Online Sex Pests

Today, I’ve experienced my first sex pest on Goodreads. I’ve had them on Twitter and Facebook many times before (where I reported and blocked them), but Goodreads? Seriously? A website dedicated to sharing our love of books? He followed me as a friend, which allowed him to send me a message; ‘Hello beautiful.’ I didn’t see this until he followed it up with further messages telling me what he’d like to do to me, sexually.

This is unacceptable on all social media platforms just like it is unacceptable in real life. This person – these people – are highly likely to be sex offenders. How do I know? Because I’m a survivor of serious sexual assaults that occurred regularly for seventeen years. I later had the abusers convicted, imprisoned and placed on the sex offenders register for life.

I experienced how these people work.  The male (married) sex offender spent all his spare time online, baiting any women he could find on every website and messenger platform available. He was addicted to porn and he would meet up with random women who replied to his messages. What these women were thinking, I don’t know. They didn’t know he was a serious risk to their children. I know now that he was a prolific child abuser and only contacted women with children or indeed very young women. He thought every woman and child on the planet was sexually attracted to him and was there to satisfy his sexual urges. He was dangerously delusional. He’d stalk women in pubs, so it wasn’t all done online. His wife let him get away with it all. She turned a blind eye and kept having more children for him to abuse.

So this isn’t just a male problem, but I’ve only ever been sent these sleazy messages online by men (assuming their profiles/names aren’t fake, which they could well be). I’m sure there are female accounts baiting men also. I just don’t hear of them as often.

I’m not a man hater. I’m married to an amazing man who stood by me during the police and social services investigations and two trials. I couldn’t have gone through that soul-destroying three-year process without him. There are bad women as well as bad men. None of us are all good or all bad. But these online sex pests make me not want to interact with any men on social media. When someone follows me on Twitter, I’m much more likely to check out a man’s profile before following back, than I am a woman’s, and I’m much less likely to follow back.

It’s surprising how many men who claim to be online to be part of the writing community turn out to retweet porn on their author pages. Porn isn’t illegal, but on your author page? Why would you think anyone wants to know what porn you like? Do it in the confines of your own bedroom!

I’m taking a zero-tolerance approach by blocking and recording every pervert that tries to contact me. If I have to take it further, I will. I don’t think anyone – male or female – should have to put up with sex pests bothering them. They’re not ‘harmless’, they are addicted to sex and therefore dangerous to anyone of any age. That makes them sexual predators.

Don’t think it’s just children and young women at risk of these people. I once worked for an older people’s charity where we were told that paedophiles are finding it tougher to gain access to children now, so they’re raping and assaulting older people instead.

I’ve also worked for a childhood abuse charity and saw first-hand the lengths sex offenders (whether convicted or not) will go to, to bait children and young adults on Facebook etc. That first ‘Hello beautiful’ message is dangerous. Your child may be one of the thousands who responds, thinking this person is being nice and wants to be their friend. That’s how it all begins. They cast a wide net, send messages to hundreds of people every day and wait for one naïve/inexperienced person to respond. Then they secure their trust by telling them they look pretty, or they like the same video games as your child or friend, then they pass on their mobile number. “Why don’t we chat for real?” Then they arrange to meet your child or friend. This only ends badly. I’ve heard of it happening hundreds of times to both boys and girls. I’ve seen the messages back and forth. As part of the legal documents after the damage has been done; when it gets to court.

For what it’s worth, my advice is to take screenshots then block them. Report them to the platform if you have that option. Let’s do what little we can to stop the sex predators, because the social media giants don’t care.

There are thousands of police departments and charities trying to help and doing a really good job, but I’ve been told first-hand by police inspectors that they are outnumbered by how many sexual predators there are out there and they can’t possibly catch them all, which means we have to take care of ourselves and our children, family and friends as much as possible.

No wonder crime fiction is so popular. It’s the only place we’re almost guaranteed to see justice for these types of crime. I had no plan to write this today. I was angered by the Goodreads sex pest. Apologies for the negativity but I’ve had enough.

 

October – the season for horror

October is one of my favourite months of the year because I grew up reading horror books and watching horror films and October is perfect for indulging in both. The nights are closing in and the heating is going on, which is perfect for shutting the world out and pretending you’re in your own (safe) horror story. In fact, the first short stories I ever tried writing were horror, although cheap imitations of Stephen King. I still have a couple and although they’re pretty bad, I can see where I was beginning to learn the rules of grammar and dialogue which helped me become published in the future.

The first short story I had published wasn’t quite horror but it was dark. It’s called Blue and it later turned into my first ever novel – The Girl Who Died. It’s about a teenage girl whose best friend dies. It starts with the main character – Hannah – laying next to her best friend’s body. We don’t know at that stage whether Hannah was involved in her death and why she died. Hannah also features in my latest release – Where the Snow Bleeds. Unfortunately, her life doesn’t get much better in that! So yes, my writing definitely has a dark side to it! It’s hard to avoid that when you’ve been the victim of horrific crime from a young age because your life takes on this darkness that it wouldn’t otherwise have.

Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to darker subjects for my writing and reading choices, and to my favourite season of the year; autumn. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy lighter subjects and comedy, but light and fluffy just doesn’t interest me. Unless it’s a cat! That’s another reason to love October – Halloween and cats.

The photo above is of Teddy – my youngest cat – when he was a kitten. I don’t dress him up for Halloween (there’s no way he’d even let me) but his ginger colouring fits the pumpkin season perfectly!

So, October for me will be filled with writing my next novel, reading some favourite horror books and watching new and old horror films. One of which is Paranormal Activity 3. The PA films were great when they first came out, really different from other films in the genre. But they peaked at the third film – that camera on the oscillating fan was genius and creepy as hell! I watch it every year now. I’m not a fan of slasher horror and I can’t watch people being tortured, but I love paranormal and psychological horror. My next release (early 2020) – book 3 in the Dean Matheson crime thriller series – gets pretty dark and features some horror classics but I can’t really say any more than that yet!

After October we’ll all begin the countdown to my next favourite time of year – Christmas! (Sorry!)

New work in progress… (plus a free audio short story for you.)

I’ve been really busy lately with; a) the blog tour for Where the Snow Bleeds (book 2 in the Dean Matheson crime series), b) writing a short story for my publisher to coincide with the book’s recent release, plus c) I’ve just finished writing and editing the third book in the Dean Matheson series and submitted it to my publisher!

The blog tour for Where the Snow Bleeds went unbelievably well, with all bloggers rating it 4 or 5 stars, along with some amazing feedback that I couldn’t have anticipated in my wildest dreams. Whilst writing this book I scrapped the first 30k words twice, as it wasn’t working for me and I wanted it to be the best it possibly could be for readers. It looks like the hard work and difficult decisions paid off as the final version is a book I’m really happy with and the readers have agreed! I feel as if my writing has grown a lot between the first book in the series – Who Cares If They Die – and this one. When I wrote that first book, I didn’t have a publisher and never knew if it would ever see the light of day, but now I’m writing for actual readers, it pushes me to write and refine better than ever!

With that in mind I’ve tried to make book 3 even better. I can’t reveal the title yet and I’m hopeful it will be released in 2020, but I feel like I’ve made it the best it can be until it goes through the official editing process with my lovely publisher (Ruby Fiction). Working with an editor really does make any book better because they spot things we can’t possibly see after so many read-throughs and re-writes. I’m looking forward to making the final changes before publication.

I’ve also written a crime short story called Room 12b that my publisher released as one of their ‘Treats’. They surprised me by also having it narrated into an audio story! You can listen to it (it’s only 7 mins long – perfect for a tea break!) on their website by clicking on ‘Free Audio Story’ at the bottom of the page, under Where the Snow Bleeds here. I hope you enjoy it!

So, am I taking a breather now I’ve finished book 3 in the series?

No! I’ve already started work on some new projects but I can’t give anything away about them yet as they’re so new. Just be assured that I have plenty more books in the pipeline and my enthusiasm for writing hasn’t waned at all – I have stories in my head that are demanding to be written, which is why I haven’t been able to take a break between books. I’m genuinely interested to see what happens with all of them, as well as what happens with Dean Matheson next. Dean is one of my favourite characters and I want to see him do well. And he will… if only he’d stop getting into trouble! Readers of Where the Snow Bleeds have told me Detective Eva Valdez is a great addition to the series and I love writing her story as she’s got a lot to say and isn’t afraid of saying it, especially to Dean! I think she can help him become the great detective he’s always wanted to be.

If you prefer to read paperbacks over eBooks, you might like to know that Who Cares If They Die is currently available to pre-order as a paperback on most book shop websites as well as Amazon. It’s officially released on 5th November 2019 in all good book stores and libraries (if they don’t have it in – just ask them to order it!).

I’m hoping that, by Christmas 2019, I’ll have lots of new writing updates for you and I’ll be able to tell you more about book 3 in the series as well as my other projects…

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who’s ever read and reviewed one of my books. Your feedback really does help to shape the next book and it boosts my confidence when I most need it – during those cold, lonely writing days when I’m questioning whether anyone’s ever going to read what I’m writing.

Thank you!

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The final two cupcakes leftover from publication day!

#BlogTour #BookReview for Where The Snow Bleeds by Wendy Dranfield @WendyDranfield #WhereTheSnowBleeds @rararesources

donnasbookblog

Where the Snow Bleed Full Tour Banner

“You want to know what I’ve learnt after living in Lone Creek all my life? I know the snow bleeds here …”

Former police officer Dean Matheson has been playing it safe since the case that cost him almost everything. But working as a PI doesn’t quite cut it, that is until a British woman walks into his office with a job that Dean can’t resist.

