Harlequin by Stewart Giles #BlogBookTour

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Harlequin (DS Jason Smith#5) by Stewart Giles

From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles comes a new addition to the popular Detective Jason Smith series.

The circus comes to town and children start to disappear.

Detective Sergeant Jason Smith is persuaded to return to work after three weeks of a marijuana induced haze. Forced to endure the leadership of a new DI, the fulsome Bryony Brownhill, Smith is faced with the most difficult investigation of his colourful career.
When the children who vanished are found murdered in various parts of the city, all clues lead to the circus grounds, but Smith and his team are met with a sinister silence everywhere they turn. Smith digs deeper and discovers the cause of this silence; the chain of events that led up to the vile murders that have shattered the hearts of the people of York.
This is an edge-of-your-seat thriller with an ending that you won’t expect.

thumbnail_SG Author photo (4)

About the author

After reading English & Drama at three different English Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling and finally ended up in South Africa, where I still live. I enjoy the serene life running a boat shop on the banks of the Vaal Dam. I came up with the DS Jason Smith idea after my wife dropped a rather large speaker on my head. Whether it was intentional still remains a mystery. Smith, the first in the series was finished in September 2013 and was closely followed by Boomerang and Ladybird. Occam’s Razor, Harlequin and Phobia (a series of short stories detailing Smith’s early life) were all completed in one hazy 365 days and Selene was done and dusted a few months later. Horsemen, the seventh in the DS Smith thriller series is out now. The Beekeeper, a departure from the DS Smith series will be released through Joffe Books on 22 May.

My Review

By this book I now think to have a full understanding and to truly appreciate the storyline arc, you need to have read a few previous books at least. This is book 5, and to see how and why he behaves the way he does, it’s better to be fully informed.

That said though, it’s a great mystery book in its own right, and most things are totally explained. I just personally feel more connected and invested as I know the backstory.

Creepy circus, jugglers, clowns and kids going missing. Sounds like my own nightmares in book form. A firm favourite this time, and better yet I’m off to York this month, so I’ll be wandering the town imagining the characters and locations Asni do so. Great one to get me in the Halloween mood. Creepy page turner.

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Nickelback concert

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We were given the opportunity to see #Nickelback in concert in Birmingham Genting Arena, which I couldn’t pass up!!

Which is why it’s been hard to do physio, as I’ve being doing ‘normie’ activities instead. Though I confess they take some days to recover from, and an increase of pain medication. However, regardless of that, it’s an opportunity I thought was worth it, and I was right.

Got the train, so we could have a beer or two.

Stick and decent footwear worn, so I was prepared for the evening. I will say I needed to lean at times. And I was so bodily broken afterwards, it took 2 days of not moving to recover.

Had a nice cold #Amstel beer. Delicious

Seether was up first, and properly warmed up the crowd. Though they were way better than I imagined.

My leaning post, and support. Had the biggest giggles all night. We sang our hearts out, and truly loved every second.

Though it wasn’t our music genre and we were new to concerts, it was a truly magickal evening. I think I’m a rock convert!!

#MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram Challenge the end already!!

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How I managed it, I’ll never know if I’m honest. I’m never organized and planned, but somehow I puddled through these 31days and completed it.

So first up was Day 22 ~ To do list. Organized. Well I do neither of these things, I’ve learnt over the years, some days I can be productive, others not a chance. So to do lists used to frustrate me and also remind me how disability rules my life. A stark reminder of things I could do, and no longer can. So I wing it.

Day 23 ~ Hands at Work, I’m really struggling with one hand at the moment, we think it’s Arthritis at the base of the thumb, or it could be ehlers danlos syndrome causing issues. So it’s often splinted or braced.

Day 24 ~ Achievement, my biggest one award wise is obviously my #SBS award that #TheoPaphitis created. But my own personal achievement is uniting spoonies around the world with my jewellery. And the greatest achievement is Family!!

