My very own website!!! Yikes!

Severed, by Stewart Giles

Severed is the 10th book in  Stewart Giles’ Jason Smith series, and it is the first book from this author that I have read. It will NOT be the last.
Smith and his team are called in when a university student’s room starts to smell bad. Her body is discovered inside, completely drained of blood. Then more victims start to appear…
I really enjoyed the family dynamic of Smith and Whitton as husband and wife and their negotiation of their personal and professional lives. The police team dynamics are also well established, as you would expect after 10 books! The book works well as a stand alone novel but I admit to being very curious about how these relationships have formed and will be keeping my eye out for the previous books in the series.
We see glimpses of the murderer’s viewpoint which ramps up the anticipation as we know another victim is being sought. The murderer is using blood as paint and there is plenty of clever misdirection from author Stewart Giles as he presents us with a range of potential suspects.
There is not much graphic detail so squeamish readers do not need to beware. There is a careful balance between the private life of Smith and his role as a police officer which makes us as readers like him as a character and want him to succeed in finding the killer.
Overall, a very enjoyable police thriller.


SEVERED, Detective Jason Smith book 10
From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles comes a new addition to the popular Detective Jason Smith series. 

A student, who hasn’t been seen for a while is found dead in her room.  Her throat has been cut but it turns out that is not the cause of death!  The post mortem reveals that she had been drained of all her blood.
The killer has left behind no evidence and there are no clues.  Is there a vampire loose in York?  When another body is found Smith and the team are struggling to find a link or a motive.  Will this be the case that defeats the brilliant DS Smith?
How much more heartache can Jason Smith bear? Severed will take him to hell and back.
At the confluence of the River Ouse and Foss, York is the traditional county town of the historic county of Yorkshire. York Minster and a variety of cultural and sporting activities make it a popular tourist destination.
DS Jason Smith
is an Australian who was sent to York to live with his Grandmother when his sister disappeared from a beach. He has suffered many losses in his short life and is now a dedicated detective. He is a bit of a loose cannon he has his own way of doing things that doesn’t always mean following orders and procedures.  However, he does get results.
Book 0.5-Phobia
Book 1-Smith
Book 2-Boomerang
Book 3-Ladybird
Book 4-Occam’s Razor
Book 5-Harlequin
Book 6-Selene
Book 7-Horsemen
Book 8-Unworthy
Book 9 – Venom
Book 1-The Beekeeper
Book 2-The Perfect Murder
Book 3-The Backpacker
Trotterdown a box set of DC Harriet Taylor books 1-3
Book 1 – The Enigma
Book 2 – Dropzone
Mistress – coming soon


Stewart Giles – Author Bio
After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live.
In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later.
3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor Cornwall series.
The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well.
I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results. I therefore made the decision to self- publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018.
After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor.
Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before.
Severed, book 10 in the DS Jason Smith series is now available. I am currently writing Mistress, the sequel to Miranda.
Website: www.stewartgiles.com
Twitter: @stewartgiles
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stewart.giles.33
You can join the Stewart Giles reader club by completing this form


So call me, maybe..?

As you may have seen on my social media and #Project365 post, I have been struggling with positivity this week as we have had our phone, internet and TV connection broken.

For weeks, our local area has been under siege by ‘essential gasworks’ by SGN. There have been lane closures, huge holes in the road that make it very dangerous for cars and pedestrians, trucks and diggers blocking roads, mud everywhere. My parents’ phone was cut off and they weren’t even one of the roads being sorted! A friend’s house requires a new boiler as the new pipe is not compatible. Some local residents have said their gardens and drives have been dug up and then refilled days later with no work being done.

Our road is yet to be done but that did not stop us being cut off this week…
I was at a meeting on Tuesday night until 9.30. I was all set to write up the minutes on Wednesday morning and had arranged child care for Zach so that I could stay focussed. Just before 8am our connection was severed and had still not been reinstated by the time I’d finished the school run. I went around the corner to ask the contractors if they had damaged a cable and they denied it.
I got Chris to report the fault online and waited… Meanwhile I chatted to a number of other people in my street and found we’d ALL been cut off. I tried to do some work offline but had issues with saving it and then my laptop decided to restart and try to do updates! The work was autorecovered but I now had 6 different files open and was unsure if I’d lost anything. I decided it was best to wait for the connection to be restiored so that I didn’t lose anything.

I tweeted BT and got not response. At lunchtime a neighbour popped round to inform me that BT had told her the fault would not be fixed until Saturday: 3 whole days! I tweeted a further 3 times before getting a response the next day. The fault tracker on the BT website has a technical error so we couldn’t get updates and wasted our time trying.
I was able to use my mobile as a hotspot which allowed me to check crucial work emails but gobbled up my data allowance.
The children were a bit heartbroken, unable to watch TV or YouTube, unable to play their games, unable to complete their Maths homework online (ok, Anya didn’t mind that too much!). If I had been able to work, I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate as the kids were not distracted.

