5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Confidence is an elusive trait for many people worldwide, and it isn’t uncommon for even the most self-assured people to struggle with low confidence and self-esteem occasionally. According to a Sky News survey, one-third of young people in the UK lack confidence due to various reasons ranging from social media influences to perceptions of physical attractiveness. However, anyone can boost their confidence with a few simple tricks to excel in the most challenging situations. Here are some of the easiest things you can do to receive an instant confidence boost.

1. Crack a smile

Image Credit

Flashing your pearly whites is reportedly a great and simple way to improve your self-confidence. Smiling can make you appear more calm, composed, and confident in yourself and your abilities. Studies show that smiles also release endorphins, so they positively impact your emotional health by making you happier. Furthermore, smiling can also banish feelings of stress to make you less anxious and worried in stressful situations. Therefore, practice smiling more as an easy way to restore your confidence when you need it the most. You can work on your smiles by giving yourself smile cues that remind you to smile regularly during the day. For instance, you can choose a sound, action, or visual reminder like seeing someone laughing as your smile cue. Then, challenge yourself to smile every time you encounter these cues till it becomes a habit.

2. Improve your appearance

Appearance is undoubtedly a major contributing factor to self-confidence since many people judge you based on how you look. Unfortunately, many people are dissatisfied with their appearance, with a Censuswide survey revealing that 80% of people aged 35-54 lack confidence in their appearance. Thankfully, you can readily change how you look to give yourself an easy confidence boost. For starters, groom yourself by taking regular showers, shaving regularly, styling your hair, trimming your nails, among others. 

Also, invest in an exquisite fragrance since studies show that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a fragrance than their counterparts who go fragrance-free. Another study also suggests that fragrance can inspire confidence in men, and you can feel even more self-assured the more you like the scent. Furthermore, dress nicely by wearing presentable, neat, comfortable, and fitting clothing to make you feel more confident and attractive. Finally, you can also work on particular issues with your appearance that affect your overall confidence. For instance,  if you have misaligned teeth that make you uneasy about your smile, you can invest in dental braces to straighten your teeth and give you the confidence to smile more. Similarly, for men, if unwanted hair loss is the issue, consider the benefits of Propecia vs Finasteride to treat your pattern baldness if that’s the source of your low confidence level.

3. Stop labelling yourself negatively

Many experts believe that labelling yourself as timid, shy, or awkward subconsciously prompts your mind to act accordingly. Consequently, you will feel inclined to live up to these expectations psychologically, affecting your overall confidence. Therefore, it would help to visualise and affirm yourself as strong and confident instead of entertaining negative self-talk, which is almost always damaging. You can change how you label yourself through positive affirmation and positive mental practices like visualising yourself achieving a goal to boost your self-assurance and prepare yourself for success. Seeing is believing, so picturing yourself as confident will undoubtedly prompt you to manifest behaviour that supports this mental picture at all times.

4. Embrace your superstitions

Superstitions are widely regarded as irrational and incapable of affecting the outcomes of any situation. However, researchers from the University of Cologne admit that superstitions have measurable performance benefits. As such, you can receive a confidence boost and improve your performance on a task if you believe in superstition. Therefore, feel free to wear your lucky socks, charm bracelet, or good luck tie anytime you have major performances like an interview or presentation coming up so you can remain confident. Also, you can indulge in any rituals that make you more self-assured, as long as they are safe and effective. 

5. Focus on others instead of yourself

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If you are low on confidence, shy, and nervous in social situations, you are likely overly self-conscious. This heightened awareness of yourself is often the origin of low self-confidence in social interactions since you constantly wonder how others perceive your actions and words. Therefore, experts recommend shifting your attention to what other people are doing or saying instead of focusing on yourself. For instance, if you are on a date, think about what makes the person you are talking to interesting. You can prompt them to talk more about themselves and lend a genuinely curious ear to hear what they have to say. Generally, many people want to talk more about themselves and be understood. Consequently, people will love it when you are willing to listen to them and genuinely understand what you say. In addition, you will come across as warmhearted and confident instantly.

