You can see my post on this month’s The Village Witch Box on this link.
You can see my post on this month’s The Village Witch Box on this link.
Sophie attends a well-being retreat hoping to find herself, instead she finds a dead body.
Coming to the Scottish Highlands, she hopes to escape life and get in touch with her inner self. She wants to free herself from the anxieties that have gripped her for years.
Peace and harmony are advertised but what she discovers is anything but.
She is around women with other ideas. As she gets to know the strange bunch staying at Glenloch Hall, fights and arguments become the norm.
She should never have entered that fateful property.
She was looking for peace but found death.
I was a little worried when I got this book, with it being the 3rd book in a series and not having read the first two I wondered if it would mean I struggle with catching up. I was assured that it would be fine to read as a stand alone and it was. It would be nce to have more background on Sophie but it isn’t a necessity as the author does a good job of filling in the blanks as you go through the story.
I have to admit though I did struggle with the book, I don’t feel that the story really gave me the feeling of suspense as I read it and I did not warm to any of the characters. I didn’t feel invested which is a shame because the storyline itself was a good one.
The pacing of the story was done well but I found there was a lot of filler that was not neccessary. There were certain things written into the story that were not factually accurate and that made it hard for me to really absorb mysef into a world that was part of the world we live within.
All in all though, it wasn’t a completely bad read. The author puts forward a compelling storyline that I am sure some will love.
I am afraid that this only gets a 3 star for me but please, give it a try yourself.
Manchester born Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives.
Before taking early retirement to concentrate on her writing, she worked as a HR manager, a counsellor, owned a cafe and managed a charity.
She now lives and writes in South East London close to her daughter and grandchildren.
Thank you for reading and please pop along to the other bloggers taking part and see what they thought of The Sinister Gathering.
Author: J.M. Sullivan
Genre: A/ Dark Fantasy / Fairy Tale Retelling
Cover Designer: Westerfield Creative
Publication Date: January 15th, 2019
Publisher: Bleeding Ink Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
The scariest thing about Wanderland isn’t death–it’s the momerath.
And now Dinah is one of them.
Alice Carroll has spent the better part of her life avoiding Wanderland–and the momerath–at all costs. But now with her sister gone, Alice has only one place to go.
Back to Wanderland.
Armed with only her blade and a raging vendetta against the traitorous Red Queen, Alice storms the undead wasteland to find Dinah and atone for her mistakes. But with relentless momerath and a ruthless Queen encroaching, will Alice’s determination be enough? Or will she fall down a new rabbit hole searching for revenge?
She killed another Joker today.
Excuse me. I mean, ‘Guardsman.’
That’s the real joke. The Red Queen cares about the Marked as much as a cat does a dirty litter box. She’ll use them if she must, but otherwise they’re disposable.
Except for me.
She watches me.
I don’t think she knows what to do with me. Not that I blame her. I don’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes I feel like everything is normal, and other times, well—then, at least, the voices tell me that everything is fine.
I don’t quite believe them.
It would be easier if the memories stopped. Of life before. It’s muddled, but there are fragments of purpose and joy, all tied to a quiet, blonde girl. She is strong, stronger than she knows—I know this because I know her better than myself. And yet, I don’t remember her.
I am empty.
The memories are not mine—they belong to someone else. I am a traitor in this body, an unwelcome host. And yet, the longer I stay grey, the more this body calls to me. Like the other Marked.
We understand each other.
They tell me things. Secrets the Queen will never know. I can read them in their eyes. I can feel them in my bones. Words unspoken, but always heard. Whispers, desperate songs, pleading for salvation. And all the while, they watch me. Waiting. Haunted stares as she kills our brothers and sisters. Their pain is palpable, heavy in the air and on my shoulders while they call to me on an undiscovered frequency.
I hear them laughing.
I hear them crying.
I hear them . . .
I hear . . .
Teacher by day, award-winning author by night, J.M. Sullivan is a fairy tale fanatic who loves taking classic stories and turning them on their head. When she’s not buried in her laptop, you can find her watching scary movies with her husband, playing with her kids, or lost inside a good book. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., you can find her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks– she’d love to hear from you.
Broken Glass: https://amzn.to/2ROiI0t
Thanks for reading
I know I am a bit late to the party with this box but I wanted to share it with you anyway. This was the December Yule themed subscription box by The Village Witch.
I really loved this box, the aroma I got from just opening it told me that it would be one that I would really enjoy. It smelt of ginger, cinnamon, winter spices. Perfect for this time of year.
