Wednesday 28 February 2024

Cover Reveal!

 

Cover Reveal!

Tormentors is a gripping,  utterly heartbreaking page turner.

Dillan Mortimer, a happy intelligent thirteen-year-old,

 suddenly finds his life is about to change when a new boy,

 Connor Brooks, joins their class.

 Connor instantly befriends Dillan’s classmate,

 Bradley Jenkins.

 What follows will change Dillan’s life forever.

 

Tormentors is fiction - a short story of 12,000 words.

 It is written in the hope it will help create,

 as wide as possible, an awareness of bullying,

 helping to understand the signs and the consequences

 and to stop it before it damages lives.

 

All royalties from the sale of Tormentors

 will go to Red Balloon, Norwich, England.

 

 

Tormentors will be available soon!


Saturday 24 February 2024

Bullying What Does It Mean To You?

 As mentioned in my post last month, Bullying – Life Threating, Life Ending, throughout 2024, I will be posting monthly posts from an amazing young man whose life was almost destroyed to the point of coming to an end by unbelievable bullying.

 This month, Samuel talks about the word bullying and its interpretation.

 "I'm sure I've mentioned at some point before, I think bullying is a very nebulous term; it can be used quite accurately to describe anything from light teasing to physical assault. Everyone will have had an experience with bullying at one point or another, none of which was deserved, but the range of experiences the word can cover I think makes it difficult for us to communicate exactly how bad any given instance of bullying is and what the appropriate response, or help, is.

 The same goes for the word "bully". Children who make jokes at someone else's expense because of the colour of their lunchbox, or something equally as trivial, are bullies. But so too are the children who wait until a teacher steps out of the classroom to walk down the line of desks and strike other children on the backside of the head with a bundle of textbooks, those who wait until their victims are in changing rooms (Where it wouldn't be appropriate for a teacher to be) and undressed before attacking them.

 It's difficult as responsible adults to know exactly how to respond to an accusation of bullying. Especially considering that a lot of it will happen very deliberately out of our sight, and the victims may not be inclined to fully divulge their experiences for any number of understandable reasons (Embarrassment, fear of retribution etc.). I think in any case, the more aware we are of bullying and how bad it can be the better prepared we are to address it when it appears in our lives, or in the lives of our loved ones.

And regrettably should the worse come to pass, we have Red Balloon to help 🙂"


Red Balloon

“… bullying, abuse, mental health problems or life-long conditions are among the most common causes that lead young people to hide in their bedrooms. There, they isolate themselves from the company of others, from school and from society.

This causes a downward spiral of social isolation, marginalisation, missed education and deteriorating mental ill-health. They become ‘hidden’ at home and their voices are ignored. They risk not finding their place in the adult world.

What we do

Red Balloon is an alternative to school which enables young people to re-engage with education. We have both ‘physical’ and virtual Centres to best meet students’ needs…”

You can find out all about Red Balloon, Norwich, UK by visiting their web site. Click HERE to learn about this amazing charity.

Click HERE to read last month's post, Life Threating, Life Ending.

Click HERE to listen to Samuel talking to me on my podcast.

Over the next twelve months I will be adding posts about Samuel’s journey and the wonderful work of Red Balloon, please come back and join us on our journey. The more we all understand the more we can all help and stop this evil behaviour.

 As always, thank you for visiting. I hope the sun is shining in your heart and on your face.

Take care and see you soon.

Pauline


And regrettably should the worse come to pass, we have Red Balloon to help 🙂"

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Podcast - Jessica Turner in Alice in Wonderland

Today, on my podcast, Celebrating Success,  I am so pleased to be talking to Jessica Turner. Jessica’s love is acting on the stage and today she’s talking about her role in the Rackheath players pantomime, Alice in Wonderland.

So, without further ado, please sit back and meet my lovely guest.