Hooked On Sunshine Blankets

I’ve been making Hooked On Sunshine Blankets this year having joined the group quite some time ago. Nessa’s patterns are absolutely beautiful, intricate designs that are written so well even I figure it out through brain fog eventually! I hadn’t blogged for a while so I figured I’d show you all what I’ve been up to.

Atlanticus

To start with I made the Atlanticus for Izzy, she loved the pattern and knew what colours she wanted. I’ve made blankets before but never this complicated and stunning. I did doubt myself ever finishing this but somehow I did in just a few weeks too!

Liliana

Next I made the Liliana for the lovely and very pink celebrant Berni! She was so patient even though this blanket took me a little longer than the Atlanticus and so appreciative when I was done it really gave me a boost in confidence.

Phoenix

My third HOS was the Phoenix for the very talented author and one of my besties, Fiona Morgan. She’s had quite a rough time being hit by covid and some personal issues that I wanted to make something really special as a (late 😅) housewarming gift.

Thankfully Crochet UK had the perfect yarn for a Phoenix blanket and I couldn’t wait to get started. This took me a little longer than the last two blankets, mostly because summer holidays with two kids is hard work. But I eventually got there and then decided to delay further by making a bolster cushion to go with it haha!

For (the sake of it)

While waiting for materials to finish the cushion my fingers got a little antsy and I already had the For pattern ready to go and some lovely cotton yarn I really wanted to try out. I sat reading the notes as always and like the idea being that we always crochet For something/someone but me being me decide this was the blanket I wanted to make For the sake of it.

My mental health has been wobbly, with my past and my chronic pain battling for headspace I’ve felt too guilty to do things just for the sake of it. I have so much encouragement from the Mr, family and friends to just rest or do something for me so I decided alongside braving the therapy that my For the sake of it was going to be exactly that for as and when I just fancy crocheting for the enjoyment of it. No deadlines, nobody in mind to gift it to. When it’s done I may well gift it but until then it is just For the sake of it.

I decided to do something I don’t often do and just let it do it’s own thing changing colours naturally too. Normally because the yarn had short colour changes unlike the yarn for the Phoenix I would worry it looked messy. So far I’m at round –  and can’t wait to see the finished piece when I can buy more yarn in the new year!

Devil’s Fjord By David Hewson

I received Devil’s Fjord by David Hewson so review thanks to Random Things Blog Tours. Devil’s Fjord is a standalone psychological thriller where two local boys go missing, exposing the darkness at the heart of the Faroe Islands.

Devil’s Fjord

A remote island. An isolated community. A terrible secret.

If the new District Sheriff, Tristan Haraldsen, thought moving to a remote village on the island of Vagar would be the chance for a peaceful life with his wife Elsebeth, his first few weeks in office swiftly correct him of that notion.

Provoked into taking part in the village’s whale hunt against his will, Haraldsen blunders badly, and in the ensuing chaos, two local boys go missing. Blaming himself, Haraldsen dives into the investigation and soon learns that the boys are not the first to have gone missing on Vagar.

As Tristan and Elsebeth become increasingly ensnared by the island’s past, they realise its wild beauty hides an altogether uglier and sinister truth.

David Hewson

David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, the Sunday Times, and The Independent. He is the author of more than twenty-five novels including his Rome-based Nic Costa series, which has been published in fifteen languages. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series The Killing.

