I am a 36 year old female from the UK. I am married to my college sweetheart and we have two beautiful boys, Ethan (6) and Oliver (3). We also have a gorgeous Pug called Harry, he is 11 weeks old and full of life.
I currently work part time for the local authority but have run a small photography business for the past 10 years, where I provided a photography service for weddings, events and I also provided photoshoots for babies and small children.
The business ran quite well and got great feedback from all of my clients who regularly referred me onto their friends and family. For as far back as I can remember there were two things I wanted to do in my life.
1 - Become a writer, whether it be write a fiction novel or writing content for newspapers/magazines, etc - It is always something that I have enjoyed doing.
2 - Become a photographer and run my own business.
I conquered number 2. I ran my own business and tried consumer photography jobs. It was fun while it lasted but I felt that I wasn't using my camera the way I wanted to. Towards the end, I stopped enjoying it so much. I still take on the odd job, but I am now keen to try and conquer the other passion of mine. I am not saying that photography will be done with forever. I love taking artistic photographs and I am hoping to showcase some of that work on here, pieces that are just for me...and only me.
But what I want to do more than anything is produce a piece of writing that is published. Whether it be short stories, a novel, content for newspapers, etc. So I figured I would produce a blog to showcase some of my work - review some books/movies and just get used to writing again and putting my own content out there.
So this is me. The Mother, the wife, the Pug Mom, The photographer, The Writer
Here I am again, trying to get into more of an habit of writing more regularly. I have spoken about my aims and dreams and goals, or whatever you call them, in other posts. But for those that are new to my ‘warblings’ then let me state them again.
I have many ambitions in this little head of mine, but the two main ones are to be successful for both my photography and my writing simultaneously. For me to do this, then I have to practice both arts. I have successfully completed a number of photography courses over the years, but I am looking at taking myself through higher education to gain a higher qualification and to gain more skills.
With my writing, I have a number of stories trapped in my head which I need to get out and onto paper. I think about my novels often, and make notes but I haven’t sat and started putting any of them together yet. I have previously mentioned that I would start entering more competitions so that I can get my work acknowledged. This is something that I am now ready to start doing more often.
The past few years have been rough and brilliant all at the same time. I am damaged and healed in equal measures and I am still running around after 3 young boys, but I am keen to now follow my dreams. The children have always been a very welcome distraction from what I want from life, but now that I am done baking babies, then I want to find a career that is all mine. I am passionate about both photography and writing and this is now my time to show people what I can do.
I hope you stay with me as I march forward on this journey.
Thanks for stopping by! You guys are in for a wonderful treat! I have the best job in the world! I get to read fantastic books and write about them too; helping to introduce you all to some amazing characters and stories.
And this, Ladies and Gents is a non stop-can’t-put-it-down read from beginning to end!
Cat Hickey has a Master’s degree in Biology, and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Baltimore, MD, USA. She writes light-hearted mysteries and thrillers that are based, partly, on her extensive travels around the world. She is also an avid yogi who teaches aerial yoga and practices aerial circus arts, and spends the rest of her time with her three rescue animals, which consist of three cats and a horse.
A grieving widow. A sketchy admirer. An adoring boyfriend.
But one of them is up to no good.
Chloe’s new life in Costa Rica seems perfect: her relationship with Mateo is heating up, and her career as a private investigator is off to a good start. She only wishes that her cases were more interesting than the lost dogs or cheating husbands she’s been hired for so far…
She gets her wish when a dead body lands, almost literally, at her feet. Hired by the highly strung Elena Vargas to follow her husband, Victor, Chloe discovers that not only was he cheating on his wife – he’s been murdered.
As Chloe delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Victor’s death, she uncovers secret after secret. The danger becomes all too real when she narrows in on the killer’s identity. Someone is following her everywhere, and threatening notes arrive on her doorstep.
As if that’s not bad enough, her relationship with Mateo begins to unravel, and his coworker, Jaime, seems intent on convincing her that Mateo is a cheater.
Desperately trying to figure out what’s going on, Chloe becomes more and more enmeshed in a sordid world of lies, sex, and murder.
