Tour Banner.jpgHi All

Welcome to my stop on this fabulous Blogtour! I have been well and truly spoilt with this book, which ticked a lot of boxes for me. It was brilliantly written and I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to see into the friendship of two women who worlds apart from one another.

Big thanks as always must go to Rachel of Rachels Random Resources – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com

and the brilliant author, Phyllis H. Moore – http://www.phyllishmoore.com

Thanks so much for allowing me to read into this beautiful story; one that has wonderful characters that bury deep into your heart. I loved the interactions between Birdie and Jude and enjoyed finding out more about each of them and watching as an unlikely friendship unravels throughout the chapters.

Birdie and Jude CoverI could write a book of writing myself just on how much I enjoyed this story, but I don’t want to spoil it for you all. Before I give you my review, lets have a bit more about the author.


About the Author

Birdie & Jude Author Photo
Phyllis H. Moore wants to live life experiences more than once: doing it, writing about it, and reading about it. The atmosphere of the south draws her in and repels her. The characters are rich with dysfunction and redemption, real. She’s had two careers and two retirements.

Both careers gave her inspiration for her novels: The Sabine Series, Sabine, Billy’s Story, Josephine’s Journals and Secrets of Dunn House, Opal’s Story, Tangled, a Southern Gothic Yarn, and The Bright Shawl, Colors of Tender Whispers, The Ember Months, Birdie & Jude, and an anthology of spooky short stories inspired by real places and events, The Bridge on Jackson Road.

In 2018 she also released a new genre for her, A Dickens of a Crime, a Meg Miller Cozy Mystery. She has authored one nonfiction book, Retirement, Now What? Phyllis has been published by Caffeinated Press in the anthology, Brewed Awakenings 2, Fifteen Tales to Jolt Your Mind Awake.

She blogs on her web site http://www.phyllishmoore.com

Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook.

Phyllis is a retired social worker and former owner/operator of a small bed and breakfast. She’s lived in the rural areas and cities of south Texas. She currently lives on Galveston Island with her husband, Richard.

https://www.facebook.com/phyllishmooreAuthor
https://www.pinterest.com/corazone/
http://www.phyllishmoore.com
@phyllishmoore


About the Book

Birdie and Jude Cover

A moving novel of loss, regret, denial, and discovery on Galveston Island, from the author of Opal’s Story and The Ember Months.
Birdie has lived to regret many of her decisions, but she doesn’t regret offering a stranger, Jude, shelter from an approaching hurricane. Their serendipitous meeting will form a bond that will change their lives forever.
In a character driven story with memories of the protests and inequality plaguing the 1960’s, Birdie’s reached middle age and questions her life. Jude is striking out on her own, but has been derailed by a fatal accident claiming her only friend. Although their backgrounds and lives are vastly different, they recognize something in the other that forges a friendship.

As their relationship solidifies, they share glimpses of their pasts. Birdie is a product of the ’60’s, an aging hippie, with a series of resentments. She had a sheltered childhood in an upper class family. Her parents longed to see her make the Texas Dip at the Mardi Gras ball. Jude, however, entered foster care as an infant. Her parents, victims of a murder/suicide, left her and her siblings orphaned and separated.

There is something about their connection that strikes Birdie as familiar. Can souls know each other in different lives? Birdie struggles with the awareness that she has had regrets and hasn’t lived an authentic life, while Jude faces an uncomfortable truth about her own. It has all the feels.

Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07BLMR63
US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BLMR63Y


My Review

I dived into this book straight away as I was so curious after reading the book bio. The story opens straight away into the life of Birdie, a middle aged lady who lives a simple life, and someone who loves walks with her trusty, furry companion, Ollie. A walk along the beach leads her to the discovery of Jude, a strange girl who has a shoulder of secrets which she is harbouring, along with wounds following a traumatic crash. At this point, we know very little about these two characters, but as we progress through this book we come to see how they progress into friendship.

Page after page, I read with fascination as we found out more about Birdie and Jude; their lives, their trials and tribulations. I loved Birdie’s character and found myself laughing, smiling and tearing up. The writing had a wonderful flow to it and it was so easy to get into the story. The author did an amazing job of bringing these characters to life; the interactions really help to create solid, believable people who I was rooting for.

I really enjoyed this story from the first page and I would 100% recommend this to anyone who likes a book that has charisma, soul and heart. This story and its climax did not disappoint. 