The woman’s daughter, Hannah Walker, and her friend Jodie have gone missing whilst working at a ski resort in Colorado. It’s clear there’s something sinister about the girls’ disappearance, but then why are the local police department being so unhelpful?

So begins Dean’s journey to Lone Creek on the trail of the missing girls – and he’ll soon find out that in Lone Creek, everyone has something to hide …

 

MY REVIEW

I thought that this book was excellent – it started off…

View original post 262 more words

#BlogTour #BookReview for Where The Snow Bleeds by Wendy Dranfield @WendyDranfield #WhereTheSnowBleeds @rararesources

donnasbookblog

Where the Snow Bleed Full Tour Banner

“You want to know what I’ve learnt after living in Lone Creek all my life? I know the snow bleeds here …”

Former police officer Dean Matheson has been playing it safe since the case that cost him almost everything. But working as a PI doesn’t quite cut it, that is until a British woman walks into his office with a job that Dean can’t resist.

The woman’s daughter, Hannah Walker, and her friend Jodie have gone missing whilst working at a ski resort in Colorado. It’s clear there’s something sinister about the girls’ disappearance, but then why are the local police department being so unhelpful?

So begins Dean’s journey to Lone Creek on the trail of the missing girls – and he’ll soon find out that in Lone Creek, everyone has something to hide …

 

MY REVIEW

I thought that this book was excellent – it started off…

View original post 262 more words

My Review – Who Cares If They Die by Wendy Dranfield

Sanity Looms

My first cover reveal and review as a Star Selector for the fab team at Choc-lit!

Read in two hooked sittings.  It would have been one, but I fell asleep reading having pulled an all-nighter the evening before.

Synopsis

Who Cares if they Die

The first scene starts with a hanging woman in Maple Valley woods.  A Jane Doe without shoes, it looks like a suicide, but to Officer Dean Matheson, something doesn’t add up.

Soon after, there are two other apparent suicides; a drug addict and an incarcerated criminal, both female.  Outwardly there is no one to challenge the circumstances of the deaths but forensics uncover evidence of a possible murder, so Dean Matheson is making it his business to care, even if it means he may become a target.

Review

A pacy read that had me hooked from the start.  The main character and dog lover, Dean Matheson, is a flawed human being…

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My Review – Where the Snow Bleeds by Wendy Dranfield – Blog Tour!

Sanity Looms

#BlogTour #BookReview #Reviews @WendyDranfield @RubyFiction @rararesources #WhereTheSnowBleeds #Thriller
I am thrilled, to be included for a stop on the Blog Tour of Where the Snow Bleeds by Wendy Dranfield. Having read the first book in this series, I was literally chomping at the bit to read this one.
Thank you to Wendy Dranfield, Ruby Fiction – an imprint of British Independent publisher Choc Lit, and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources , for bringing it all together and giving me the opportunity to share my first ever Blog Tour!

where-the-snow-bleeds

Blurb

“You want to know what I’ve learnt after living in Lone Creek all my life?  I know the snow bleeds here …”

Former police officer Dean Matheson has been playing it safe since the case that cost him almost everything. But working as a PI doesn’t quite cut it, that is until a British woman walks into his office with a job that Dean…

View original post 440 more words

Book Review – Where The Snow Bleeds by Wendy Dranfield @WendyDranfield @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour #thriller

Shalini's Books & Reviews

Many thanks to Rachel and Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on this Blog Tour.

This book.. OMG… This book took a bite out of me. It was the most scariest of all. It was a thriller which thrilled me completely with its scenes in every other chapter. My goosebumps had goosebumps.

2 missing girls from a ski resort, 1 police department not bothered much, 2 investigators one cop, other PI, 1 smart dog. Mix them all up with a bunch of weird characters who can raise the tiny hair of your neck and bring out intense emotions primary being fear, anger, despair, desperation, and you have a book. This Book.

Dean was the PI who was hired to find the missing girls, and Eva was the cop who had taken up this case. They met at the resort, and the story took off from there…

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Where the Snow Bleeds by Wendy Dranfield

splashesintobooks

“You want to know what I’ve learnt after living in Lone Creek all my life? I know the snow bleeds here …”

Former police officer Dean Matheson has been playing it safe since the case that cost him almost everything. But working as a PI doesn’t quite cut it, that is until a British woman walks into his office with a job that Dean can’t resist.

The woman’s daughter, Hannah Walker, and her friend Jodie have gone missing whilst working at a ski resort in Colorado. It’s clear there’s something sinister about the girls’ disappearance, but then why are the local police department being so unhelpful?

So begins Dean’s journey to Lone Creek on the trail of the missing girls – and he’ll soon find out that in Lone Creek, everyone has something to hide …

My Review:

What a great story this is – a real, edge of your…

View original post 496 more words