Who can Chloe really trust? And can she catch the killer before she becomes the next victim?
When I read the first in this series (here), I was very pleasantly surprised by the writing by this author who was new to me. Filled with an amazing, gripping story, I knew that I had to get my hands on the next book in the series. And I was not sorry that I did.
This book, which can be read as a standalone story was twisting, dark and satisfying. I love Chloe’s character. She was likeable and believable from the first read and I followed her readily as she sought out the mysteries, but I was also interested in her as a person. Set in beautiful, Costa Rica, Chloe is living the best life. She is in a relationship with the drop-dead gorgeous Mateo and her career is doing amazing. The life she always wanted is now hers, and yet, she wants more excitement in the jobs that she takes on as a private investigator. Sure, lost pets and cheating husbands pay the bills, but Chloe wants something she can get her teeth into…and soon, she gets more than she bargained for when Victor, the cheating husband she is hired to watch, ends up dead.
Quickly, and excitingly we are pulled into a dangerous, mystery and before long the list of people wanting this man dead gets longer. Chloe finds herself on a dangerous path where lies, deceit and secrets create threats to her own life; couple this to the strains in her relationship with Mateo and we have an exciting, intriguing read from page to page.
Fast paced and edgy, this story kept me entertained from the very beginning. I sunk happily into the pages and found myself unwilling to put the book down until I had read until the end. The development of the characters means that I want to keep coming back for more. The dialogue was easy to follow, and I found the characters engaging and realistic.
I loved this book! I have already started recommending it to all of my friends. I am so eager to read more and cant wait to see what Chloe might get up to next!
Rating – 5 out of 5 Stars!
For those who might want to read more reviews from some of the other bloggers in this tour. The tour is running until the 7th May
Welcome to another blog tour! I have a wonderful book to introduce you to today and an author who has now been added to my favourites list!
This warming, charming little story will take you on a remarkable journey with Zaffron, our main heroine! She has indured a lot of hardship in her life, but her fight and determination land her in a place where she creates a lasting friendship with Blaire, the charming colleague who offers brilliant dialogue!
I must thank the blog host, Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources and Alison Burke, the author, for allowing me to read this book. It really was a brilliant story and can’t wait to tell you more about it!
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a remarkable read and one that had an easy, readable, feel to it. It effortlessly gripped my interest and I found myself reading deeper and deeper into the story. Being a fan of a good, old, charity shop myself, I was immediately interested in the starting setting, and I found the characters within the pages both believable and likeable.
As always, I will pause here, to tell you a bit more about the author.
About the Author
In her own words:
I was born and grew up in Lancashire, gained several nursing qualifications and had the privilege of a long and varied nursing career, briefly in the Royal Army Nursing Service abroad, mainly in the NHS in UK. True love and a happy family came my way and now I have the time to read, write and remember.
You can find almost anything in a charity shop, but can you find love?
You can certainly find friendship and there is both laughter and tears ahead when 19yr old Zaffron, lonely, anxious and without direction, meets Blaire Daintry, good-looking, charming, and gay.
Both volunteers in the charity shop, he has a hidden agenda, she has secrets, but they are friends from the start, despite Blaire’s constant sparring with Ida, the stern, good-hearted older volunteer who Zaffron admires. And perhaps Ida has secrets too.
Together with other victims of the city’s housing crisis, Blaire and Zaffron set up a safe and happy home. Secure at last, she tells him of the dreadful incident in her childhood that has marred her life, but not even his total acceptance gives her the confidence to start a relationship with an attractive and decent young army sergeant who falls in love with her.
Is it fear of the truth coming out that holds her back? Or is there some other reason, buried too deep in her heart for her to recognise?
Vulnerable characters, new friendships and brilliant writing helped to make this book one of easiest and enjoyable books that I have read. From the start, we are introduced to Zaffron and almost immediately we are aware of her vulnerability and this is where the need to know more about her grows. Within a few pages, I was already building an image of her in my mind, and I found myself liking and believing in her.