@david_hewson | davidhewson.com

Fans of Nordic noir will love this standalone thriller, perfect for readers of Tom Rob Smith’s The Farm, Elly Griffiths’ Dr. Ruth Galloway Mysteries, Ragnar Jonasson’s Whiteout, and Michael Ridpath’s Amnesia

⦁ As well as his critically acclaimed Nic Costa series, Hewson has also written three adaptations of the Danish TV series The Killing, which have sold over 54,000 copies

TestCard – Making Diagnosing UTI’s Bearable #Ad

TestCard* asked me to review their innovative product designed to make diagnosing UTI’s bearable from home. Like many women, I’ve had several UTI’s over the years. Especially during my pregnancies where I had them repeatedly and know how miserable it can be. An at-home test kit to diagnose UTI’s sounds like a great idea that will help sufferers and health care professionals.

TestCard Urine Self-test kit

What is a UTI?

A UTI or Urinary Tract Infection is an infection within your urinary system. The Urinary system includes the kidneys, bladder, ureter and urethra. UTI’s can make life miserable for many. An estimated half of all UK women will have a UTI at least once throughout their lifetime. This because women have a shorter urethra allowing bacteria to enter the bladder quicker. Pregnancy also raises the risk of UTI’s due to the increased hormones relaxing the bladder muscles. This makes the urinary tract more susceptible to bacterial infections.

Myths About UTI’s

There are so many myths surrounding UTI’s! The biggest of them all is to drink cranberry juice to flush out a UTI. Cranberry Juice contains an active ingredient that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the bladder wall, but doesn’t contain enough. Other myths include taking probiotics to help cure a UTI. Again, you would need so many of the RIGHT type of probiotics for it to be effective. Most people would recommend avoiding bubble baths and tampons which do not cause UTI’s. In fact, having a UTI is rarely an indicator of bad hygiene or use of products. Many believe you can only have a UTI if you are sexually active but again, this is completely untrue. Anybody can have a UTI and your GP can prescribe effective medication to help.

TestCard

Combining a urine self-test kit embedded into a postcard, with a smartphone app, the TestCard test kit acts like a dipstick. Simply dip the UTI Test Strips into your urine sample then use the smartphone app to scan your results. The TestCard App is available on Google Play Store and IOS. This is a quick and easy way to detect a urinary tract infection (UTI). The app immediately shows you results which you can choose to share with your GP. This may help speed up the diagnosis and treatment of any UTI.Testcard is an affordable, easy to use test which is especially useful for those that suffer recurring UTI’s. If you regularly suffer UTI’s this TestCard will make you feel more in control of your health, enabling you to test when needed, You can do this with ease in your own home without needing to book an appointment until you have results.

Overall, I think TestCard will make things so much easier for many UTI sufferers and help ease the strain on healthcare professionals. Time spent doing these tests could free up a lot more time allowing faster treatment and peace of mind.

Use my code EMBER10 at the checkout to get 10% off your order

Elf On The Shelf – 12 Days Of Elvis and Elfie

Elf on the shelf can be great fun! Over 14 million elves have been adopted around the world. Any parent will tell you though that sometimes it can be difficult to come up with ideas. Design bundles have some fab bundles and kindly sent us a box of goodies to make things easier.

Elf On The Shelf Day 1

Elf on the shelf - Elfie is sat under the tree with Elvis his cousin in an Elf Isolation jar, on top of a baking kit.

Elfie has been visiting us for the last few years. He’s an absolute terror and had been told he is not to steal the girls toys this year! So instead he brought along his cousin Elvis. Thankfully he seems a much better behaved elf and arrived in Elf Isolation adhering to the guidelines. Together they arrived with a fun Ginger bread baking kit for the girls to make!

Day 2

Day 2 came around quickly and Elfie and Elvis wanted to dress up. He arrived with a dazzling gold wardrobe and clothing from previous years hung up inside. Naughty Elfie had hidden his poor cousin Elvis (still in Elf Isolation) underneath a discarded dressing gown!

Elfie is sat in front of a homemade golden coloured wardrope, strong across the doors is a festive clothes line with a christmas jumper and pyjamas hanging from it. In front of the wardrobe are pieces of fabric, scissors, glue and a needle along with a sign saying 'I can't find any clothes to wear.. lets make some Love Elfie!.

