If you are reading this then barring a last minute phone call to cancel I am getting ready for/in/or recovering from my surgery depending on where you are in the world.  I have scheduled some posts as best I can for the next week or so but obviously I cannot respond to comments for a few days or read your posts.  I promise I will catch up as soon as I am up to it and hopefully it won’t be long before I am back here letting you all know how it went.

I would ask my other half to let you all know but as he is not really into the social media thing the best I can hope for it that he will post a message on my facebook page to let you all know how it went.

I am still hoping the ghost stories can be out in time for christmas so I will be cracking on with that as soon as I am able and will keep you all updated.

Anyway have lots of posts to prepare so see you all soon I hope.


DVD Review – Northanger Abbey (1987)

Now as you all know I am a huge Jane Austen fan and normally I love BBC adaptations but for every rule there is an exception and this is it but as there is no Udolpho review today then I thought I would at least keep on subject with todays posting,

It has been a long time since I last viewed this version of Northanger Abbey and I now recall why.  The acting is merely acceptable but the constant use of dream sequences is both annoying and distracting.  While they do reflect the dangers that were perceived to exist in impressionable young ladies reading gothic literature they are done in this in such a way as to almost drive the viewer to hitting the off switch.  While of course as most BBC dramas they stick faithfully to the text this adaptation falls well below the normal standard one expects from the BBC.

Originally transmitted on 15/02/87 eight years before the great success of the Pride & Prejudice adaptation one must be thankful that they obviously learned from it in terms of casting and characterisation.

While Northanger Abbey is one of the less adapted works of Austen I am confident that there are better ones out there, as well as the visual failings the soundtrack plays continuously what I assume is supposed to be music to build tension sadly it merely annoys and leads to temptation to mute the TV.  I sadly have to say give this one a miss.

Rating 2 out of 5 stars and that is simply for Austen’s words.

DVD Review – A Midsummer Nights Dream (1999)

I must first state I am bias when it comes to adaptations, and that as a general rule, I do not like the big screen adoptions where casting the big names takes priority over who is most fitting for a role.  That said A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and despite reservations regarding the casting I did enjoy this adaptation.

It is a play where in truth overacting can be acceptable and on the most part the film was well acted, personally I have to say that Kevin Kline in the role of Bottom was the only part that I found to be really annoying but I fully accept that may be a personal reflection rather than one upon his acting.  If any play lends itself to film adaptation it is this one with its talk of magic and fairies and I do believe that adaptations such as these do have an important role to play in introducing Shakespeare to the younger generations who can find the language off putting with its complexities.  I really do believe that Shakespeare should not be forced upon children in the classroom; rather they should experience it preferably on stage or failing that on screen before being faced with the text.

The plot of course most of you will be familiar with, star crossed lovers in a tangled comedy of emotions that run the full extent of complications and misadventures before all is resolved and a happy ending ensues.  As well as being a personal favourite I believe the subject matter of this play lends itself well as an introduction for younger viewers and I also believe a child is never too young for Shakespeare, this was one of the first films I watched with my daughter when she was younger (not this version though) and even though my son is only four he watched this with me.  Of course he is too young to have a clue what is actually going on but he already likes the sound of the language and he loved watching Anna Friel and Callista Flockheart rolling round in the mud (maybe men are all born that way lol).

Sorry for poor quality it was the only one I could find.

Overall a good adaptation though of course nothing beats seeing the actual play in a theatre.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday Stress

The changing of the clocks is once more playing havoc with everyones moods.  The extra hour promised sleep failed to materialise and of course come bedtime the monster is over tired and refuses to stay in his bed.  We have had numerous reasons from noise? Germs? All of which of course get him sent back to his bed until the final one a nosebleed requires actual attention.  He returns to ENT this week and I hope they will get to the bottom of the cause.  He never had nosebleeds before having his adanoids removed last year and has had them at least once or twice a week since.

Now you may have a puzzled expression regarding the germs excuse but believe me he actually came out with it and there is one programme to blame.  Get Well Soon is a Cbeebies programme that is one just after we get home from the school run.  It is aimed at helping children feel more comfortable with seeing the doctor but as everything comes down to germs well you know the rest.  Dr Ranj the doctor on the show is an actual doctor he created the programme so I hold him personally responsible.