Heart Home Decor
2 Chritmas Scented Scandles
Warm and Cosy Aura Spray
Peace of The Season Salt Mix
In with the New, Out with the Old Floor Wash
Winter Solistice Spell Shooter
As always the quality was amazing. The quantity you get with these boxes for only £30 is amazing. The retail value is way over what you pay and they always include little extras.
I had so much fun doing this spell, the spell shooter is especially good to do.
You can get hold of a TWV Subscription box by clicking this link.
As you can see I loved using mine:)
Have you ever been in a situation where you are trying to tell someone something but they don’t believe you? It’s awful isn’t it. I really do know how you feel. In my case it was medical professionals, doctors and A&E staff that didn’t listen to me. I had issues starting in Nov 2017. It took until March 2018 for someone to believe me. When I was first hospitalised in the November, they told me I had a Pelvic inflammation disease, I was told there was no cure and due to the disease I would get repeated infections. I walked away thinking I knew what was wrong with me.
Between then and March I visited the Doctors and A&E multiple times. Each time I was barely looked at and sent on my way with another course of antibiotics. It was at the point where I was getting new ones every 7-10 days. Nothing seemed to be working. I was getting worse. I had stopped eating, constantly felt sick and was vomiting, I lost 3 stone, kept shaking uncontrollably and I had so much pain.
I told them all that something was wrong with me, I knew something was very seriously wrong. They wouldn’t listen, they kept telling me that perhaps I had an addiction to pain medication as I was on Tramadol at this point which didn’t shift the pain. They told me I was imagining it, that I should perhaps seek additional help to deal with my issues.
I felt like I was going crazy, I started to question myself. They are the professionals so they know what they are doing right? I saw a new doctor in March who I sat and spoke to about it all, I cried at her, told her how others had made me feel and she listened. After I was finished she examined me and took 15 minutes to read through all my notes and hospital visits and then turned me and said “I don’t think you have this womb disease” she sent me immediately to the hospital armed with a strongly worded letter. She rang a department and told them to expect me, that she wanted through tests for everything, especially things such as Lupus, Crohns and anything rare.
It was that appointment that changed everything, she saved my life. If I hadn’t have seen her I wouldn’t have had the treatments and surgeries I needed and I would have died. The consultant that saw me at the hospital when they told me what was wrong said I was days away from dying.
This post isn’t about what happened after that, I’ve already discussed that in previous posts. This post is about that time between November and March where I felt I had lost my sanity and had every single part of my self belief taken away.
It is not acceptable for people to make us feel this way. We trust these professionals with our lives, we don’t disbelieve them because they have gone through years of training and experiences to help us.
I have no problem discussing my diagnosis, surgeries, time in hospital, how I have coped with recovering, how it’s changed my life, non of it but I do have issues with the time before hospital.
I can’t talk about it without crying, without anxiety rising up with it’s nasty claws to take a piece of me back with it. I am a rational person, I would like to think I am pretty confident. I know that the same situation is unlikely to occur again but I cannot get past it.
Those few months when I was deathly sick took something from me. It wasn’t even the illness that took it, it was those people I put my faith and trust in, those people who made me feel like I was nothing, I wasn’t to be believed, those who had stamped HYPOCHONDRIAC all over my head.
I am writing this post because I need to do something pro-active to help myself, to enable my thoughts to get past this. A very good friend of mine suggested that I blog about it, not just to help myself but to also show those who have been through similar that they aren’t as alone as they feel they are, or have been. I am lucky that I have people who I love and trust dearly who allow me the space and time to cry, rant, swear and get angry.
That’s the other side of this coin, the anger. I go from being completely sad over the way I have been treated to angry. Angry that I wasn’t believed, angry that I almost lost my life and left behind children, a partner, my family, angry that I was fed all these tablets that ultimately made me more sick more ill and I am angry that my 4 yr old daughter cries whenever I have a doctor or hospital appointment because she thinks I’m not going to come home again for weeks like last time.
It should not be this way, we, as people deserve to be listened too. It is our right to be heard. We should not be silenced because we are told we aren’t qualified to know better.
As masters of our own bodies and minds we should have that control.
For those of you who have suffered a similar way, or are going through something like this, please, force them to listen to you, do not let them make you feel the way I do. You deserve better.
Thanks for reading.
The Aim: Write a piece of flash fiction of any genre under 750 words. It must include the word shown in the prompt below.