It seems Elfie wasn’t happy with his current wardrobe and insisted the girls made him some new ones. Thankfully he at least brought his own materials, although cheekily he raided my crochet tin for the scissors and needle.

Day 3

The elves brought some colouring sheets and pens for the girls to do some festive colouring on day 3. Elfie had been colouring in a candy cane when we woke up! The girls couldn’t wait to get colouring with the elves when they woke up. Who doesn’t love colouring!?

Day 4

Elfie and Elvis wanted to make Christmas cards on day 4. Elvis wrote his very own tiny christmas card to the girls which was sweet.

Elfie and Elvis are sat with some colouring pens and cards/envelopes.

He brought the girls some paper and card to make their own which they loved doing. Card making is always fun!

Day 5

On day 5 Elvis and Elfie wanted to make some decorations. They arrived with a bag including a clear fillable bauble, fake snow and some small ornaments to go inside. Naturally we discovered Elfie using his poor cousin Elvis to get inside the bag of goodies!

Elfie's legs are sticking out of a paper bag, his feet are using Elvis' Elf Isolation jar to climb up.

Thankfully nothing was damaged and we were able to make a lovely bauble. The girls loved this as the Mr has a t-shirt in with a camper van and Christmas tree on top!

Day 6

On day 6 the elves decided it was time for the girls to write to Santa. They brought them an example sheet which I copied and a fun snowman pen to write out their lists.

Elfie and Elvis are sat on top of a blank letter to santa with a pen

We were pleased to see Elfie was behaving a little bit better today! Having an elf on the shelf can be worrying, you never know what you might wake up to!

Day 7

On day 7 the elves thought the girls would enjoy making a fun window display from. They brought lots of fun stencils and paper.. Although messily scattered everywhere! We are hoping Elvis is able to tame Elfie a bit when he finally finishes Elf isolation next week! SVG images are great for activities like these.

Elfie and is sat amongst a mess of stencils and paper

Day 8

The elves decided as the girls love doing random acts of kindness that they might enjoy making someone a gift. Along with some card they had left some chocolates. The girls decided they should make a Christmas cracker and use the chocolates to fill it up. Unfortunately this day became quite eventful so we missed a photograph!

Day 9

Acts of kindness are so nice the elves decided to encourage the girls twice! On the 9th day the elves provided a fun list of acts of kindness to help the girls out. Elfie had even left Elvis a note saying he SMELLS lovely! This led to the girls going through their toys and producing a bag for the charity shop a few days later. The elves then rewarded them with some sweets for their kindness whilst sat on the bag of toys.

Elfie and Elvis are sat on top of a sheet of random acts of kindness ideas

Day 10

The elves must have been getting hungry thinking about Christmas being just 15 days away. They brought the girls some things to help set the table. They came with a fantastic glass milk bottle for Santa and card and a shiny pen to make placemats.

Elfie and Elvis are sat with black card to make placemats and a santas milk botttle

Day 11

With the big day quickly approaching, the elves thought it was time the girls wrapped some presents. They brought wrapping paper, a gift tag and a bag of popcorn for the girls to enjoy with a film.

Wrapping with the Elves - Elfie is sat in a popcorn pot with his legs up in the air and over his shoulders next to wrapping paper, washi tape, a christmas tag and popcorn.

The paper is perfect for my sister who loves pugs and has her own called Pugsley! So the girls wrapped for their aunt and uncle using the lovely paper. Once we were all done they enjoyed snuggling up with a film and sharing the popcorn.

Day 12

Although I am certain there was something else planned, such as a fun scavenger hunt for the 12th day, instead we discovered Elfie up to mischief.

Elfie pulling Elvis from his Elf isolation

Of course, being such a naughty elf that he is, he couldn’t wait 2 more days and had dragged poor Elvis out of Elf Isolation!! Lets hope 12 days was enough to keep us all safe!