Sadly youtube don’t seem to have any clips from the show but for those who can get BBCi player and won’t to see more here you go then you can see why my son will be most disappointed on his next doctors appointment as I doubt our family doc will burst into song and dance.

I have had the edit notes back for my short story for the WOCA Anthology they are no where near as scary as I though they would be.  The main thing as is so often the case with me is punctuation.  I really must remember people need to breathe as they read lol.

I have been watching a few of my old DVDs this week and have done a few reviews to keep you occupied during my absence but don’t worry there are a few normal posts in the mix aswell including one on Friday which I will be very nervous about seeing your responses to once I am back.

Have a great week to come, and try not to miss me too much lol and I hope to be back fighting fit or at least back in a little over a week but am scheduling posts up to the 8th just incase.

I Have Joined the Rejection Club lol

Well there has to be a first for everything and today I recieved my first rejection for the novel from Legend Press.  To be honest I was prepared and expecting it and am actually a little pleased.  I realised that in rushing to make the deadline I was not entirely happy with it and now at least I have the freedom to go back and rework it before if starts its flight out into the big bad world of traditional publishing again.  I have also realised that the option of self -publishing also means that rejections are not as disheartening as they once would have been, once it is ready if no agent or publisher shares my passsion for it that does not mean it will never see the light of day only that I will have to work harder to make sure it reaches those who will love my world as much as my friends have.  Like so much in life it is merely a matter of faith anf belief.

NaNo is a NoNo

I know lots of you are gearing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month) and had I not been about to have surgery I would probably have signed up this year and given it a go.  Then I read this post by Ben Trube Novel Sprinting and thought you know what I like his point number 5.

I know a big draw of doing NaNo is the sense of community as you plough through those words and that is something that I cannot recreate but I have decided to do a New Year Writing Month in January where I will attempt my 50.000 words.  I hope that instead of the support of others writing alongside me that a few of you will cheer me on from the sidelines or maybe even decide to join me.  There won’t be a pretty badge for my blog (NeYeWriMo doesn’t have quite the same ring lol) or a certificate at the end only the satisfaction of attempting and hopefully succeeding.

I have a couple of months to decide what I will do with the month at the minute my choices would seem to be a] work on the rewrite of Queen of Ages, b] The second ghost stories collection, c] the first draft of the second book in the Queen of Ages trilogy, or d] given how well received Waiting was a foray towards horror.

I have so many different ideas constantly floating round my head I think this will be a good exercise for me on how to focus on one idea at a time

The Next Big Thing

I have been tagged by the lovely Vikki to take part in The Next Big Thing you can read here answers here if you missed them.

I quite like these ones as the questions are already done for you and all you have to do is answer so here goes…

what is the working title of your next book?

Voices Across The Void – A Collection of Ghostly Tales

where did the idea come from for the book?

it came from writing a few flash fiction posts featuring ghosts

what genre does your book fall under?

I would guess supernatural/horror though the stories are not really horror

what actors would you choose to play the part of your characters In a movie rendition?

Hmm tough because there are different stories but hell i would find a role for Johnny Depp somewhere

what is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

eeckk… how do you that for a group of stories.  Maybe.. A collection of tales to make you laugh cry and the hairs stand up just a little.

will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

Self published although I would still try the traditional route first on my novel

how long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two months so far or possibly 6 years if you take into account I wrote one of the short stories I am expanding on while doing my Access course

what other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I hope the mix of different angles on the ghost story will make it stand apart a little

who or what inspired you to write the book?

Actually the comments from my blogger friends here who commented on each of the ghost stories that they would like to read more hence the inclusion of the flash pieces worked up into short stories

what else about your book might pique the readers interest?

There really is something for everyone and I am donating 50% of anything I make to Cords4Life which is baby Charlie charity as part of the Anthony Nolan Trust helping children fight Cancer.

Would love to hear your thoughts? How do you feel about reading a book that is somehow connected to 9/11?

It would depend on the angle the book took and the way in which the situation was handled, having a friend who was part of the emergency services that day makes it more personal despite the fact it happened thousands of miles away.

So now I have to tag 5 fellow writers Your post should go live next week I wont be around for part of the week to check but I hope you will join in and I will catch up when I can.

