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?

An Echo Of Scandal By Laura Madeleine Blog Tour

I received An Echo of Scandal by Laura Madeleine, a historical fiction full of mystery. Slipping between eras, piece by piece the story unfolds as you lose yourself to its pages.

An Echo of Scandal

An Echo of Scandal

In the dead of night, with blood on her hands, she made her escape.

Accused of murder, Alejandra flees her home, escaping to the southern edge of Spain, where she faces a life of poverty and destitution.

Seduced by the power of the rich and the anonymity that waits across the water in Tangier, Ale makes a bid for a new start. But it will come at a cost: a life of deception. Because Ale’s new friends want to know what she is running from, they want to know who she is and whether they can trust her.

Fifty years later, a young American writer wanders the streets of Tangier, searching for inspiration. When he stumbles across a trace of Ale’s life, he finds himself tangled in a story of scandal, love and danger that has not yet reached its end.

Laura Madeleine

After a childhood spent acting professionally an training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine changed her mind, and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge.

Laura Madeleine

She now writes fiction as well as recipes, an was formerly the resident cake baker for Domestic Sluttery. She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom.

My Thoughts

I felt fully absorbed in Sam’s life in Tangier mixed with it’s mysterious past and characters within it. You find yourself so wrapped up in the story as Sam digs deeper and more is revealed about Ale’s past. Laura Madeleine writes beautifully, I really didn’t want to stop reading with this book. I will definitely be adding Medeleine to my list of favourite authors and seeking out her other novels. I thoroughly enjoyed An Echo of Scandal, historical fiction fans will fall in love with this beautifully written novel.

Star In Your Own Story Personalised Books

Izzy received Star In Your Own Story personalised books from Little Tiger to review this month. Every child loves to be the star in the story and they can with these 4 new fun titles. These fun books let you add multiple names too!

Izzy Personalising 'Saves the day'

Star In Your Own Story

Star in your own story: Saves the day

Saves The Day

Written by Georgiana Deutsch and illustrated by Vicki Gausden, Saves the day is perfect for superhero fans! This book comes with a sheet of stickers for children to add their name to the book. Great for children aged 3 to 6 years.

Star in your own story: Drives a digger

Drives A Digger

Written by Danielle McLean and illustrated by Kathryn Selbert, this book is perfect for little ones who love things that go! This book comes with a sheet of stickers to add their name to the book too. Aimed at children aged 3 to 6 years.

Star In Your Own Story: The Firefighter

The Firefighter

Written by Danielle McLean and illustrated by Sebastien Braun, this book is perfect for firefighter fans everywhere. Simply pull out the slot-in card, write your child’s name on both sides and slot it back in. You can add up to 3 names too. Perfect for children aged 1 to 3 years.

Star In your own story: The Ballerina

The Ballerina

Written by Danielle Mclean and Sebastien Braun, this book will have all little ballerinas twirling in delight. As with The Firefighter, pull out the slot-in card, write your child’s name and slot it back in to enjoy the story. Perfect for little ones aged 1 to 3 years.

Izzy’s Thoughts

As all children do, Izzy loved the idea of starring in her own stories and couldn’t wait to personalise them and get reading! She found she was able to read The Firefighter and The Ballerina mostly by herself making it perfect for younger readers with a short attention span aswell as those beginning to read alone.

Izzy loved adding the stickers to Saves the day and Drives a digger, even more so because she could add emojis! She loves all 4 books and has taken them to bed every night since we got them which says a lot.

Does your child enjoy personalised stories too?

Tips for Making Prints of Your Artwork – Guest Post

We have a fab guest post today full of tips for making prints of your artwork! I know a few of my readers are amazing artists so here are a few handy tips.

Your art is no doubt very important to you. It’s a form of self-expression, and every piece of art contains a little bit of you. Whether you want to print your artwork for friends, family, or even yourself (it’s okay to proud!), or you would like to make multiple prints to sell, there are many things to consider in order to make the most quality art possible. Here is everything you need to know about printing your art.

