Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries August 2020- Pot Luck – #Personal – Twelve Questions From A Guy Called Bloke by Stevie Turner…


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the second post from author Stevie Turner and this week you get an opportunity to find out more about Stevie as she answers some personal questions…

Twelve Questions From A Guy Called Bloke…

Thanks to A Guy Called Bloke who has invited readers to answer these thought-provoking questions. I have given my 12 answers below, and I’d be interested to read your

How spontaneous are you?

Quite spontaneous in fact, now that we have no dependents. Sometimes I leap up from my armchair and announce to Sam that I fancy a bike ride or a walk. If he’s not working he will usually come out with me. If the weather is fine I might suggest going down to the beach or having a BBQ. It’s nice sometimes not to think ahead and just live for the moment!

How flirtatious would you say you are? If that is not the word you would use, then try the alternatives of ‘teasing’ or ‘playful’. How much are you of this?

If you’d asked me this 40 years ago then I would have said yes, I was more playful than flirtatious and enjoyed a bit of banter with the boys. However, I’m 62 now and I’m done with all that. There was a chap who tried his luck a couple of years ago, but my son soon put him straight!

How serious are you as a person?

Not very serious at all, really. I have a good sense of humour and am a terrible giggler if the fancy takes me. I get the giggles at the most inappropriate times. It’s terribly embarrassing.

Do you think the older we become, then certain emotions are easier to handle, say as an example ‘grief’?

We can cope with emotions better as we get older and mellower. Teenagers tend to get rather hysterical over matters that older people would not.

What is the most adventurous thing you have done to date?

Last summer I inched anti-clockwise around an extremely narrow and slippery ledge circling St. Helens Fort with nothing between me and the rocks below. I did this because it was considered good luck! In the photo below you can see part of the ledge:

DSC00419

What’s the craziest or riskiest thing you have ever done and simply got away with it or got caught doing it?

Rules are made to be broken and I’m a bit rebellious, but ah… we won’t go there…

What do you think the future is of dating, and other ‘other’ now that social distancing has become part of your life? Will your life ‘up close and personal’ with people now be different?

I will probably try to avoid large crowds of people now and also public transport. Thankfully I’ve been happily married for nearly 40 years and have no interest in dating, but for those younger people who want to date, all I can say is… beware!

How different do you really think you are to the next person? Are you prim and proper, strait-laced and serious, wild and abandoned, or rebellious and controversial?

Yes, quite different I think. I can be rather anti-social and a loner at times, although strangely I do enjoy a family get-together or a party. I’m genial, optimistic and an aesthete, coupled with the aforementioned touch of rebellion.

During this time of global concern, how has your thinking changed with regards the planet, conservation and climate issues … or has it not changed one little bit?

It seems that money, livelihoods and profit reign supreme over conservation and climate issues. Because of this our planet is on the way to hell in a handcart.

What ‘topical’ issues considered taboo by society are you deeply passionate with and about to the point of doing something about it?

I care deeply about the destruction of trees. Thousands and thousands of acres of woodlands and forests have vanished in my lifetime. I can’t even bear to see fir trees cut down just because it’s Christmas. I once started a petition to stop the chopping down of trees at Christmastime, but it seems the majority of people would rather cut down a tree, put it in their front room for a fortnight, and then when it’s butt naked of needles and lifeless, dump it on January 6th.

What’s more important, and/or is there a difference between friendship and companionship, and if so, what is that difference?

I would imagine a companion is around more than a friend?

What is your passion as regards writing genres? A) what is your chosen genre, and B) what is the genre you might like to write about but lack confidence to start?

I like writing about family dynamics and relationships, and recently I’ve got into writing paranormal stories. I know how popular fantasy books are, but I wouldn’t have the confidence (or the imagination) to write a fantasy novel.

©Stevie Turner 2020

Well that was very interesting thanks Stevie. Should you decide to interview yourself with these questions, please tag me on Twitter so I can share:  @sgc58

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

A selection of Stevie’s books.

A recent review for The Daughter-in-law Syndrome

Shhhh  5.0 out of 5 stars In-law blues  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 July 2020

The cover made me chuckle a bit… is this a self-help book for quarrelling in-laws? The Daughter-in-law Syndrome is a women’s fiction novel about Arla and her husband Ric. Sick of playing second-fiddle to Ric’s family Arla suggests marriage guidance counselling. The story unfolds with each appointment, I was invested in this because marriage guidance must be a very tricky job. The characters were brilliant. Ric is a people pleaser- but he has his reasons. Arla is spikey and disappointed in life but becomes less so as the book progresses. Arla herself becomes a mother-in-law and the same thing happens again! As for Grandmother Edna, blimey what we have here is a master manipulator. Actually, Arla had a bit of luck thrown in to provide a beautiful resolution to the story. Bravery was employed by the characters, proving there is nothing wrong with saying how you feel. Back to my original point, this is fiction, the cover is fitting and this book will probably make you feel better if you’ve got the in-law blues.