You can find out more about Rackheath Players by visiting their web site https://www.rackheathplayers.co.uk/

 As always, a huge thank you for joining me on this week’s podcast and I can’t wait to share your company again very soon. And of course you can listen to all my podcasts at https://paulinebarclay.podbean.com  - or on SPOTIFY  you can also sign up so not to miss any of my podcasts! As with all my podcasts you are more than welcome to share them with your family and friends…. I hope you will.

Until next time, I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart

 Hugs

Pauline

 

Friday 2 February 2024

February - Newsletter

Created using AI prompts and Photoshop

 

Hello and a warm welcome to my February newsletter.

I hope my latest newsletter finds you well and that life is treating you kindly.

My newsletter has moved!

The last couple of years, I have used Mailerlite to send my news letters, however, their recent policy that certain email addresses are no longer permitted to send newsletters, means I have decided to move my newsletter back to my Blog. It will still be the same fun packed read to make you smile. *fingers crossed*

As I write, I find it hard to believe we have come to the end of January and now marching into February! At least the days are growing lighter. 😊

This last month I met an amazing young man who survived horrific bullying. It was the unbending support from his mum and a wonderful charity in Norfolk, Red Balloon, that changed everything; from a terrified young boy to an amazing young man, Sam is an inspiration to everyone. His journey over the last fifteen years has been one from the darkest of days to a bright future. Sam has agreed to share his journey. We plan to do this with regular posts and podcasts throughout 2024. By doing so, we hope we can help others who find themselves in a similar situation. We will also highlight the fantastic work Red Balloon, Norwich, Norfolk, UK does to help young people like Sam. You can read our first post by clicking here and to listen to our first podcast by clicking here

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For many months, I have been sharing a few of the many photos I take. Here are a few taken this last month









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With regard to my newsletter, if you do agree to allow me to send a link to your email address to let you know it is out, I want to reassure you that you can unsubscribe at any time, just email me and say remove me. Also I will NEVER use your email other than if I need to email you. I will never share with anyone else.

As to the content, it is designed to be fun with me sharing: my photos, snippets of information, offers or free books from award winning authors, a design or two I have created using my Photoshop and anything else that I think might interest you. It is not about my opinion on any matter. I want my newsletter to make you smile and leave you with a warm feeling.


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Celebrating Success – My Podcasts

Celebrating Success has never been more appropriate as today, my wonderful and amazing guest is, Samual Ridge-Ward. Sam was the victim of horrific bullying. Throughout 2024, Sam is going to share his journey from being a young boy who thought life was almost over, to a successful, professional charity worker. Sam will be a regular guest here on my podcast and also on my blog so please, please make a note to come back.

Sam’s story is disturbing and though I know much of what happened, I still found talking to him today very moving. Please sit back and meet a truly remarkable young man.

So please sit back and enjoy meeting my wonderful guest.

Click HERE to listen

If you have missed any of the many podcasts, you can catch up at https://paulinebarclay.podbean...

You can also listen to ALL my podcast on SPOTIFY!


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Edit Time!

At last I can report, I have started on the edits of book 3 in my Gardner & Chattaway cosy mystery series. The working title is: Dare! My wonderful editor, Julie Dexter has agreed to work on this book too!

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A Gardner & Chattaway Cosy Mystery – Book 2

 Craig Gardner, Private Investigator and his young Assistant, Roo Chattaway, find themselves once again unraveling lies, deceit and buried secrets.

Why are debt collectors hounding new occupants at number one? Is Linda Keegan responsible for the missing £25,000 from the factory Christmas Club Fund? Could there be a connection between a suicide and a house being demolished? And, how did a smartly dressed woman end up sleeping rough on a river boat?

 Past Secrets and Lies, is the second book in a series of cosy, feel good, mystery novellas.

Available in Kindle and paperback

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This month's author give away!



If you haven't downloaded your copy of The Stove, then click HERE to get your free e-copy.

The link will take you to Bookfunnel. It will ask for your email address. You can then read on-line or download to your e-reader

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As well as writing, photography, going to the gym, cooking and much more, I love to keep busy! I also love crafting. During these long dark days, I have managed to squeeze a few knitted and sewn toys, Below are a sample of some of my results.