I have volunteered in a charity shop myself in the past and what I read in this book felt real to me and I enjoyed reading the ‘behind the scenes’ moments which helped to build more character profiles, bringing life to the story and the people within the pages. Before long I was intrigued by the connections that were shaping between the characters and I adored the sweet, easy connection that Zaffron and Blaire had.
The book sure does pack an emotional punch! From humour to sadness, this book tugged at my feelings and I felt bound to the story, not wanting to let go until I read the very end. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed in the least. It truly does represent human spirit and reminds those reading it that life can take bumps, but no one path is permanent and that we can turn our lives around.
The author has a fantastic way of storytelling and I felt myself walking those steps with the characters. I could almost smell the musty clothes in the charity shop. I have added Alison to my favourite authors list and I very much hope that we will see a sequel in the future!
Welcome to another book tour! I may have been absent for a while, but I am still a big book reader. This pandemic has meant that I have read so many great reads! And this, ladies and gents, is a gem! I received my copy in the post, and big special thanks must go to the author, Polly J. Mordant and to the blog host Rachel of Rachels Random Resources.
What I received was a wonderful supernatural thriller that had me gripped from page 1!
I think it is safe to say that this book had me enthralled from the very first sentence. I was pulled into the mystery of Emma, and I wanted to know more about what she was escaping from and where she was going. Who was she? Where was she going? Why did she have to run? My mind was busy working through the scenarios as I read each page greedily.
Before I tell you more about this fantastic book, let me introduce you to the author, Polly.
I’ve been writing blogs and stories off and on for years, but quite new to writing novels. My background is in teaching – I ran my own English and Drama departments in three inner city schools – then became the owner of a radical bookshop. Now I write full time
I love supernatural storytelling, since it allows the inclusion of real human issues within my writing. Let’s face it, who hasn’t been touched by evil in their lives at one time or another? “When Angels Fear”, my first novel, deals with domestic violence and how Emma – the main character – overcomes her shattered confidence to prevail over the evil which oppresses her.
It’s important to me that my characters are both real and relatable. I’m a total fan of Joss Whedon and Stephen King and love the way they create ensembles of characters that live on in the mind long after they’ve been watched or read. Humour is important to me to – I hope readers of my fiction will get that. The last thing I want to offer is a dry read!
I adore my garden, my animals and my husband – probably in that order, lol. Other obsessions include Scrabble. Total addict. It’s why I sleep so badly. I’m glued to the Scrabble app until the early hours!
——————————————————————————————————————– About the Book
She runs from a terrifying past, to a village with problems of its own
Exhausted, desperately seeking sanctuary, Emma arrives at the pretty English village of Flammark. But she cannot rest. A strange sleeping sickness stalks the village and a young woman has disappeared. Why won’t the police investigate? As events unfold, Emma becomes embattled yet again, compelled to fight for her life against a deadly curse linked to a past about which she had no knowledge. She is the only one able to vanquish the evil but doing so will entail confronting an horrific and all-too-familiar enemy. The question is, will she be strong enough?
—————————————————————————————————————————- My Review
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review, and what an amazing read it was. As I have previously stated, I was drawn into the story from the very first page. I wanted to know where Emma was going. And I wanted to know what she was running away from. I finished this book within 2 days, and I was mesmerised by the ending. I love a supernatural read; the type that has your heart racing and head spinning. I was intrigued by the town as Emma arrived, and I was eager to know its secrets. The town of Flammark provided a lot of mystery, with just the right amount of trepidation. The story is fast paced and exciting.
The author has a wonderful way with words, and I sailed effortlessly over the vocabulary. The words which were used, and the way they were used help to bring the town of Flammark to life in my mind. The subject of abuse and survival was handled brilliantly and I believed Emma’s struggled as I read ahead. The descriptions brought the whole story to life, and Polly has a real way with words. I could read her work all day long. This story was dark, exciting, unnerving, horrific and brilliant! The contrast between the various characters, the descriptive language used to help the reader envision the town and the way in which the dialogue flowed effortlessly makes this author someone to watch out for! I was very pleased to note that this book is the first in a series and I look forward to reading more!