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Stevie : Goodreads  blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress – Twitter: @StevieTurner6

Thank you for joining us today and I know Stevie would love to receive your feedback and it would be great if you participated in this self interview series.

 

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Mystery – Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner


This is my review for the engaging mystery Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner

About the book

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

For readers’ information: Although the characters and college are fictional, the actual exam question that sparked Jill’s nightmare is a genuine one from 1999.

My review for the book.

A mystery that is thought provoking and a good read..

There is a huge amount of pressure on both schools and teachers to maintain very high standards with regard to their pupils performances in examinations. There are meant to be layers of oversight to ensure that students are taught the curriculum effectively, that examinations are fair and evaluate the student’s knowledge based on their detailed responses to the questions, and that inspections are carried out to ensure that at all stages this is carried out to the highest standard.

But what if there is collusion at every level to ensure that schools and colleges come out at the top of the leagues by dumbing down the questions to achieve high pass marks?

This is the question that temporary administrator Jill Hayes asks herself when she reads an examination paper that asks the simple question about the contents of a kitchen cupboard. A question more suitable for a six year old than a sixteen year old.

Unfortunately, delving into this worrying discovery has dire consequences, and eventually leads to a police detective on sick leave going undercover in an organisation that will stop at nothing to maintain their hold on the education system they have infiltrated and manipulated at every stage of a child’s education.

The characters are believable and the investigation gathers pace and draws you in to the search for answers. At times it becomes dangerous, as those with everything to lose become ruthless in their efforts to remove the threat to their million pound enterprise

For those reading the book, especially if you are a parent with teenagers just about to sit their final exams, it might prompt a close look at the examination process at their school and perhaps a look at last year’s papers!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

and : Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Connect to Stevie Turner

Website: Stevie Turner Author
Twitter: @StevieTurner6
Blog: Stevie Turner WordPress
Pinterest: Stevie Turner
YouTube: Stevie Turner

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – #Writing Blogs about Writing by Stevie Turner


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This the second post by author Stevie Turner in which she explores the kinds of blog posts that seem to generate the most traffic.

I was interested to read Cristian Myhai’s  Six Types of Blog Posts that always get read . It seems that writing blogs giving writing/blogging advice is the way forward for writers who want to gain more readers.

However, I’ve also found that blog stats increase if there’s something in it for the reader. In my case I run a ‘Share Your Short Story’ writing contest every few months which gives the winner and runner-up a shout-out, and I promote the winning stories on my social media sites. These ‘Share Your Short Story’ announcements and winners seem to be the most read of my blogs, along with my blog asking whether we’re Writers or Authors, and my interview of Chris, The Story Reading Ape (Chris, you’re famous!).

The blogs in my opinion that do not gain as much attention as the ones above are author interviews, and posts where I promote either my own books or books written by other authors, ha ha, probably because they contain buying links. Also strangely enough, readers don’t usually bother too much about any post containing a book review, probably again because it has a buying link. However, blogs promoting free books gain many readers funnily enough (the last Free Book blog I wrote ‘sold’ 950 books) …

So… it seems that one blog post about the same old writing tips and advice will be re-blogged ad nauseam. It makes me wonder whether the person re-blogging it ever takes up the advice or subscribes to the original site, or re-blogs without even reading because their stats are sure to increase if they publish a blog about writing tips!

Who knows? By the way… yes, I did read ‘Six Types of Blog Posts that Always Get Read’…

© Stevie Turner 2019

I am sure you  will have your views on the subject… what blog posts do your think generate the most traffic in your experience?

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

One of the recent reviews for Examining Kitchen Cupboards

Jan 04, 2020 Jacqui rated it it was amazing Five Stars

In Stevie Turner’s latest novel, Examining Kitchen Cupboards (2019), Jill Hayes takes on a new job In a college exam administration office. She had hoped it would lead to a career but quickly discovered it was much too technical for her skillset. As she struggles to learn the complicated tasks that would allow her to succeed, she stumbles upon illicit activities that she feels honor-bound to report. No one will listen–not the newspapers, the college, or even the agency responsible for the exams–until finally someone does. Things don’t work out as Jill had hoped.

This is a well-told story of a whistle blower’s efforts to fix a serious problem. It is told from various perspectives which adds to the depth of understanding about how complicated it can be to report actions when lots of people don’t want to admit there’s even a problem. It was at times difficult to read but the importance is significant–which is why it earned the 5/5.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Connect to Stevie Turner

Website: Stevie Turner Author
Facebook: Stevie Turner Author
Twitter: @StevieTurner6
Blog: Stevie Turner WordPress
Pinterest: Stevie Turner Author
YouTube: Stevie Turner

My thanks to Stevie for sharing this post and would love to hear your opinions.. Personally for me, the cafe updates and the new book on the shelves which do have buy links do well.  As do the humour posts and afternoon videos. How about you?