The flames had started to die down on the fire in the centre of the pit, surrounded by logs used as makeshift seats. Silvania had been camped here for 2 weeks now waiting for the war to start, for the enemy to make itself known. She got up and made her way through the mud clogged field to her tent, been the Princess Royale her tent was the biggest to be found, surrounded by guards even when she was not in it. She entered through the curtain and removed the fur lined boots careful not to splash mud on the plush rugs which lined the floor.
The tent was warm enough, something she was grateful for given that the first flurries of light snow had started to fall earlier in the evening. Silvania knew that the rest of the army were getting restless, they had decided to come and set up the war-camp early to prepare for the winter weather and get themselves in a position which held the best advantages. As the first female commander of the Army and Elite Guard she knew that even more eyes watched her, to see how this played out. Many of the men under her leadership struggled accepting that she would know better, a mere female in the world of men.
Silvania knew what she was doing, knew what they thought of her but as daughter of the King they could hardly argue with his decisions. She had a lot to prove and she was thankful for the Counsel that guided her, that trusted her. Spies had returned early with the news that the opposing forces had moved even closer, not stopping for rest or sleep. They would be here in less than a day. She had told her army to rest, sleep and prepare for battle. Now it was a waiting game.
Silvania’s Elven magic stirred, she had spent the last few weeks learning how to control it better, to stretch it and make it more powerful. She already knew that she was the most powerful Elf in the continent, she far surpassed her father, that is why he hadn’t objected to sending her. Silvania had trained with the elite guard since the age of 6 years, she had 20 years of training with them, refusing to play the part of a traditional Princess, all Silvania cared about was protecting her City, her people, her fathers land. War had never come to these lands before but a new power had taken root in the South, pushing North wards they had captured and taken over many of the large cities and provinces on the way here, to try to conquer the North.
There would be little sleep for her this night, instead she took comfort in knowing that the people who she surrounded herself with would rest, would be strong and well rested for the battle that laid ahead.
After a fitful night, Silvania had dressed quickly ready for the battle ahead. The scouts had returned an hour ago, the enemy only a few hours from the camp. Soldiers were dressed and ready, the horses were all armored ready for their riders. The healers had readied the medi-tents at the back of the camp. Now it was a waiting game. Silvania summoned that magic from deep within and left it resting near the surface. Less than 2 hours later the horizon broke with dark figures who marched towards them. Silvania moved to the front-line and stood at the centre between the two most powerful elite guards. She raised her hands to the sky and channeled the magic within. The blast of shadows hit the ground in front of the Army heading towards them and split the ground in two. Silvania smirked as she turned and shouted to charge.
If you would like to have a go at the word prompt and write your own piece of flash fiction or poetry then please do so, feel free to share it in the comments or tag me in your blog post, I would love to have a read:)
Thanks for reading
Alexis and I have had the pleasure of reading all of Sue’s books until now. I was hoping to have this review out to you sooner but due to moving and then Christmas I simply didn’t get the time.
The Christmas Play Rehearsal
It is Christmas time, and the school has been getting ready to perform their Nativity play.
With lines learnt and songs to be sung, it is time for the dress rehearsal. The teacher knows there might be a few problems to sort out, but at least they will know what to improve on or change along the way.
The Christmas Play Rehearsal https://amzn.to/2zPugqt
Sue Wickstead’s other books on Amazon
Amazon .co.uk http://bit.ly/JJKSupersonic
Amazon .com http://amzn.to/2BxvU2l –
A Spooky tale .co http://amzn.to/2Dq6P5X
A Spooky tale .com http://amzn.to/2zGGBtR
Jay-Jay the supersonic Bus http://amzn.to/2DyvTrO
Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure – e book http://amzn.to/2BWINPD
Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure http://amzn.to/2CdNEjO
Jay-Jay and the Carnival http://amzn.to/2E3Z6LL
Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme Bus https://amzn.to/2NljxHY
What a delightful little book this was. Different to the Jay-Jay bus books we have read previously, this book was full of festive cheer. Alexis loved reading this and looking at the pictures. Sue as usual did not disappoint in writing a book and creating a little world that my 4yr old loves to learn about.
I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.
I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.
This story has now been followed by five more picture books.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.
The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.
Facebook: – Author Page http://bit.ly/2kEEhPq
Thanks for reading
It’s Jennifer Gilmour here to review a little book which is packed with prompts and ideas. I am an author and advocate for women in abusive relationships and also have a love for stationery.