We definitely enjoy Elf on the shelf as a tradition now and cant wait to see what else Elfie and Elvis will get up to next. I will definitely be using Design bundles in future and check out their free printable resources and new products.

What has your Elf on a Shelf been up to? Do you use any fun resources?

Welcome To Your Period – Book Review

We received Welcome to your period by Yumi Stynes & Dr Melissa Kang to review, published by Little Tiger. Eva turned 10 this year and whilst we have spoken about periods regularly, every girl has questions they don’t quite know how to ask and this book covers it perfectly!

Welcome to Your Period


Written by Yumi Stynes & Melissa Kang and illustrated by Jenny Latham.


Getting your period for the first time can be mortifying, weird and messy – and asking questions about it can be even worse. But it doesn’t have to be like that!


Packed with honest advice on managing Aunt Flo like a boss, WELCOME TO YOUR PERIOD inducts pre-teens into the secret society of menstruation: from demystifying what cramps feel like, to whether you can feel it coming out, to what you should do if your pad leaks on to your dress. With equal measures of warm, big-sisterish wisdom and medical myth-busting, there are tons of case studies, first-person accounts and questions, making it the must-have book for every pre-teen.


Pub Date: 3 September 2020 Price: £8.99 ISBN: 9781788952941

Our Thoughts

With Eva getting older, periods are something that she needs to understand so I was interested to see what she thought of this book. She sent me her thoughts which made me think this book really is perfect and a must have for all girls. Eva didn’t really know what to expect when receiving this book to review.

Eva’s Thoughts

Welcome to your period is a book that explains your period step by step and answers only with the truth. From content to index it provides 100% of period information that all readers would read. It explains things such as calming you down to all about pads tampons and more.

I’d recommend this book to 10 year olds onwards. I liked this book because I am starting puberty myself, and I was petrified about all the changes. I like how the writers include advice throughout the book. #

Though it might sound a bit silly, I was a bit scared of the underwear with faces!🤣🤣🤣 I hope all future readers will be able to read this and calm down, keep strong and enjoy life while it lasts. 

Overall we both agree it is a great book full of lots of useful information and tips to help young girls cope with periods and covers any questions they may have. Eva can find talking about the body a bit strange even though we do discuss the body regularly. This fun book has definitely helped her prepare better and answer questions she didn’t realise she had on the topic.

Picking Back Up

I’m slowly picking back up with the blog and life in general after the COVID-19 lockdown madness. Like many others, the blog took a back seat while my family and close friends became my main focus. So much has happened though so I guess its time for an update!

Birthdays

I normally blog about the girls birthdays but it didn’t feel right this year. We still celebrated but it really wasn’t the same! Martyn and Hannah usually have us over and we have a BBQ for the kids birthdays which we really missed. Eva turned 10 this year so it sucked we couldn’t take her somewhere nice, we did however have a lovely day and Eva was thrilled to be included in birthday shoutouts by some of her favourite authors and illustrators. She was also sent a book by Jeff Norton, which we must get round to reviewing as she loves it!

By the time Izzy’s birthday came around we had at least planned a day of films, playing and crafting knowing it would be a quiet day. She was utterly spoilt by friends and family too and loved getting a new bike to race Eva on!

I turned 30 not long after Izzy’s birthday, usually we don’t do much. Birthdays are for the kids really, however we did have a lovely meal and some friends gave me birthday money which I spent on yarn, of course!

Relentlessly Crocheted

During lockdown I began to focus a lot more on my crochet. I had already set up an Instagram account and a Facebook page for my crochet but hadn’t really built up the confidence to really work on it.

Ember sat in the sunshine crocheting a rainbow blanket wearing a burgandy hoodie that says 'Sorry not sorry' on the front.

I started off by doing lots (over 200) of random acts of crocheted kindness, mostly making little heart or flower keyrings and hiding them wherever we went. I have had so many lovely messages from finders and I hope those who don’t use social media enjoyed their finds too. I will continue to do this as its such a lovely idea and it uses up my scraps and great to make on the go too. I’ve become the bag lady, hauling around a bag of yarn and hooks wherever I go haha!