Conclusion
I have taken part in quite a few blog tours over the past 18 months and one of the things that I love the most is finding new authors, whose writing stays with me after I turn the final page of their books. I will be adding Phyllis H. Moore to my Goodreads account, as an author I follow. She is amazing, and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Rating – 4 out of 5

S x

 

Work Experience at a Local Newspaper

13th June 2019

I wanted to share what I have been up to the past two days. I have had the best work experience and I wanted to share all about it here. 😀

Obviously, with my NCTJ Course starting in September 2019, I was advised by my wonderful Tutor-to-be, Dani, to look around for work experience that I can do prior to it. This way I would get some much needed experience and I could really see how it all worked, or at least a portion of it.

I have spent many months emailing various companies, agencies, broadcast companies, etc and I was lucky enough to get two days work experience at the Express and Star in Wolverhampton. I spoke to a lovely lady who explained what times I had to be in and when. One of the things that I have been doing a lot of is reading up on work experience tips. I read, googled, youtubed and digested as much information as possible, so that I was ready when my ‘time to shine’ days came around. I already knew from all of my research that I would benefit if I came to the newspaper with a story idea already in hand. So I found my story and sourced the information before I went.

On Tuesday 11th June, I finished at my job of 15 years. Although my time there had ended, I left with a host of transferable skills, which came in very handy when it came to working at the newspaper.

So yesterday morning I got my boys into breakfast club, called a taxi (I wasn’t driving to Wolverhampton with all those roadworks) and I arrived at reception of the Express and Star at 9.00am. I was immediately greeted by a very friendly receptionist who provided me with a co-tag for getting in and out of the doors. I was the taken up to the office where I would be working by one of the reporters. The nerves were immense! I was shaking, yet trying to remain cool as a cucumber. I was immediately sat at a desk with a laptop and monitor. Literally half an hour after I had got there, I was writing my own piece, the one I have been gathering the information for. The reporter I was shadowing was very impressed that I had brought something with me to work on. But he also gave me a couple of picture stories to write articles for.

Of all the things I expected my work experience to be like, I never once expected that I would be writing articles myself. I was in heaven! Literally! I felt like I had completely arrived! The piece I had brought with me to work on was so important to me, and I wanted to make sure I got it right. I worked on that, aswell as the other articles that I was given.

Part way through the day, I was asked to go out and have a walk around some of the shops and businesses around the centre. There are some road works currently that are affecting trade for some of the owners, and I was asked to go and gather any comments that they may have. It was so interesting getting out and talking to people about their views. It really did make me realise how important it will be for me to learn shorthand though, it would have helped so much more if I could have been quicker at getting the quotes. I spoke to some interesting people and I felt like I was helping them in a way, I was allowing them to have a voice. I took all of the comments back with me and handed them into the reporter who was writing the article. I had some fantastic feedback from the other reporters about the comments I had managed to get and it had me buzzing. I was so thrilled. My first day went so quickly, although I did struggle to find my way with the system that they use, which is called The Knowledge. One of the female reporters who sat opposite was so open and friendly and despite being mega busy with her workload, she helped me to get to grips a little bit with the system.

I feel like the work I did at the council really helped me with this job. Despite being a bit thrown by the system they used, it took me hardly any time at all to figure out how to use it. I took it upon myself to answer the telephones and to send messages, and I was happy to do any task that they asked me to do. I felt like I floated out of the building yesterday and I really couldn’t way to go back again today.

I almost skipped into the offices when I got out of the taxi this morning. I got to the express and star offices at 9am and I made my way to the same desk, logged in and I felt completely at home. I introduced myself to the Deputy Chief Reporter and she gave me a picture article to write up (this included me getting comments from sources and writing it up from scratch). At the same time I had the previous days picture article to shape and I also had my story to complete. The help and support I got today was amazing, I sat with one reporter and she went through the story I had brought in with me and although it needed tweaking in parts to tie in with the newspapers style, she told me that it was a really good piece and very well written. The same was said by the Deputy Chief Reporter when I asked her to check over the article I wrote in connection with the photograph she had sent me. I was elated. This job was exactly what I wanted to do. I was still speaking with the public, which is the one part of my previous job that I loved…and I was creating stories. The fact that the staff I worked with seemed so pleased with the work I did, really helped to make these two days amazing! The time went by so quickly. I left on good terms, thanking everyone for their support and told them I would be available again if they wanted me back. I would be keen to try working in other areas, like attending court or working on the entertainment section. I loved every second of my work experience and really hope I can sort out some more very soon.

One of the highlights was when I found out that my story would have my byline when it is published. A photographer has been booked for next week and then it will be put together with the words I created and fingers crossed it will show my name.

I really cant wait to get into this industry.

WordPress.com.

Up ↑