I would like to delve deeper into the story, but I don’t want to give too much away. But believe me when I say that this belongs on every supernatural genre fan’s To Be Read List. It will not disappoint!
I love a good horror, supernatural read. And as fan of King, Koontz and Stine, I was eager to read this new read. I loved it! And I have even started recommending it to my friends and family. I look forward to more books from this author.
5 out of 5!
If you liked my review, please check out these other bloggers who are also part of this tour.
I know it has been a while, but I am so glad you have all stuck with me. Here, we have the first blog tour of the year for me! And what a special read it has been! I always jump at the chance to introduce my children to a new read, and this has been well received by them both.
On receiving this book, I was amazed that the fantastic illustrations in the book. Colourful, imaginative and immersive, it helped to create a fantastic storytelling book for my young boys. The illustrations were created by Si Clark. Within minutes of opening it, my book hungry sons had pawed over the pages and had read the story, smiling and lapping up every sentence. Sandy Lane loved bears…it was a line that resonated with my two children, as they both have an equal share of cuddly friends that line their beds.
Before I get more into my review of this wonderful book, lets hear bit more from the author.
About the Author
I’m Nick Jones, an award-winning author originally from Bristol but now living in Congleton, Cheshire. I write books for kids and I’ve also written several joke books for adults. My first book, Gagged and Bound – A Book of Puns, One-liners and Dad Jokes, was a best-seller under Puns and Wordplay on Amazon UK, and two sequels soon followed. You can download a FREE collection of my jokes here.
In December 2017, I tried something different: a children’s picture book about a girl who loses her shadow. Illustrated by the super-talented Si Clark, Sarah’s Shadow has proved popular with kids and parents alike. In 2018 it won Best Children’s Picture Book in the 2018 Book Awards on international book review site Readers’ Favorite. My claim to fame is that the same award was previously won by none other than Jim Carrey, the Hollywood actor-cum-children’s author! Sarah’s Shadow also won Runner-Up in the Book Excellence Awards and received a Purple Dragonfly Book Award as one of the best picture ebooks for children aged 6+.
In 2020 I ran a Kickstarter campaign during lockdown to fund my next book, One Night in Beartown. It was inspired by the Bearmania event that took place in 2011. Thanks to amazing support from businesses and individuals in Congleton and beyond, I raised £4,000 to illustrate and print the book. It was published on 1 December and you can buy it on my online shop, on my publisher’s website or as an ebook on Amazon. For updates, please follow me on social media or subscribe to my newsletter!
I was excited to receive this book. As a mother of young book lovers, I was eager to introduce them to this new story. I loved the sound of the blurb and knew that my boys would love adding this to their library. What I got was a wonderful adventure, which my boys threw themselves into. Sandy is a wonderful character, and very relatable. Ethan, 9 years old, and Oliver, 6, both loved this story. It wasn’t a hardship to get them to sit and read this book, they loved it. From the first page, all the way through to the end they were smiling widely. They giggled as the town bears came to life, and they chuckled heartily at the ‘Bear Grills’ reference.
The story was wonderfully engaging and I know that many children will love the marvellous bears that are hidden within the pages. My boys were keen to remark on their favourite ones.
One things for certain, this story will remain one of their favourites. They have read it several times at bedtime and continue to quote the story. Thankyou to Nick and Si for creating such a brilliant story, it is a well loved edition to our evening reads before sleep. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-
It is so important to me that my boys enjoy reading. I have always been a fan of books, and I have perused so many over my entire life. Since they were only a few weeks old, we have always read to them of a night time, and this is every night, without fail. And this has helped to not only broaden their reading skills, but it has created a love of books which matches my own. The point I am trying to make is that I am always looking for the next book to add to their collection, and when we find one that they and myself love, then I like to shout about it and share it with friends and family. This book is amazing, the story envokes the imagination and I know that children of all ages would fall in love with the characters inside as have mine. And I can not recommend this book enough.
Rating – 5 out of 5!
Above are details of other bloggers who are included in this tour.
Being 40 was a number that seemed decades away when I was 17. People who were 40 seemed old to me, and I felt like I had years of life in between to do before I got there.