Outside of random acts, I do want to take Relentlessly Crocheted and hopefully turn it into a fully fledged small business. I have been practising new techniques where I can, asking friends for ideas to challenge myself alongside making a few requests as gifts. My butterflies were so loved and it gave me such a confidence boost!

Contact From My Sister

So I suppose the biggest news of all this year is my sister making contact with me. We lost contact when Eva was a baby, due to falling out for the final time with my mother and issues I had with our dad, I cut myself off thinking it would be best all round. I wanted to stay in contact but felt it was inappropriate to try and stay in touch when I wanted nothing to do with our dad. Alongside all my mental and physical health problems too, I didn’t want a young child being dragged into stressful situations.

Ember sitting next to her sister Sheaylam, both smiling with purple butterflies around their face from a filter.

I had actually hoped when Sheayla was older she would contact me again but equally knew there was a chance she would feel abandoned by me and never want to talk to me again, fully understandable. Thankfully she is now 17, old enough to make her own choices and we’ve been in contact for about 4 or 5 months now!

Getting To Know Sheayla

It’s been lovely getting to know Sheay, I taught her how to crochet too and she’s set up her own page in the hopes of gaining some business which I’ve no doubt she will. She picked up crochet like a pro!

Sheayla is standing with arms around Eva and Izzy all smiling in the park

It is kind of strange getting to know someone who is very similar to yourself, but it means we get on quite well too which is nice. The girls absolutely love her and she is so good with the girls, understands when i explain one of them struggling or stressing over something and genuinely seems to care about them.

I love that they run to her for a hug when they see her, they get so excited and my soppy side loves that they finally have that from a blood relative. It hasn’t always been easy knowing my girls have very little family around them and something I often beat myself up over, but I know their safety and wellbeing is being put first.

Sheay has an older brother Karl, he is technically my step-brother as her mum and my dad married. I used to get on really well with Karl, we randomly ended up on the same college course for two years which is how I even discovered I had a sister in the first place!

I’ve also been meeting up with Karl which has also been lovely, we have quite a laugh being silly. We’ve been meeting up for hot chocolates to help me get out of the flat more and it’s been nice feeling like the old me again.

Moving Forward

I thought most of this post would be quite depressing but actually I’ve highlighted some of the better parts. It HAS NOT been easy though by any means. I feel lucky we weren’t impacted as badly as some throughout all this though, I have really struggled at times, worrying about finances, the girls being wobbly (Especially Eva!), trying to get back into a routine when I enjoyed the lockdown part because I’m part hermit, but I do realise it could have been much worse.

I guess for the time being Covid is here to stay and things will be a bit weird for a while but I am focusing on moving forward. I want to get back into blogging, I love to write! I want to build up Relentlessly Crocheted so I get an order or two a week, I’m hoping I can keep on building a good relationship with Sheayla and most importantly I want to keep working on improving my mental health. I coped well for a good 5-6 months during lockdown but that final month, not knowing if things would change again, has left me feeling a little lost.

Getting Out

One thing I’m determined to work on is getting out of the flat more! Ken is always encouraging me to have some time to myself, go out, treat myself and I let anything and everything get in the way of that. I see anything that goes wrong as a sign I don’t deserve it and I really need to change that mindset. Usually my lack of local friends makes it impossible but having Sheay and Karl around is a start and whilst I did take a hit first, I have kept pushing myself during the dark days to reach out and plan something.

One thing I am REALLY looking forward to is this weekend! I have a girly weekend planned with Fiona and Lisa, who have honestly kept me going so much through this year. We plan to eat lots of cheesecake, drink lots of cuppas and relax a bit. I’m so excited I even bought new boots haha!

Overall 2020 is definitely one of the stranger years we’ve experienced but memories have still been made and very slowly we are all picking back up again.

Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pollock – Cover Reveal

Death Bringer is the second book in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy. I’m really excited to take part in this cover reveal having read Cherry Nova, the first book in the trilogy! Kelly-Marie has also written a fantastic collection of poems called Forever Blue.

Death Bringer By Kelly-Marie Pollock Cover reveal

Death Bringer

Nova may have won the fight for her freedom, but she’s far from won the war. Journey beside her, Ruth and Chaplin as they leave the gritty streets of Victorian London behind and immerse themselves in the magical living realm of Hindra. 

In a world where dying isn’t forever and living isn’t easy, they’re about to unearth all manner of secrets and lies. Their mission seems clear, infiltrate the Council Chambers and free the captive, Detective maximus Steele, bringing down The Righteous Ones as they go, but time is moving fast and as Nova comes to realise, time is running out. 

From streetworker to rebellion leader, is her path one of greatness, or has it simply been paved by someone or something, far greater than her? Like pieces on a chess board, is Nova just a pawn in someone else’s game. 

Content warning – contains adult themes including; Sex, Drug use, Profanity and Violence. 

Front and back cover of Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pocllock

Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Gothic/Noir

Word/page count: 336

Publication Date:  20th May 2020

Kelly-Marie Pollock - Author of the Nova Morgan Trilogy and Forever Blue, a collection of poems.

Kelly-Marie Pollock

Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams. Kelly-Marie is  a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger, you can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.uk

Death Bringer is the second novel  in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.

Praise For Cherry Nova

“An amazing book couldn’t put it down. Well written and kept me in suspense can’t wait for the next one. Well recommended.”


“Cherry Nova is an exceedingly strong debut novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s full of action, twists and turns which all combine to make it a real page turner and I certainly can’t wait to see what happens to Nova next, especially as Pollock has left things poised so perfectly with a teasing cliff- hanger! Parts of the book are quite dark, but for me the there is an overriding message of hope that runs beneath the surface which kept me rooting for Nova throughout. Cherry Nova is more than just your run of the mill Vampire tale, its roots run much deeper and I’m sure its story would resonate with readers on so many different levels. Highly recommended by me and I hope Kelly hurries up with book two as I’m desperate to read it!”


“I immersed myself in a world that I never knew existed. I was riveted from the moment I opened this books pages to read it. I found this book very hard to put down! If you like vampires, an adult theme and fantasy, this is the book for you! Looking forward to the next book!”


“If Stuart Macbride and Simon Kernick joined together to write a fantasy novel….you would get Cherry Nova. Kelly writes with her foot firmly pressed down on the pedal whilst still giving you characters that are all unique and loveable. Despite the fast pace of this book it still gives you a bit of time to breath after each tragedy. The world that Kelly has created here is commendable. I don’t remember enjoying a book of this nature as much as I have since Stan Nicholls Orcs series. I look forward to the second addition.”


Cherry Nova, Book 1 in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy is rated 5* on both Amazon and Goodreads, available to purchase via Amazon and The Book Depository, free to read for Kindle Unlimited users.

Purchase Links

Cherry Nova Amazon UK

Cherry Nova Amazon US

Cherry Nova Book Depository

Forever Blue Amazon UK

Death Bringer PRE ORDER

The Scent Of Death By Simon Beckett

I received The Scent of Death by Simon Beckett to review by Damp Pebbles Blog Tours. This is the 6th book in the David Hunter, crime thriller series.

The Scent of Death By Simon Beckett

The Scent of Death

What began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare…

Once a busy hospital, St Jude’s now stands derelict awaiting demolition. When a partially mummified corpse is found in the buildings cavernous loft, forensics expert Dr David Hunter is called in to take a look. He can’t say how long the body’s been there, but he is certain it’s that of a young woman. And that she was pregnant.

Then part of the attic floor collapses, revealing another of the hospital’s secrets: a bricked-up chamber with beds inside. And some of them are still occupied.