Day 25 ~ Being a Maker means, I can wear jewellery that expresses my personality, it’s unique and often a one off piece. A do bespoke pieces and each one as unique as my customer, and always made with love.

Day 26 ~ Books, Podcasts etc…. I read all sorts but lately I’ve been diving back into my Tarot, Reiki and Witchcraft ones

Day 27 ~ Recommend a Maker, first off I recommend Oh Gosh Silver a silver smith that is incredible.

Then I recommend @masquerade_mad on Instagram, she made my queen of hearts headband for my 40th birthday!!

Day 28 ~ Organized, as I’ve said above I’m never Organized. To reduce bending and mobilising I have jewellery making stuff all over the place, rather than one spot. Messy as hell I am.

Day 29 ~ Community is my crafty friends, my spoonie customers, we all support and guide each other.

Day 30 ~ Top Tip, is be kind, to everyone. You never know their story, their demons, their struggles, and stay as positive as possible.

Last Day, Day 31 ~ Creative Friends. I recommend @ripbambi @percycutetees @masatolondon @terrifoss @icedraimbow @strangeling @cardsandcandlesforalloccassions all on Instagram, I personally own pieces from all of them, I speak to them and count them as artists close to my heart.

So there you have it, I’m cluttered, disorganized and I struggle a lot. But each piece I create is with love, care and with the customer in my heart.

Glastonbury Spring Avalon Faery Fayre ~ Jasmine Becket Griffith Part two

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In a previous post I explained that the weekend of 10th + 11th march I spent a glorious 2 days in Glastonbury, seeing my favourite artist Jasmine Becket Griffith, getting things signed and photos too. Along with visiting other stalls at the fayre, and sightseeing around this beautiful and quaint town. Every shop window was amazing, each spoke to me, the crystals, the witch tools, books, everything was incredible.

Have you ever seen such colourful vibrancy and energy in a shop window? I know I hadn’t.

Old buildings, new buildings, unusual buildings, it had it all, and I was thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.

Every side street was a treasure waiting to be discovered. You definitely need to explore and step off the main high street, you’ll discover some amazing sights. Walking through archways, crystal walls, the atmosphere is magickal, and it did my spirits the world of good just being here.

Next time I will show you the campsite and more Faery Fayre. But for now I’ve chewed your ears enough….

First week of #marchmeetthemaker2018

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Yes I’m back at it again, using @joannehawker guide to allow customers,followers etc to see the person behind the makes on their shops.

Now I’m never going to suddenly be a selfie queen, so this challenge actually helps me show myself, without some deranged mad woman’s selfie looking back at you.

Each day has a theme to base your Instagram photo on, some are easy, some hard, and maybe some impossible?!

Day 1 – You, here is me at the last #sbsevent2018

Day 2 – Where, my local town is half olde worlde and modern.

Day 3 – How you started, I started following this surgery, I had a #TriplePelvicOsteotomy and FemoralOsteotomy done at the same time, and was rendered immobile and housebound.

Day 4 – Favourite make, mine is the Gothic style jewellery I did, that also got featured in Shine On Jewellery magazine.

Day 5 – Photography, I honestly have nothing fancy. Occasionally I use a white box, nice surroundings, my child as a model. But always always use my phone as my camera.

Day 6 – Workspace, I don’t have an area just to work on, I’m often doing it on my lap while watching TV. I love that I can do it anywhere. My biggest workspace is really my brain, it all starts here.

Day 7 – Routine, I simply honestly have none. I can’t always make and create as my own body works against me sometimes. So I can only do it, when I can physically and mentally. And everything I do works around pain and limitations.

#sbsevent2018 is here!!

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After much faffing about it was finally time to go to the grand annual event, that I really look forward to, each year. #sbsevent2018

A chance to hear from amazing sponsors such as #HPUK #123reg #dhlexpressuk #iLaw_Lawyers #Square #WesternUnion #RobertDyas #RymanStationary

Here they are getting ready to go on stage. (They are so brave and confident, I’m a tad jealous of their confidence)

One by one they said what their business was, and the offers us winners can receive from using them. We also had the main man Stephen from #Superbrands explaining the importance of desirability, fame, leadership, it was eye opening to be honest.