The years passed by, ticking off each year succinctly – faster and faster, each year galloping past before I got to where I stand now….merely 10 months away from my big 4-0 birthday! How did that happen?
I knew I was close to turning 40 when I was 36,37,38 and then 39 but being here now, months away feels weird. I wish there was another word I could say, but it’s just weird. I accepted my 20’s gratefully, I felt grown up and ready to take on the world….my 30’s followed behind but again I felt wiser and older – now, I feel apprehensive and I am suddenly re-evaluating my life.
What have I accomplished in those years? I spent 15 years in the local authority, at the end of which I hated. I ran a somewhat successful photography business – low-key but successful. And I married my best friend and had 3 children.
But what about all of those dreams and ambitions I had? What about the plans I had and the life I had planned out? I wanted to be an actress – I wanted to write a bestseller and I wanted to work as a photographer in the tv industry….amongst all else I wanted to be successful.
I managed to have photography as a career, but I am now going back to college to improve my skill, to make myself a better photographer and to build on my qualifications.
I manage a blog, but anyone these days does that. It’s not successful….it’s got less than 600 followers – and it’s basically just a diary for me to rant into…
And the tv industry work – well, I can say without earnest that I am afraid to try! I am overweight, I feel uncomfortable in my body and I have always seen myself as lacking. Those clips and tv shows which depict someone’s anxiety as they walk into a room full of people – yes, that’s me! I am that girl whose paranoia eats away at her as she enters a room. People think I am happy and confident because I put on a front but I am far from it.
And lastly, there is my weight. I always saw myself as a slim fit attractive woman….and inside I am. It’s the outside that I am struggling with…..but where do I start? Diet, yes….exercise? Of course – but I find I fail at every hurdle! Before I conquer some of these dreams, I first need to make myself believe in myself! I need to feel happy in my skin….but I am far from there – and my mind is seeing the path ahead and hoping that I don’t waste what I have.
I love my family, and I love my life with them, but I want to be happier with me. I want to do something for me! I want to be that photographer that people talk about! I want people to be reading my book and i want to see my name in the credits on television!
A part of me wonders if I am too little, too late and I have even Googled that same thing….but I need to try! I won’t forgive myself if I don’t!
I feel calmer right now. I have took down the Christmas decorations, tidied away the presents and chocolate gifts and I fee at peace sitting here next to my 6 month old son, whilst my husband is out playing in the snow with our older boys.
Just having a fresh clean about can bring calm and serenity! I feel at peace. Nobody can bother me right now
I woke up feeling positive and I wrote in my brand spanking new notebook – noting all of the tasks I wanted to complete today! Having got myself into a bit of rut with how I spend my day; it was difficult to focus, but I found I ticked up some items on my list.
I spent more care with my skin, and I did just that. I cleansed, toned, polished and moisturised, leaving me feeling smooth and soft. To the point where I can’t stop stroking myself.
I started on my healthier eating and added fruit into my diet (which has been absent for a few months) – I can do vegetables no problem but I struggle with fruit! And I ticked that off my list!
Why I didn’t achieve was not letting people stress me out and cause anxiety. I have a tendency to hold on to past relationships tightly, not wanting to admit that they are less close or that they are almost non existent – this causes me to try to break down why someone is more distant with me than usual – and I generally end up blaming myself. My lack of confident and low self esteem creates this paranoia that I can’t shake, and I question why people would even bother with me at all! I find I am surrounded at times by negative influences – I have those around me that raise a smile all the time! Just a few words from them and I am beaming and my whole day feels better – but then there are those who don’t seem to care as much about me. Those who wish to be stand offish, or moody. Those who make me feel awkward and on edge just being around them. I made a point to myself that this year I wouldn’t take as much notice and that I would shrug it off! Those who want to be in my life will…..and then I feel the familiar pull of tears, the twinges in my stomach that knot and pull, and I realise I am still letting people get to me.
It’s day 1, and I feel like I have fell at the first hurdle! This isn’t over though, I will continue to push forward. My mental health isn’t always great, eventhough I don’t admit to many…..and I just want to have a happier and healthier new year