Around 4pm an engineer arrived in the street and I spoke to him. He informed me that the gasworks had shattered the internal fibre optics but the outer casing was intact. Hopefully repairs wouldn’t take too long as he seemed very positive !
On Thursday, I grabbed my laptop and Zach and headed to my parents’ house for a couple of hours online. I wasn’t able to work due to too many distractions but was able to catch up on a little of my blogging admin.
We arrived back for lunch and the excitement of the blue light was almost overwhelming! We were connected to the ouside world again, yay! Then it went orange again…

The internet and TV has been working intermittently since then and I still haven’t managed to catch up with work or blogging.
On Saturday, my mum phoned my mobile and said she’d been calling the landline. Turns out we have no dial tone, I hadn’t even checked! Although I had thought how nice it was not to have scam phone calls for a few days…
I tweeted BT who confidently told me it had all been fixed on Thursday. I corrected them 🙂 and now we wait for an engineer to have another look.

I have such mixed feelings about the past week. I am angry, I am frustrated, I am disappointed.
I also feel a little scared at how reliant we are as a family on having a connection to the outside world. I know it is a first world problem and doesn’t compare to the struggle for food or shelter, but the disruption has affected all of us and put my livelihood at risk as well as my health due to the stress.

I am also scared at the ‘what could have been’ scenarios. What if one of the schools had been trying to contact me due to an accident involving the children? What is one of my jobs needed me urgently (an Ofsted etc)? What if my mum or dad had been hurt or been taken ill? What if a brand needed to contact me about a post? My mobile is always on silent unless I am expecting a call as everyone uses the landline to contact us.
The thing that upsets me most is the lack of communication: my own inability due to the connection problems and the companies involved for having poor customer service.

#Blogtober18 day 26: zero tolerance

On a complete tangent: I have only just realised that the prompts for Blogtober have been A to Z!
Hmm, I am not a very tolerant person and, although it is terrible for my soul, I do not forgive and forget.
This is to protect me and those I love from the pain of broken trust and comes from bitter experience.
There are things that I will not tolerate as a parent: rudeness, violence, refusal to try.

This last one is the most frustrating and the one that most of my parenting seems to revolve around.
So, please kids, I am tired of nagging and the same conversations EVERY DAY: remember to close your mouth when eating and use your cutlery without flailing around and almost taking out your sibling’s eye; try the different food/clothes/experience without a fuss; make the effort with your homework and use it as a chance to shine.

Trying is hard, I know that. Being scared of failure is normal but it shouldn’t prevent you trying.
I have watched children refuse to try in exams and I would be horrified if any of my children wasted such an opportunity and 11 years of education!
As a parent, the times that I have been most proud is when the children have overcome their own doubts and the times that I have been most annoyed is when they refuse to try or make a huge fuss that is out of proportion to what they have been asked to do.

The children know I’m right! The times that they have had the most fun is when they have persevered and overcome their fears (riding a bike, sleepovers, Beavers and Cubs activities).

The times that I have been most proud of myself is when I have stepped out of my comfort zone, been brave and challenged myself with new experiences (giving birth, starting a blog and going to blogger conferences, driving on motorways) and I want the kids to know that sense of achievement too.

So I will continue with my zero tolerance towards a refusal to try and watch proudly as they succeed…

February food challenge week 3

Third week complete! Have a look here at week one and two.
Puddings again are most popular but I have been really impressed with the children trying things. They loved the Quorn chilli but didn’t realise it wasn’t beef until I told them when they’d finished. Fresh filled pasta was another brand new experience for them and they enjoyed it.
Day 15: random takeaway night! Fish, sausage, battered sausage and chips.

Day 16: chicken burger with chips and beans. Fruit strudel for pudding which reminded me of my own childhood when we used to have this and call it severed arm due to the leaking fruit 🙂

Day 17: We were over at Mum and Dad’s to catch up with my sister and her family. Lunch was a buffet/party food. Here the kids are licking the bowls clean after a 3 course pudding!

Day 18: chilli with tortilla chips and rice: the children didn’t realise I used Quorn!

Day 19: Matthew and Anya had friends over for tea so I went for a safe option! Fish fingers for the first time this month!

Day 20: tortellini and ravioli

Day 21: meatballs and pasta, pancakes with lemon and sugar (we NEVER have pancakes on Pancake Day!)

One more week to go! If you have a recipe you’d like me to try out then please leave a link in the comments below!