loopyloulaura

My very own website!!! Yikes!

Five reasons to go to Blog On!

Errr… where have the last 2 weeks gone???
Back on the first weekend in May I headed north to Manchester with my husband for my 4th Blog On conference. Almost 6 hours of travelling and we were absolutely exhausted.
So why do it? 5 bloody good reasons actually!

The other bloggers (and, dare I say, friends)

Other bloggers are so lovely, even really famous ones that I am scared to say hi to but force myself because it might be a chance in a lifetime 🙂 Blogging is often quite solitary but we know about each other’s lives from reading our blogs and support each other online.

The party

Linked to my friends above is the chance to socialise. Let my hair down and be Laura for a while, not Mum. There is a party at each conference and this year’s theme was Star Wars (May the Fourth be with you!)

The brands

I still cringe trying to pitch to brands so being able to meet up with reps in person and try out toys and products is a lovely way to help me overcome my shyness. Oh and this year there was gin…

The experts

Sessions on photography, SEO, pitching, podcasting; there really is something for everyone. All of the experts are supportive and helpful, plus you can catch up with them during the day if you have a specific quesiotn that you are desperate to find out the answer to!

 

The goody bag

Legendary is all I can say. The kids can never wait for me to get home so they can raid the bag and find some treats to make up for being without me for a couple of days. There are always special treasures in there! Here is this year’s selection;

I always leave Blog On feeling fired up and ready to apply all of my new knowledge to my blog. Life gets in the way and most changes stay on my to do list but some things really stick with me (‘eat the frog!’) and hopefully my friendships will continue to grow stronger!
Find out how I got on at Blog On Xmas (September 2017), Blog On X (May 2018) and Blog On Toys (September 2018). How do you feel about conferences?

#Project365 week 20

Day 132: a new addition to our railway! Flying Scotsman is a super special engine and we were so excited to see it in real life in 2016.

Day 133: Zach LOVES the outdoors (complete opposite to me!) and is happy attacking trees with sticks and exploring minibeast habitats. Or digging in mud with his bare hands…

 

Day 134: worked all day, invigilating 2 exams then went out for a meeting in the evening so had a quick pitstop with a vegan wheat free ice cream from Marks and Spencer. Sat in the sunshine despite my above statement about not liking the outdoors!

Day 135: Ollie and his shadow, soaking up the sunshine

 

Day 136: crinkle hair!

 

Day 137: are leggings suitable for work? My work clothes are stilll packed away at Mum and Dad’s house from before I went on maternity leave with Matthew. I’ve been working every day this week and hope I was smart enough!

Day 138: a day out with friends at Virginia Water. Crazy faces time for the camera…

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The Dancing GIrls, by M.M Chouinard

 

 

The Dancing Girls surpassed all my expectations. I absolutely loved it from the very first page.
The book is divided into three parts, each centred around the victim.
The plot begins with the murder of Jeanine and the subsequent police investigation which throws up very few leads. We are introduced to the killer Martin and the person on his trail, lead detective Jo Fournier.
In the second part of the book, the dynamic changes. We find out a lot of the back story for both the killer and the second victim Emily. Our sympathy develops for BOTH characters even though we are pointed towards the flaws in both.
Meanwhile, the police are continuing to be frustrated in their efforts to find Jeanine’s killer. Jo’s determination to uncover the truth and find evidence power the investigation even though her senior officers want to stop wasting resources on a case with no leads.
The third part of the book deals with the killer attempting to groom a new victim. The woman he chooses is much more demanding which frustrates and excites Martin.
The ending is truly astonishing and unexpected. No spoilers but OMG!!!
The plot and character development is so clever and engaging. Jo is a traditional cop with a troubled personal life: her parents want her to settle down but she is dedicated to the job and it ruins her relationships. Martin is obviously a killer but his devastating story of abuse is heartbreaking to read.
I was completely captivated by M.M. Chouinard’s spellbinding narrative from start to finish. Wow!

Title:  The Dancing Girls

Publication Day: 15/05/2019
 
Author:   M.M. Chouinard  
 
Buy  Links:      
https://geni.us/B07NRG8PFHSocial
 
Description:
The light in her wide brown eyes dimmed as she drew her last breath. She might have been beautiful lying there on the floor, if it wasn’t for the purple marks on her neck and the angry red line on her finger where her wedding band used to be…
When Jeanine Hammond is found dead in a hotel in the picture-perfect town of Oakhust, newly-promoted Detective Jo Fournier is thrown into a disturbing case. Who would murder this shy, loving wife and leave her body posed like a ballerina?
Jo wants to know why Jeanine’s husband is so controlling about money, and where Jeanine’s wedding ring is, but before she and her team can get close to the truth, another woman is found strangled in a hotel, arms placed gracefully above her head like a dancer.
While digging through old case files, Jo makes a terrifying link to a series of cold cases: each victim bears the same strangulation marks. But the FBI won’t take Jo seriously, and if she disobeys direct orders by investigating the killings outside of her jurisdiction, it will mean the end of the career she’s already sacrificed so much for, even her relationship.
Just as Jo is beginning to lose hope, she finds messages on the victims’ computers that make her question whether these small-town women were hiding big lies. Jo thinks this is the missing link between the victims, but she knows the killer is moments away from selecting his next victim. Will it lead her to the most twisted killer of her career in time, or will another innocent life be lost? 
An absolutely unputdownable and brilliant new crime thriller series that fans of Robert Dugoni, Lisa Regan and Melinda Leigh will devour in one sitting.