1]  M.S. Fowle

2]  Christopher De Voss


4]  “The Light-Bearer Series” Novelist, Emily Guido

5]  Breezy Books

No Udolpho Today

MsKatykins and I are both a little behind with our Udolpho reading but I hope over the next couple of weeks we will catch up and normal service will be resumed.

So today I am going to talk ghosts.  As I have mentioned once or twice last year I went on my first ghost hunt to Bolling Hall in Bradford in the UK  I had hoped to go only a couple more this year but sadly my health issues made this impossible, I hope next year after recovery from my surgery I shall be able to participate in a couple at least.

As Halloween or as we pagans call it Samhain approaches the veil between worlds thins allowing those in spirit to draw closer to the living world.  Most Halloween practises are descended from ancient beliefs to keep the spirit world at bay and stop those who would come back to do harm at bay.  But it should also be a comforting time when those beloved ones who have departed this world can draw closer to their loved ones they left behind.  It is a strange day to be having surgery on theoretically one could worry about how much easier it would be to pass beyond the veil but for me it is comforting to know that those who have loved and cherished me will be able to watch over me and see me safely through my operation.  I would love to be able to not only see them but to remember the experience but I doubt that will be the case.

My 2010 pumpkin

I look at spirits or ghosts just like living people some will be lovely and others you would rather not meet but I do not believe they can do you any real harm though a few might try.  I know a lot of people do not believe my other half being one though he experienced things at the ghost hunt he could not explain despite trying to find rational answers for.  Sometimes faith or belief only comes through personal experience so when you light your lanterns to keep the spirits at bay ask yourself would it really be so bad if they if they came to visit.  I shall miss the trick or treaters this year but I might just carve a pumpkin still but rather than keeping them at bay I look at mine as a beacon to guide loved ones home.

My 2011 Pumpkin


My Dream Library

I am sure I have done a post on this before but I cannot find it and lets face it we all love a good library. Whatever our dreams are the reality is for most of us the most we can hope for is a home office, somewhere practical to work undisturbed like this..

Reality check

When I close my eyes and dream about my perfect room it looks more like this..

Of course I wouldn’t need all those sofa’s as no one else would be allowed in

or this…



I love the dark wood and the huge fireplace

Maybe this one..

A little too light in colour to be my idea of perfection

or this…

the ceilings here are amazing aswell as all that lovely dark wood

But aswell as floor to ceiling bookshelves, and a huge fireplace and a couple of strategically placed comfy chairs and sofas there is one other very important element in my dream library…

a huge desk is essential

Now I quite like this one but doubt it will be up for sale at any point in my lifetime lol…

I wonder if there is a big red button hidden under it?

But more realistically I would ideally love something like this..

How brilliant is this!

I love this one aswell and love the matching chair..


Just about perfect

Of course we need the perfect house in which to have our perfect library and I recently realised that Disney have actually designed mine for me…

My dream home

I don’t know what it says about me that a haunted mansion would be my dream home would even be quite happy with the graveyard in the back garden as long as there was still room for the stables.

Just incase any of you don’t have children and therefore may have missed the film or a trip to disney world for the ride (I would go but it would depress me too much having to leave lol) here is the trailer and the house I would love to own…








Book Review – Call After Midnight by Tess Gerritson

Best known for her Rizzoli & Isles series Tess Gerritsen is one of my favourite authors at the minute in the crime genre. Call After Midnight is one of her stand alones novels which I would recommend for anyone wanting an introduction to her work but not wanting to risk getting hooked on a new series at the minute.

Out of the blue newly wed Sarah Fontaine receives a phone call that will change her life forever.  That one call not only leads her to discover her whole relationship has been a scam but will take her on a journey but physically from country to country but emotionally as she struggles to discover the truth about the man she thought loved her but has now placed her life in danger.

The book is a mix of crime and spy thriller genres and at times can seem a little implausible at first glance yet when you look deeper it is apparent how easy it would be for a unscruplous person to drag you into an intrigue without your knowledge.

Gerritsen’s characters as always are well written and draw you to them, you won’t always like them all the time infact occasionally you will wish you could reach into the page and deliver a resounding slap to them but they will engage you and ultimately you will be rooting for them.

I am avoiding saying to much as this is one book I highly recommend and would not want to spoil it.

Rating 5 out of 5 stars