Criteria of Quality Printing

Resolution and Print Size

Artwork in your computer is made up of pixels. Essentially, images are measured in either DPI (Dots Per Inch) or PPI (Pixels Per Inch). The main difference is that DPI measures the amount of ink dots on a page, while PPI measures the number of pixels on a computer. Most digital photos are recorded at a resolution of 72 DPI. However, the standard resolution of a printed image is 300 DPI or PPI. In other words, that’s about 1200×1800 pixels for a 4”x6” image. Therefore, you need to make sure your art is at the standard size before printing.

That being said, make sure to take into account the size of your print when looking at pixels. For example, if you are printing something that is 12×24 inches, the pixels should come to 3600×7200, which is still 300DPI.

Ink and Surface Material

Ink is an important factor in printing quality art. Pigment-based inks are considered to be much higher quality than dye-based inks.

Similarly, the type of paper used to print the artwork is important. The best material to use is watercolor paper, rag paper, canvas, or any specially designed paper. Both the ink and the paper material should be labeled “archival”, which ensures quality printing.

Fine Art Printing: Giclée

If you’ve never heard of giclée, your probably thinking, what the heck is that and how do you pronounce it?? Well, it’s a high-quality printing option and it’s pronounced zhee-clay. Essentially, giclée is the first and only fine art print to be made with an inkjet printer. There is a major difference between giclée and digital printing, however. While digital printing is convenient, it is not an option that is made to last. Digital prints are not considered to be archival like giclée prints are because the materials are of lower quality.

In the end, giclée prints will not fade or be damaged by sun or humidity and they will invariably stand the test of time. The nice thing about giclée is that it is known as one of the best forms of fine-art printing and combines all the criteria of quality printing mentioned above.

Where Can You Print Your Art?

With a Printing Company

There are hundreds of printing companies out there, including many that specialize in giclée. With the quality of this type of printing, however, comes a more expensive price.

On the other hand, not all artists create fine art prints. If giclée printing isn’t something you are interested in and you are looking for a cheaper printing option, companies like Zoe Print have affordable options. You can get a custom quote and easily see if it’s the right printing option for you. Additionally, if you want your art on a brochure, business card, flyer, invitation, newsletter, postcard, or poster, Zoe Print is the perfect option.

At Home

You can always print your art at home. If you have a standard printer, you can print your artwork with that. However, as discussed before, digital printing produces a lower quality than fine art printing. As an option, you could purchase a printer that has a giclée option. In addition to the costs of paper and ink, purchasing a fine art inkjet printer can be costly. However, if you plan on making a large amount of art and are considering selling it, investing in a quality printer might be a good option for you.

Print Your Art Today!

Now that you are an expert at making prints for your artwork, you’re ready to share it with the world. No matter what kind of art you do -drawing, painting, photography, or other- you can easily create amazing prints of your artwork. Whether you decide to try giclée printing or go with a more affordable company like Zoe Print, rest assured nothing is more awesome than you sharing your art with the world!

May Update

Here’s a May update as I have been a little quiet these last few weeks. Things have been going fairly well but a little busy!

May Update

From making money, learning more about autism, celebrating birthdays to a site tidy up and hearing issues. There are a few reasons why I’ve been quiet lately and it isn’t just books and crochet for a change.

Matched Betting

I started matched betting using OddsMonkey at the start of the month. I started off using £110 the Mr has saved over the last year from surveys. He had been saving for a new graphics card and monitor which would have taken another year or two!

I’m pleased to say I have made over £1,000 in my first month. I’ve also introduced two friends to matched betting too! Both friends have made a profit and I love sharing updates with each other. The Mr is pleased as the PC parts he was waiting on haven’t been released yet. Knowing that we’ve had a few treats knowing we can keep topping up the profit to cover the parts and more!

SEN Meeting

We met the SEN teacher who is lovely as Eva is showing quite a few signs that she is autistic. Whilst we have noted these in the past, it hasn’t been something we’ve had anyone fully agree with us on. Quite often Eva is just described as over emotional at school but her current teacher agrees she has spotted quite a few of the same signs.

I was directed to an online course on autistic girls before the SEN meeting. Doing the course meant I learnt Eva masks her autism in public. I’ve learnt I do this too, knowing this we wanted support in place at school for Eva. I set up the meeting in the hopes of being referred and came away feeling confident that Eva will receive a diagnosis without too much of a struggle.

