Sunday, 25 November 2018

Stuff a Stocking

How's your Christmas prepping going? Me? I've got a few bits of food in the store cupboard but as for presents...not even started.

To be honest, I'm a wild procrastinator and I always leave things to the last minute.

But don't have to because I'm here to remind you that you can now buy HIGH SPIRITS across loads of different platforms for your Kindle or other ebook devices. Find out how Alec, Jean and Pol are faring in the afterlife, trapped inside Partridge Hall

Fancy reading a heartwarming tale of rediscovering old friendships and putting the past to rest? The grab yourself a copy of SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE and find out how Hal finally let's go of his old flame Abigail and looks to the future and not the past.

Or maybe you like your stories in bite-size chunks, then why not check out TALES FOR THE FIRESIDE, five stories of love and friendship. Perfect for snuggling up on the sofa with.

You can link through to all the sellers by visiting my website

Saturday, 30 June 2018

More places to buy HIGH SPIRITS

I've expanded my options on where HIGH SPIRITS is available from these retailers.

Use this UBL for a quick way to buy!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Sunday, 8 April 2018

King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

I've got a 14 day free trial of NowTV Cinema Pass so my daughter and I decided to check King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

It was billed as being a blockbuster movie, but with a lead who doesn't yet command the draw, a cast of unknowns, only Jude Law to carry the big-name, and with what the critics called 'blokes and banter' style, it flopped to the tune of $150 million.

Right off the bat, I'm going to say it - if you haven't read my bio (why haven't you read my bio), I'm a huge fan of the legend of King Arthur, have been since I was a kid. So, to be honest, I have mixed feelings on films about King Arthur, my only exception being the wonderfully over-the-top Excalibur (come on, who hasn't gone along with "Uther!" "Merlin." "Uther!" "Merlin."?).

I think I just harbour my own prejudices against the adaptations because, for me Arthur, if he existed, existed in a world of decay and ruin, in that twilight era of sub-Roman Britain, where the old Empire was still visible amongst the tumbled down remains and the country was in turmoil. As far as I can see, no one has ever captured that, for me.

Excalibur didn't hide its roots - firmly placed within the world created by Sir Thomas Malory and featuring knights in very shining armour. It was exactly what it was supposed to be - sword and sorcery.

King Arthur starring Clive Owen and the usually reliable Stephen Dillane, on the other hand, took itself way too seriously. Billed as 'demystify the legend' and claiming to have its roots in genuine archaeology, it was a mess. If you want to read a great review on why here it is.

So, another film based on King Arthur and purporting to take the story back to the roots didn't really pique my interest so why now? Well, mostly because I had that free 14 day trial with NowTV, and it was a lazy Saturday afternoon, and there was nothing on telly (no change there). Also, it was directed by Guy Ritche

The thing about Guy Ritchie - you get exactly what you expect. Hands up, I love his take on Sherlock Holmes, I love the aesthetics of Victorian London, I love that Robert Downey Jr plays the titular character as a petulant child with a brilliant mind. I love the script, so much so, that I downloaded it to see how it was engineered.

Ritchie ditches conventional linear for expositional flashbacks that follow through (see the fight scene where Holmes plots out his moves in the bare-knuckle fight) in super-slow-motion. It's a fun film and it doesn't take itself too seriously. RDJ and Jude Law play off each other in that 'blokes and banter' and it's good!

So, on to King Arthur - Legend of the Sword. Best to not go in with any expectation because there is nothing, apart from the pulling of the sword from the stone, that resembles anything of the legend.

Briefly, it tells the story of Uther (Eric Bana) who is waging a war with The Mage and is betrayed by his brother Vortigern (Law) who lusts for the throne. The opening scenes are just bizarre with giant elephants who are possessed and controlled by the King of the Mage. Seriously, didn't anyone watch Lord of the Rings - you just can't go around using elephants or oliphants in battle - they get too over-excited. Anyway, moving on, Uther tries to get his young son, Arthur and his wife out of Camelot during a coup but gets caught by his tricky brother. Arthur is sent down the river and washes up on the shores of Londinium where is he rescued by some prostitutes and grows up in a brothel.

And this, dear reader, is where I fell in love with this film. Londinium is awesome! I mean, really, really awesome. Someone actually had the nous to think 'what would sub-Roman Britain look like?'

From the tumbled down ruins of the amphitheatre, to the reappropriated as a training ground for fighters forum, the people of Londinium are doing what the people of Londinium did for the decades and centuries after the Romans left, living amongst the ruins of the former great city. In amongst all of this, we get a 'fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants' montage of Arthur growing up, getting street-wise, being savvy and having a pretty good time of it (when he's not having his head dunked by the local bullies).