Then it was time for #Kypros and #TheoPaphitis himself, discussing brexit and gdpr and other business issues overall, some humour and whimsical chats too. It’s not all work here!

I am one of 2256 winners!! I’m in the 0.68% which makes me a very very lucky girl to have won indeed!!

After this we had a some delicious lunch, it’s a buffet style, with all needs catered for. Grabbed some beautiful Red wine, mini 3 Cheese quiches, chips and Sandwiches (Chicken Sweet corn, Tuna, Ham, Cheese and Tomato, Prawn Mayo, Egg Mayo) for vegans, gluten free etc they had their own menu and food.

Macaroons were back!! Oh happy days, delicious fruit cake and lemon drizzle we had. Though there was pineapple and melon available and brownies too. We decided we had enough on our plates, and when we did head back to grab a brownie, all desserts except fruit had gone. We are a bunch of cake lovers!!

Next up was a fireside chat with John Roberts owner of #AO.com and hearing his rise from a daft drunken bet to a million + pound empire. His Bolton natural came through often, in the way he conducts business, ie treat customers as if they are your Nan. Something I do myself, I always act as if my customer was my mum or nan, and act accordingly. Being apologetic when things go wrong, fixing the issue in the only fair honest way. Exactly how I’d want someone to treat my mum.

Finally it was time for #TheoPaphitis to do his photos and certificates with the new winners!! Hundreds of them. So that was my time to leave, it’s a lot of sitting listening to these amazing speakers, but I’m sitting at 90degrees which my hip hates!! So I’d reached my absolute top level of pain, so it was the best time to go.

But not only do you get the opportunity to speak to top businesses, and buyers, watch presentations, play games, leave your own business cards, eat well and network. You also got a goody bag each, and here’s mine and hubbies. We got little egg cups, tiny mug, earphones, fridge deodorisers,diary books, pens, torches and fitness trackers along with sellotape, books, sweets, vouchers etc. Well and truly spoilt.

Express yourself with Letter boards #Gingersnap

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A couple of weeks ago, I approached Gingersnap about their #LetterBoards I wanted to see this latest board that has become popular. And they agreed to send me one for a review. Gingersnap is here and they do a lot more than just letter boards, I spotted a lot of Valentine’s gifts here too. Here is the link for the board itself

So here it is… First I must explain I’m a tired, overwhelmed housewife, and being 40 plus I’m not usually into gimmicks.

I’d loved the light boxes I’d seen before but never bought one, as the batteries or plug limited the options for me. This one appealed more as it’s totally mobile, you can use anywhere. That fits into my life so much more.

And at 10inch x 10inch you can fit a lot in, the 300 letters and symbols give you a HUGE variety of sentence,words, quotes to write. I got the midnight blue one, so the white lettering really stands out. But I’ve seen they do a Tiffany blue (this one is pure gorgeous) and Baby Pink too, so pastel lovers are well catered for. You can stand alone, or hang on the wall, I opted for standing against things, so it’s to hand whenever the mood strikes to have a change of message.

At first I thought, what would I write?? A few friends and I are sailor’s mouthed fiends, so it was tempting to put cuss words. But being an adult, I ended up using it as info for the family, announcement, or quotes, or even advertising this blog!!

We could have used this at my eldest daughters wedding last May. Or even the announcement of my first Grandchild, noting his monthly milestones. Literally you could have so much fun, writing anything your hearts desire.

And I’ve had so much fun doing it, it’s captured a light-hearted side of me, gave me something to think about, be creative and even now I’m thinking you could help children, grandchildren to read, to spell, have educational learning play. It’s way more than it first appears, and you can utilize it however you like. For that I give it a huge thumbs up, I’ve really enjoyed it. I would add that I found storing the letters in organza bags easier for me, but they aren’t included (maybe add some?) So I could store them quickly and compactly.