Also, I am much more confident Eva will receive any support she may need in school. She was given a pair of ear defenders the same day as the meeting after I pointed out her sensory overload during class & music especially.

Eva’s 9th Birthday!

Eva turned 9 on 10th May and we celebrated as usual with a few close friends and some cake! Due to a few issues, the gift guide I had planned didn’t go ahead but she was overwhelmed by the Harry Potter gifts from friends and family and was utterly spoilt. The Mr got to work on a Minecraft cake as requested by Eva which turned out fantastic too! We will be meeting up with the Cupcake-Kitney’s during half-term for our usual joint celebration with James who’s birthday is just 9 days after Eva’s. These joint celebrations are always lovely and we can’t wait.

Updating The Site

You may have noticed one or two small tweaks across the site (made my by) and a few huge tweaks (mainly page loading speed, thanks to my friend!) this week. There will be more to come, along with a theme upgrade soon to improve your user experience (and possibly add more purple!). I may have been quiet recently but I’m certainly not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Hearing Issues

Unfortunately our concerns about Izzy’s hearing being similar to the Mr’s may be real. Izzy had her hearing test last week and we are booked in for a retest and possible referral as the frequency had to be turned up quite high before Izzy was able to pick it up. Until the retest we won’t know much more but it does seem she isn’t always ignoring instructions by choice and explains why she is quite loud herself.

Well, there’s our May update.

How has your May been?

5 TV Series I’m Looking Forward To Watching

There’s 5 TV Series I’m looking forward to watching this year. Our current TV is on it’s way out and only able to play DVD’s which is pretty boring.

5 TV Series I'm Looking Forward To Watching

We’ve been looking at TV’s like the Oled TV Panasonic and I can’t wait to start binge-watching series. Whilst i don’t tend to watch much TV in general, now I have more time needing to rest, it would be nice to find some TV Series I can focus on.

Old Favourites

I loved watching TV series like The big bang theory, Scrubs, Supernatural, Friends and X Files. Anything funny or quirky I can really get into. I used to watch Skins as a teen and Sugar rush too.

5 TV Series I’m Looking Forward To Watching

Stranger Things – I’ve not seen any episodes of Stranger things yet but I like the sound of supernatural adventures.

NCIS – I used to love watching this and can’t wait to start watching it again while the girls are at school. I really get into NCIS and can’t believe I have’nt watched it in years.

Mindhunter – I find learning about serial killers quite interesting and look forward to watching this TV series from the beginning. They are airing Season 2 this year so hopefully I can catch up.

Supernatural – I started watching Supernatural when I lived in Harlow but haven’t thought to watch it since, having had a look online, they are on Season 14 now. That will keep me occupied for quite some time, haha!

Dark – This looks like quite a messed up series about 2 children going missing, exposing deep secrets between four families this science fiction thriller looks like my kind of series!

I hope some more comedies come out over the year as I haven’t seen any listed anywhere that really appeal.

Can you recommend any TV series for me to watch this year?

Buying New Beds For The Family

We’re looking at buying new beds for the family. We’ve been slowly working on replacing all our older items with newer ones and beds are definitely on the list.

Buying New Beds For The Family

Buying New Beds For 2019

The Mr & I are asleeping on a rather old bed and the matteress is a good 6 years old too! Because of this, we have both been struggling to sleep comfortably. Even the Mr who has no back problems at all has started to really notice the mattress needs replacing. I’d love to buy an entirely new bed though so I’ve been having a little look around.

TGC Arya 6ft Super King Size Silver Crushed Velvet Glitz Upholstered Fabric Ottoman Bed Frame

I spotted some Crushed Velvet Beds and I love this silver crushed velvet fabric Ottoman Bedframe. It is lovely and provides storage which we definitely need in our flat.

Whilst we currently have a super kingsize bed I did have a little look at king size beds too as there is often more choice. I noticed this black crushed velvet fabric bed that is gorgeous too although it doesn’t have the same storage.