And it soon becomes clear that St Jude’s hasn’t claimed it’s last victim…

Simon Beckett - Author of The Scent of Death/

Simon Beckett

Simon Beckett is the No.1 international bestselling author of the David Hunter series. These include:

  • The Chemistry of Death
  • Written in Bone
  • Whispers of the Dead
  • The Calling of the Gave
  • The Restless Dead
  • The Scent of Death

His books have been translated into 29 languages, appeared in the Sunday Times top 10 bestseller lists and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. A former freelance journalist, he has written for The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent on Sunday and Observer. The inspiration for the first David Hunter noel came after a visit to the world-renowned Body Farm in Tennessee introduced him to the work of forensic anthropologists.

Join-winner (with Arne Dahl) of Europe’s largest crime fiction prize – The Ripper Award 2018/19 – he has also won the Raymond Chandler Society’s Marlowe Award and been short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger, CWA Dagger in the Library and Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year awards. He is also the author of several stand-alone novels including Stone Bruises and Where There’s Smoke. Simon Beckett Lives in Sheffield.

My Thoughts

I was instantly hooked with The Scent of Death, it reminds me of Patricia Cornwall’s Kay Scarpetta novels which I love. You just know St Jude’s is going to open up a can of worms and it does just that! The detail when it comes to David Hunter doing the autopsies is incredibly impressive and had me totally sucked in. Beckett covers police procedures perfectly making this a fully believable piece of fiction. I genuinely need to read the other 5 books in this series asap, Simon Beckett is an amazing writer filling the story with macabre details and twists and turns everywhere, interesting characters, and dark secrets, keeping you hanging on to every word.

Magnificent Women And Their Revolutionary Machines

I received Magnificent Women and Their Revolutionary Machines by Henrietta Heald to review. The lost story of Britain’s, trailblazing, boundary-breaking women engineers starting in the 1800’s. Published in time to mark the centenary of the Women’s Engineering society, this really is a must read!

Magnificent Women and their Revolutionary Machines

Magnificent Women and Their Revolutionary Machines

In 1919, in the wake of the First World War, a group of extraordinary women came together to create the Women s Engineering Society. They were trailblazers, pioneers and boundary breakers, but many of their stories have been lost to history. To mark the centenary of the society’s creation, Magnificent Women and Their Revolutionary Machines brings them back to life.

Their leaders were Katharine and Rachel Parsons, wife and daughter of the engineering genius Charles Parsons, and Caroline Haslett, a self-taught electrical engineer who campaigned to free women from domestic drudgery and became the most powerful professional woman of her age. Also featured are Eleanor Shelley-Rolls, sister of car magnate Charles Rolls; Viscountess Rhondda, a director of thirty-three companies who founded and edited the revolutionary Time and Tide magazine; and Laura Willson, a suffragette and labour rights activist from Halifax, who was twice imprisoned for her political activities.

This is not just the story of the women themselves, but also the era in which they lived. Beginning at the moment when women in Britain were allowed to vote for the first time, and to stand for Parliament and when several professions were opened up to them Magnificent Women charts the changing attitudes towards women in society and in the workplace.

Henrietta Heald Author Photo

Henrietta Heald

Henrietta is the author of William Armstrong: Magician of the North, which was shortlisted for the H, W. Fisher Best First Biography Prize and the Portico Prize for non-fiction. She was chief editor of Chronicle of Britain and Ireland and Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Britain’s Coast. Her other books include Coastal Living, La Vie est Belle, and a National Trust guide to Cragside, Northumberland.

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Magnificent Women and their Revolutionary Machines, it truly is an eye-opener! Henrietta Heald gives a fantastic account of the achievements from these magnificent women from the Women’s Engineering Society, alongside the social pressures they faced. The collection of photographs throughout the book really help you picture these women as you read about their extraordinary lives.

Do you know much about the Women’s Engineering Society and it’s members?