Do you craft? If so why not join our Knit & Natter FB page. It is a private group where we share our projects, advice and help.

By the way, I call my little knits and sews, Misfits by Pauline!





That's it for this newsletter. It's another bumper one this month.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read it.

 Please share with your friends 

If you would like me to email you with the a link to the next newsletter, please email me  using the contact form in the right hand column.

Until next time, I hope the sun is shining on your face

and in your heart.

Take care. Look after yourself and each other.

Hugs

Pauline




Monday 29 January 2024

Podcast - Victim of Horrific Bullying

Today, on my podcast is an amazing young man, Samual Ridge-Ward who talks about the years of bullying and how it almost destroyed him.

 Throughout 2024, Sam is going to share his journey from being a young boy who thought life was almost over, to the successful, professional charity worker he is today. 

However, he could never be where he is today without the strength and determination of his mum and the fantastic work of Red Balloon, Norwich, Norfolk, UK. 

Over the coming months you will find his journey harrowing and disturbing, but please do come back and listen to Sam. Please click on the link below to to listen to the first podcast in the series.




As always, a huge thank you for joining me on this week’s podcast and I can’t wait to share your company again very soon. And of course you can listen to all my podcasts at https://paulinebarclay.podbean.com  - or on SPOTIFY  you can also sign up so not to miss any of my podcasts! As with all my podcasts you are more than welcome to share them with your family and friends…. I hope you will.

 Hugs

Pauline

Monday 22 January 2024

Bullying - Life Threatening, Life Ending!

Celebrating the New Year, for many is the time to look forward with new hopes and new inspirations, but for a number of young people it is just another day, another week, another month and another year filled with fear from bullying.

Throughout 2024, I will be posting monthly posts from an amazing young man whose life was almost destroyed to the point of coming to an end by unbelievable bullying.

We hear a great deal about life threatening injuries, but bullying isn’t just life-threatening, for some it is life ending.

In our first post about bullying, we meet, Samuel, an amazing young man who survived horrendous bullying.  Samuel gives a glimpse into the years of abuse he suffered. He will also talk about the wonderful charity, Red Balloon in Norwich, Norfolk, UK who turned his life around and helped him become the independent man he is.

Meet Samuel…

“…as was the case with myself, it’s violent, cruel and menacing. I can recall times being chased by children with knives and screwdrivers, held down in locker rooms and beat, ambushed on my way home from school by a group of boys in an alleyway, and worse…”

Hello everyone, my name is Samuel and I would like to take a few minutes of your time to talk about an incredible learning centre called Red Balloon Norwich that’s working right now to brighten the futures of vulnerable young people in East Anglia. The Centre takes children that are unable to attend mainstream school, owing to some specific vulnerability or trauma, and offers them a safe, tailored environment in which to learn.

I was a student at Red Balloon Norwich in the early 2010’s and I have the incredible privilege to serve on the board of trustees today. I would like to my share my experience and some of my thoughts on the centre with you, to help build a picture of the kinds of situations young people may find themselves in and how they can be helped.

Like many children my time in school was not pleasant. Bullying is quite a broad term and ultimately it’s expression is different for each child that experiences it. But for some, as was the case with myself, it’s violent, cruel and menacing. I can recall times being chased by children with knives and screwdrivers, held down in locker rooms and beat, ambushed on my way home from school by a group of boys in an alleyway, and worse that would not be fitting to give words to in polite company. My peers from Red Balloon could recall similar stories, or indeed even worse; it’s difficult to exaggerate some of the things the young students of red balloon have been through. But ultimately, it’s a deeply personal and serious tragedy that brings a child into our care.