TGC Baratheon 5ft King Size Black Crushed Velvet Glitz Upholstered Fabric Bed Frame

Children’s Beds

The girls would like their bedroom changed around so I’ve been looking at alternative children’s beds for their bedroom too. They currently have bunkbeds but desperately need a bit more space. I love these cabin beds with drawers, cupboards, bookself and a desk that slides away. This is a perfect solution.

Julian Bowen Cameo Sleep Station 3ft Single Ivory Wooden Mid Sleeper Bed Frame

I also came across another cabin bed I think would work quite well, especially with the colour scheme in the girls bedroom. Again it has drawers, a bookshelf and a slide away desk.

Julian Bowen Kimbo 3ft Single Pink and White Mid Sleeper Bed Frame

There are so many options these days when it comes to beds for both adults and children. I love having a look at all the different options and working out what would look best.

GFW Sydney 3ft Single Maple and Pink Cabin Bed Frame

If we had a little more space the bed above would be absolutely perfect for the girls with all the little storage drawers and shelving.

Which beds do you prefer out of these?

New Ranges At Not For Ponies

There is a fab new range from Not For Ponies, Home, Stationary & Gifts! They have added great products from Fabric notebooks, purses, bags, cushions, Christmas stockings and more. All their fabric products are made to high standards with quirky animal appliques.

We were kindly sent a few items to see what we thought of the new range. The first item is this gorgeous fabric Fox Notebook. The design is so cute and the notebook itself is of high quality too!

A lovely lined notebook is covered in blue fabric with a gorgeous Fox stitched onto it. Not For Ponies also have a beautiful owl notebook in a similar style.

They even have a Moustache notebook available too, I love their quirky designs!

Moustache Notebook

Purses

We also received 2 Purses, the first is a black and white chequered pattern with pink fluffy pompoms and pink zip.

The second purse has a really cute woodland printed fabric with rabbits, foxes, butterflies, toad stools, flowers and plants.

There are several other designs available too like this cute cactus one! I love the designs and they make lovely little gifts.

Another cute design is this pink puppy purse! The purses are big enough to hold any gift cards, note or coins or even small items of makeup.

This colourful pineapple purse is another fantastic addition to the new range at Not For Ponies. Last year I shared their amazing Christmas jumpers & tops and it’s great to see Not For Ponies adding a new range like this.

Which is your favourite product from the new range?

AYESHA TANIA CROWNED WINNER OF INTERNATIONAL ART COMPETITION

Budding 11-year-old local artist to have artwork displayed across the UK and Ireland.

Following a public vote, eleven-year-old Ayesha Tania from Newport has been announced as the winner of the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award 2018, which was developed to celebrate and inspire creativity from 5-11-year-old children this summer.

After receiving nearly 1,000 entries from across the UK and Ireland, 14 regional winners were selected by a panel of experts to face off in a public vote between 27th August and 9th September. Parents and children then cast nearly 20,000 votes to crown Ayesha, the finalist who represented Wales, our overall winnerFinalists had their artwork displayed on billboards across the UK and Ireland throughout the voting period, and as the overall champion, Ayesha’s artwork will be seen on a further selection of billboards from the end of September. She will also win a bespoke art party for her friends and family, courtesy of BIC®.

To be crowned nationwide champion, Ayesha entered an expertly crafted macaw pencil drawing. Ayesha’s success this year comes after the talented young artist was also announced as one of the 2017 winners.

Illustrator Phil Corbett, who sat on the judging panel for this the competition, said: “We’re thrilled to announce Ayesha as the 2018 winner of the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award. Her macaw drawing is technically outstanding. The bird itself is so vibrant and realistic but the background is also extremely well put together. The fact that Ayesha was also a winner last year shows that she really does have huge amounts of artistic skill.”

Rebecca Huda, BIC® UK and Ireland’s Product Manager – Stationery, said: “We were incredibly impressed by the quality of submissions received and diverse subject matters tackled by young artists from all across the country. It was immensely difficult for our panel of experts to whittle the artworks down to just 14 finalists in the first place, so to win the title of overall winner really is a huge accolade for Ayesha.

“We’d like to thank all of the participants and encourage everyone who entered to continue nurturing their artistic talent. We hope to see even more entries next year!”