With his besties Wet Stick and Back Lack, our would-be king roams the back-alleys making his money where he can which he secrets away in a chest hidden in the wall of his bedroom, back at the brothel.

It all goes awry when the brothel is caught harbouring a rebel and the Black Legs (as Vortigern's henchmen are known) come to take the young Art away.

Our hero finds himself at Camelot, where all young men of a similar age from across the land, are taken to pull the sword from the stone. Each try, each fails and are branded to show that they are not the lost king. Of course, Art, not realising his true heritage pulls the sword and thus starts the main story. The sword possesses Arthur with supernatural powers but he has to learn how to control it. He also has to accept his fate.

Rescued by the rebels, with the help of a female Mage, from the clutches of Vortigern, who is about to execute him, Arthur eschews the usual protocol for his street-smarts in luring Vortigern to Londinium where his fame has spread and the populace is rioting.

King Arthur - Legend of the Sword is not high art, it's not great cinema either but it is FUN and it doesn't take itself too seriously. You want a great romp, with a hero who does things for the shits and giggles, you got it. Don't expect to be anyway enlightened to the legend and you wont' be disappointed.

As for me, I just want a time machine so I can go back to sub-Roman Londinium and view its ruins, and maybe find a king lurking in the back alleys

Friday, 30 March 2018


Heads up everyone I've got an Easter sale going down!

For Easter weekend only get Since You've Been Gone and High Spirits on your Kindle for 99p/c



Sunday, 21 January 2018

Meet my main characters - Michael Bayliss - Since You've Been Gone

What should we know about him?

Michael Bayliss, vet, Yorkshire man, legend.

On the surface, he seems a pretty uncomplicated person. He gets on with life, living in a flat above the practice and doesn't really have a long-term plan. This easy-going nature can put him at odds with people because they think he's easy to read, likes a bit of banter and therefore unable to be hurt but he is a vulnerable as the rest of us.

Michael is the product of a broken home, his mum having run off with the local bingo caller. It has given him a wary perspective on relationships but that doesn't stop him having them or having opinions on Hal's. It's the commitment he has the problem with.

What is the main conflict?

For Michael it is keeping Hal grounded in reality. He knows that his friend has an emotional block but all the while it is kept on a low level, he's not bothered what it is. When Hal's life is thrown into confusion, Michael must be the anchor but also, he must have one eye on what the impact of going home might have on his life and the practice his shares with Hal.

What is the personal goal of the character?

For Michael it is getting through life as peacefully as possible. He's a grafter but with a slacker mentality. Not for him the mortgage and the kids. He doesn't want convention and, although he is wary of relationships because they seem to go to fast for him, he is really looking for someone just like him; someone a little unconventional.

Since You've Been Gone is available exclusively on Amazon across all markets for download onto your Kindle and Kindle apps and Kindle Unlimited for £3.99.Paperback is available for £6.99

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Meet my main character - Abigail Markham - Since You've Been Gone

What should we know about her?

Abigail Markham is a Dover girl through and through. Born and raised in the Tower Hamlets, she still lives in a tiny terraced house within a stone’s throw of her childhood home. Abigail is a fighter. She is also complex. She didn’t have the best start in her life and her prospects were patchy, to say the least but she has a good heart and is a strong woman. She married young and bore her first child in her late teens. The marriage produced one more child before it fell apart. She works at the local hairdressers and life is tough but she has her friends and her sister and they keep her going even though money is short.

What is the main conflict?

The main conflict for Abigail is reconciling herself with her past decisions. She has a secret and she has had to live with the consequences of the path she chose. Some would say she did it for the best of reasons and others might think that maybe she was crying out for attention but, the deed was done and she got on with it. There is a part of her that is angry, even though the decision was hers and hers alone, she feels let down. Only Abigail can reconcile herself to her decision and, although she doesn’t tacitly blame Hal, she feels anger towards him. Once she looks at herself and her own part in how her life turned out, she will be much more at peace.

What is the personal goal of the character?

Finding peace with her past. She is happy that Hal never came home because she doesn’t have to expose herself to having to tell the truth but she also suffers from an acute, unspoken sense of abandonment by him. It’s kind of given her a bit of a martyr complex – ‘look at me, look what I did without your help’. Once it all comes out, then she can move forward but she has to be prepared for it all to come out.

Since You've Been Gone through Amazon across all markets for download onto your Kindle or Kindle apps and Kindle Unlimited for £2.99. Paperback is available for £6.99