We attend school as young people to learn something of the world and better equip ourselves to navigate it as adults. As I’m sure everyone here can relate, it’s not easy being grown-up, and every child deserves the best chance we can give them. When we are bullied, especially in the manner in which our young people have been, it stacks the deck against us. We might become fearful of the world, our peers, adults. We might have difficulty expressing or rationalising that fear, or even in trusting someone enough to risk communicating how we feel. The trauma and how a child responds to it will be different for each child, the only thing in common is that it’s not good, and never should have happened in the first place. Speaking only for myself I was almost paralysed with fear anytime I had to leave the house. The only person I could speak to comfortably was my mum, without who’s herculean efforts I would never would have made it so far as Red Balloon in the first place.

It wasn’t obvious to me at the time that I wanted to go on. This is the condition that Red Balloon found me in.

I’d like to share my first memory of the Centre, I’m hoping the effect it had on me can help to demonstrate the good that places like Red Balloon do. At the time the centre was operating in an old Church and my Parents and I were nervously waiting in front of a grand looking side door, wondering if we’d arrived at the right place. A gentleman opened the door, said hello and smiled at me. It’s such a mundane gesture to think of it now, but it had an enormous impact. It was like the pleasant atmosphere of the centre was radiating out from the open door. I remember being confused. This wasn’t at all the behaviour I had come to expect from a school!

Over the course of my first day I met with some of the lovely staff and students of the centre. I was taught to play chess, which I still play to this day. I met with some teachers who gave me a lot of time to talk about my interests and in the coming years they helped me cultivate them. And I met with other students of the centre, who I became friends with. At the end of the day, when the whole centre would gather and have a debrief, students were encouraged to share positive moments about their day. One student picked their moment as meeting me and making a new friend. I was still confused: Surely not. Surely it can’t be this good.

I’m very happy to report that the centre really is that good. In my time spent there I was helped to engage with the world again by degrees. I made friends. My once dormant curiosity was ignited and I discovered a love of history and literature amongst many, many other things.

When it was time for me to leave, I was ready. Since Red Balloon I have attended higher education, and went on to study with an accounting body while working in finance, where I have remained happily since. I credit all of this to Red Balloon.

Samuel will be back in the coming weeks. Please make sure you join us to share Samuel’s journey. We can’t guarantee it won’t make you angry and emotional, but we hope it will help you understand why bullying must never be tolerated.

Red Balloon

“… bullying, abuse, mental health problems or life-long conditions are among the most common causes that lead young people to hide in their bedrooms. There, they isolate themselves from the company of others, from school and from society.

This causes a downward spiral of social isolation, marginalisation, missed education and deteriorating mental ill-health. They become ‘hidden’ at home and their voices are ignored. They risk not finding their place in the adult world.

What we do

Red Balloon is an alternative to school which enables young people to re-engage with education. We have both ‘physical’ and virtual Centres to best meet students’ needs…”

You can find out all about Red Balloon, Norwich, UK by visiting their web site. Click HERE to learn about this amazing charity.

Over the next twelve months I will be adding posts about Sam’s journey and the wonderful work of Red Balloon, please come back and join us on our journey. The more we all understand the more we can all help and stop this evil behaviour.

 As always, thank you for visiting. I hope the sun is shining in your heart and on your face.

Take care

Pauline


Friday 29 December 2023

The End and the Beginning!


It’s been a long haul this time. It didn’t help that I’d backed myself into a corner with the plot, but I am happy to report that I’ve nudged my way out and typed THE END on book 3 in my Gardner & Chattaway cosy mystery series.

 Of course, there is still a great deal of work to do, edits, edits and more edits! Only when I am happy enough then it will go off to my wonderful editor, Julie.

In between editing, I need to come up with a title and also consider the book cover.

The poster above, I created using AI and Photoshop. It says a lot about the story and maybe I may retain in, but the format will need to be adjusted. I will see!

For now, I am just relieved I have come to the end of the first draft.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement, it made a huge difference and it got me over the finishing line.

Books 1 and 2 in the series are available in Kindle and paperback.

Serendipity - book 1

Past Secret & Lies - book 2

As always, thank you for stopping by.

Until next time, I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.

Take care of yourself and each other.

 

Pauline x