 

Author Bio:
M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them. She’s currently at work on her seventh novel.
Author Social Media Links:
Website: www.mmchouinard.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mmchouinardauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_m_chouinard


A Twist In The Tail, by Leighann Dobbs

What a fab premise for a book! The cats (highly intelligent beings, obviously) can investigate murders! I LOVE this idea!
Nero and Marlowe help their hapless human ‘owner’ to find out who, why and how a well known food critic was murdered in her guesthouse. I really loved their interactions with Josie which we as readers get to see from both the feline and human perspective.
A Twist in the Tail is described as ‘cozy’ (US spelling) and it definitely is. There is nothing gruesome, nor any graphic detail. But the danger and anticipation are there!
Josie has bought the guesthouse from her mum’s best friend Millie and is working hard to establish herself as the owner, renovate the property and cater for her guests while keeping bossyboots building inspector Barbara happy. The cats are struggling to make their opinions known and keep trying to communicate with her in order to ‘train’ her to get their own way.
The body of a guest is found in a closed down part of the building. It appears to be an accident but is then found to be murder. The police seem to suspect Josie so she, her mum and Millie start their own investigation: was Charles killed for personal or professional reasons?
There are plenty of suspects to eliminate from their suspicions and lots of red herrings to keep the reader misdirected too (but not the type of herring the cats would like!)
The cat element of the book is a ‘purrfect’ method to add a new dynamic to a murder mystery novel. Apparently, author Leighann Dobbs likes to include animals in her stories so I’m very interested to read more books to see how this works in her other series.

🐾  A Twist in the Tail: An absolutely purrfect cozy mystery (The Oyster Cove Guesthouse Book 1)  🐾

Buy: https://geni.us/B07NS6VVDMSocial
FROM THE AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF THE USA TODAY BESTSELLING MYSTIC NOTCH SERIES…
‘Talk about inconvenient. Not only did I have a dilapidated mansion and no money to repair it with, two cats I had no idea how to care for and a room full of cranky guests waiting for their breakfast, I also had a dead body on my hands.’
Josie Waters has to admit she may have acted a bit hastily when she agreed to purchase the Oyster Cove Guesthouse – a charmingly gabled Victorian mansion on the breathtaking Maine coast – from elderly family friend Millie Sullivan. But Josie was desperate to flee Ohio and in particular her ex-husband, a chef who loved his job so much he left her for it. And anyway, how hard can running a guesthouse be?
The truth is, Oyster Cove Guesthouse is a mouldering money pit with falling-in roof and a cohort of regular guests who are as mischievous as a litter of kittens. And Millie keeps dropping by to dispense unasked-for advice. And Josie might have made a mistake in promising to adopt Oyster Cove’s two resident cats Nero and Marlowe, and treat them in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed. Josie has never had a cat before… let alone two feisty felines who think they own the place.
Ok, it’s not going well. At least it can’t get any worse, Josie thinks. Until her first guest ends up dead.
A joy to read, with a twist you’ll never guess! A page-turning new mystery series from a bestselling author, purrfect for murder mystery fans, cat lovers and everyone in between.
About the author
USA Today bestselling author, Leighann Dobbs, discovered her passion for writing after a twenty year career as a software engineer. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband Bruce, their trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and beautiful rescue cat, Kitty.
Her book “Dead Wrong” won the “Best Mystery Romance” award at the 2014 Indie Romance Convention.
Her book “Ghostly Paws” was the 2015 Chanticleer Mystery & Mayhem First Place category winner in the Animal Mystery category.
www.leighanndobbs.com
https://twitter.com/leighanndobbs
https://www.facebook.com/leighanndobbsbooks/

 


#StayClassyMama 31

Hello and welcome to the #StayClassyMama linky.
Life seems to be mega hectic at the moment so thank you so much to everyone who carries on linking up. Another linky said ‘goodbye’ this week 🙁 please continue to support your fellow bloggers by linking up and commenting on posts
Please have a read of the rules and make sure you have my badge on your post or page!

Let your blogging friends know about the link up and encourage them to join us! Last week was super quiet and I’m hoping it was just because you were all too busy having fun!

THE RULES:
  • Add 1 or 2 posts (old or new), any topics welcome but a focus on the highs and lows of parenting is preferable: what meals and recipes have worked or not? what new toys have you discovered? where have you taken the kids this week? have you done a craft and got glitter everywhere? what gorgeous item of clothing is covered in snot?
  • The linky will open at 6:00am on a Thursday and close at 11pm on a Friday
  • Please comment on the host post and any other 2. I am going to aim to do my commenting and sharing over the weekend (but, you know how it is with life and stuff!)
  • Please add the badge to the bottom of your page or post: I hope you like it!
  • To generate even more talk about your post, tweet me @musingstiredmum with the link you have posted using #StayClassyMama and I will retweet.
  • The same goes for Facebook: tag me on @loopyloulaura and I will share on my page
  • When commenting on other people’s posts use #StayClassyMama so we know which link-up you are coming from
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