Tips, Ideas and Inspiration
The little book of social media content ideas and inspiration is perfect for your pocket or bag. A 138 page, A6 social media content ideas book which has been meticulously created! To help inspire you and to help you visualise social media post ideas. Whatever page you open there will be a new idea for your next social media post (over 130 ideas presented in full colour and in a fun and creative format). Sent to you by Mingo Mail.
Now available: UK, USA and Europe. £8 plus postage UK £2.30, EU Postage £4.90, USA/Rest of the world £6.90
WOW, what a book to get you going especially if you are stuck for ideas or need a bit of a nudge in your creativity. I will be constantly referring to this gem and have recommended it to others as a go to book for those who need some help in their social media content. I thought to be able to showcase the Little Book of Social Media I should show that I have taken action with some of the pointers.
So excited to have my GIF up and running and people have responded positivity to it. Its how I end my YouTube videos as one of my slogans.
Creating an image with quotes was an easy task for me as I already had started it, but this made me realise that I need some consistency. I looked at my Instagram feed and realised it wasn’t as organised as it could be with my quotes and so I decided to create a pattern. I have been running this for a few months and people have commented on how it is pretty. My quotes are positive/motivational or thought provoking in linking to domestic abuse.
Before and After shots of my feed.
Do you think it looks better?
This one I have combined. In my street team I have a regular feature that rewards people who share material/take part/being a street team member. Its a monthly giveaway and members can join in with this each month, it works well and I am thankful for the support. I am planning on recognising regular contributors and working on how this will work long term so this one has given me a lot to think about.
Find out more about my street team here:
This book has certainly influenced my content and I am enjoying putting it to practical use. What are you waiting for?
Link to buy:
It’s a new year and usually with that a whole new set of planners. This year though I am only introducing one new planner and continuing to use a planner I used for the last 4 months of 2018.
Let’s star with my good old faithful. My EDC/Handbag planner is a Hobonichi Weeks style planner, which I loving refer to as the faux-weeks. I got this from Aliexpress for around £6 after hearing about how nice they were from one of my YWOC PR teamies ( who sent me 4 more lol). I fell in love and haven’t looked back. I love the space in it, it is light, versatile and perfect for popping in my handbag. It is great pop having all my appointments and such in. I do decorate it when I can be bothered but I am not fussed if it stays plain as it is purely a functional planner.
My other planner which is more comprehensive and which I am using for everything (social media, house, blog, book reviews and colletions) is a Scribbles That Matter Bullet Planner. I had been eyeing this up then Sam (another YWOC PR Teamie) showed me hers when we attending a blogging event together in December and my partner bought it for me for christmas. This planner is in the form of a bullet journal and has the inside set up for you, this is perfect for me as not only did I love the style but I love not having to worry about drawing it out myself each week. This will be the one coming to hospital with me for my surgery appointments so I didn’t want the pressure of decorating.
I added my own collections to some of the blank pages and I have to say I am loving it so far. The paper quality is aaaammmaazzzinnnggg.
I picked planners this year based on 2 reasons;
What are you using this year? I would love to know.
Thanks for reading
I was a little nervous going but excited. Not only to attend but alo to meet a couple of wonderful people who I have known for sometime via social media.
The train took 3 hours each way but it was well worth it. Unlike most blogging events, with this been a Christmas party there were no workshops but instead party games, icebreakers and lots of socialising and networking. I was lucky enough to meet a lot of bloggers who I hadn’t met before across many different fields.
One of the games we played was called Socialise and Mingle and it was so much fun. It is a great ice breaker style game but also a great one to play with friends and family.
There were lots of things going on but it was such a great atmosphere, it felt quite intimate and not overwhelming which was great for a newbie like myself. It meant I had the opportunity to engage and talk to almost everyone there.
We also got an amazing googie bag which was full of lovely gifts from different brands. So a special thank you goes out to Hugh Rice Jewellers, Metcalfe Skinny, High Maintenance Jewellery, Rock on Ruby, Fenitmans, Wordery, Napoleons Casino, Sienna X and the Hull Truck Theatre.
The event was also catered for by Like Sugar Bakery and the cakes were amazing!
There was a raffle which was raising money for Oscar’s Chance Charity which is an amazing cause. I won two tickets to The Deep Hull, a watch, sweets and a cut and blow dry.
Thank you to Hey_Bloggers for putting on a fantastically Festive Event, I cannot wait for the next one.