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – #Poetry Who’s Worse? by Stevie Turner


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This the first post by author Stevie Turner and it is a thought provoking poem that explores our natural inclination to comfort ourselves by reflecting on another person’s misfortunes.

I had another clear scan last week, and found this poem I’d written back in 2017 when I was sitting in the main concourse of Addenbrooke’s Hospital nervously drinking tea before having radiotherapy.

Who’s Worse? by Stevie Turner

Here I sit and drink my tea
Before my appointment in Oncology.
A sea of people pass before my eyes,
Fat ones, thin ones; every shape and size.
On their way to who knows what?
Maybe to see a doctor and find out what they’ve got.
Whatever they have I bet I can see
Someone here who’s worse off than me.
Yes, there he is, a little old dude
In a wheelchair and with an oxygen tube.

*

Here I sit in my wheelchair and seethe
‘Cos I’ve smoked all my life and now I can’t breathe.
I’m on this pill and that one, green, red and blue,
Still no difference; I can’t even walk to the bloody loo.
Never mind, my old lady will wheel me off
To Respiratory, where they’ll get me to cough
And breathe out into that tube which I can’t do,
Because of cigarettes, ‘cos I’ve smoked quite a few.
Oh well, Maybe I can see
Someone here who’s worse off than me.
There she is, poor old cow,
No arms, no legs, just a torso.

*

My motorised wheelchair is the best,
I get around from east to west.
Along the hospital corridors I fly
To see my mate who’s going to die.
I was born this way, I know no other,
I’m used to it; it’s really no bother.
I overtake a dude with an oxygen mask,
Who’s wheezing like every breath’s his last.
And a thin woman sitting drinking her tea,
No hair under that scarf that I can see.
Poor lady, so sad to be that way,
At least I’ll see another day.
She gives me a smile as she sips her tea
As she probably thinks… there’s someone who’s worse off than me.

© Stevie Turner 2019

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

One of the recent reviews for Examining Kitchen Cupboards

Jan 04, 2020 Jacqui rated it it was amazing Five Stars

In Stevie Turner’s latest novel, Examining Kitchen Cupboards (2019), Jill Hayes takes on a new job In a college exam administration office. She had hoped it would lead to a career but quickly discovered it was much too technical for her skillset. As she struggles to learn the complicated tasks that would allow her to succeed, she stumbles upon illicit activities that she feels honor-bound to report. No one will listen–not the newspapers, the college, or even the agency responsible for the exams–until finally someone does. Things don’t work out as Jill had hoped.

This is a well-told story of a whistle blower’s efforts to fix a serious problem. It is told from various perspectives which adds to the depth of understanding about how complicated it can be to report actions when lots of people don’t want to admit there’s even a problem. It was at times difficult to read but the importance is significant–which is why it earned the 5/5.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Connect to Stevie Turner

Website: Stevie Turner Author
Facebook: Stevie Turner Author
Twitter: @StevieTurner6
Blog: Stevie Turner WordPress
Pinterest: Stevie Turner Author
YouTube: Stevie Turner

My thanks to Stevie for sharing this poem with us and I am sure, that like me, many of you make similar comparisons from time to time.  Your thoughts are always welcome. Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Pre-order – #Thriller – Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner


Delighted to share the news of Stevie Turner’s upcoming release which is on pre-order at the special price of 99p/99c for delivery on December 7th – Examining Kitchen Cupboards.

About the book

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

For readers’ information: Although the characters and college are fictional, the actual exam question that sparked Jill’s nightmare is a genuine one from 1999.

One of the advance five star reviews for the book by D.G. Kaye on her blog Review for Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner never disappoints. From her fictional family sagas to her nonfiction, and mystery/thrillers, she knows how to keep a reader engaged. In this telling book, Turner takes us into a story, which begins with Jill Hayes – a college examinations admin whose curiosity leads to her discovery that something is awry with the exams given to high school students for their college entrance exams – the questions are much too junior for the high school age level students, making it a cinch for them to get accepted to college. As Jill delves deeper into the basis for such juvenile questions, her life becomes threatened and we’re taken into a whole other world of corporate greed at the expense of student’s education and government funding.

Jill’s personal investigations lead right to the higher ups involved in the ring, and through the unveiling of her findings, we are led into the private lives of these criminals and colorful characters, spreading beyond the discoveries into international crime, lies, affairs and ultimately, murder.

Based on a factual occurrence of the exam findings, this book had me engrossed on the topic itself, but Turner takes the situation to a whole new level with the plot and intrigue created in this story. A fun, short and engrossing read for a cozy thriller reading escape.

Head over to buy the book for 99p: Amazon UK

and 99c: Amazon US

A small selection of other books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Follow Stevie Turner on: Goodreads

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Connect to Stevie Turner

Website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevieTurnerAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6
Blog: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWFuLQHDqGmOM3KbKJ-Z0g

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a copy of Stevie’s new book.. thanks Sally.