14/07/2017

STEVEN A. McKAY - 10 THINGS WILL SCARLET & ROBIN HOOD WOULD LOVE OR HATE ABOUT MODERN TIMES



For this guest blog post we thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the things we take for granted in the 21st century and think about how our medieval heroes might see them.

Obviously my The Forest Lord series focuses mainly on Robin Hood but the final novella The Abbey of Death is all about Will Scaflock (Scarlet),  so let’s start with him.

1 – Internet searches– Will Scarlet – LOVE

This might surprise readers of my novels. Will is notoriously tetchy and rather set in his ways so why do I think he’d appreciate a massive invention like the rise of the internet? Well, as you’ll find out in the new novella, Will is trying his best to adapt to the changes in his own life and he’s even taken up gardening. Anyone that’s ever tried growing an unfamiliar tree or plant knows the internet is a huge help with things like that so Scarlet would, I’m sure, love the ability to find out about ericaceous compost and the like!

09/07/2017

UNCONVENTIONAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WRITING THAT YOU CAN'T LEARN FROM BOOKS


(from guest blogger Mia Stokes)  Experience is best when it’s gained on your own. When you go through all the troubles and make your way through a certain problem, there is no better way to gain experience. Still, some knowledge we gain from other people. It’s not a bad practice to learn from other people, it gives us a better perspective occasionally. My writing career started out small and I had to learn from conventional sources in order to see where I want to go. But this road led me through some rather unconventional knowledge, some of which I’m going to share with you today.

06/07/2017

BLOG TOUR - THE GHOST OF YOU AND ME BY KELLY ORAM

   The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram



How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him? From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels. The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives. Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right...even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend. With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram. This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.

26/05/2017

HOW TO KNOW THIS IS THE RIGHT BOOK TO READ


In the past, people had to make an effort in order to get ahold of books they were interested in reading. Nowadays, though, they have an entirely different problem. There are so many books out there, yet there is not enough time to read them all. Of course, the solution for this would be to make your selection narrower, and then work your way down the list. But how do you narrow it down?

03/05/2017

A TV SERIES AND MY REASONS WHY


13 Reasons Why is a book by Jay Asher adapted for the TV screen by Netflix.  The story follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.

Do I think 13 Reasons Why is a good series? I do. What was it like watching it? It was hard and disturbing from beginning to end. Why did I do it? Because I felt it was my duty as a teacher, mother and responsible adult.

26/04/2017

LET'S GO FOR A WALK IN GRANTCHESTER


Last Sunday signalled the start of the third series of hit ITV show ‘Grantchester’. But what do we really know about the village that has become the stomping ground of a ‘crime-fighting’ vicar, played by James Norton, and a war veteran turned police detective in Robson Green?

Well, Grantchester which lies just a mile outside the city of Cambridge plays host to a number of famous pastimes which adds to its quintessential Englishness. These include the Boxing day-barrel race that brings all the local pubs together for a tradition that dates back to the 1960’s.

24/04/2017

12 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU ARE 30


There are many timeless books you should read, but even books are best read at a specific age. If you are in your twenties, you have already exited your teens happily and started entering adult life, which introduces an inevitable change in obligations. Life is your best teacher, but it is always helpful to get some guidance from good writers along your way.
'The things you learn and how you understand the book depend on the phase in your life' – says Jack Matheson, a content manager at Essayontime. For this reason, we have selected some of the best books that may not have read before, but can certainly shape your identity and your worldview.

1.     Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

At some point in your life, you will need to make an important choice. Reading Dostoyevsky's novel is a great way to learn about the difference between choosing the good and the bad, and the consequences that come from both.
A gripping story and an argument against nihilism, 'Crime and Punishment' speaks of a 23-year-old man, Raskolnikov who murders two women and suffers from the consequences. The story speaks of humanity and how we are responsible over our actions and the death of others.

21/04/2017

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD: NEW SHOWS & OLD ACQUAINTANCES

The White Princess





Have you seen episode 1 of new Starz The White Princess? I saw and liked The White Queen when it was on, so I have been eagerly waiting for this new series which was announced as a sequel. However, I'm sure it can be seen as an indepent chapter of the tragic Cousins' War, so don't worry if you haven't seen the previous series.
I didn't expect to like The White Princess, though.  Being a Ricardian, I am supposed to watch it with a scowl, despising King Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy),  probably as much as Prince Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer),  who hated him for killing her beloved uncle (and lover?), King Richard III. But just like her,  I unwillingly accepted  to grant him the chance to prove himself the rightful king of England  and I let him be just the hero of a new TV show.  Beware Henry/Jacob, you'll have a very hard task to make Elizabeth and me change our minds!
Jokes apart, I liked what I saw in the first episode: lavish, intriguing, introspective. Little history, much fiction, but good period drama. Right balance of sex & violence, intrigue & politics. Hence, green lights, Starz! (N.B. Those who are in search of historical accuracy as well as perfect 15th clothing and hair style had better look for academic essays and documentaries).

    Interview with Jodie Comer and Jacob Collins-Levy        Preview episode 2

18/04/2017

5 REASONS TO WATCH BERLIN STATION


What it is about


It's a 10-part spy series which follows Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage) just arrived at the CIA foreign station in Berlin, Germany. Miller has a clandestine mission: to uncover the source of a leak who has supplied information to a now-famous whistleblower named Thomas Shaw. After  ten years spent as a CIA analyst, Daniel goes back to the rough-and-tumble world of the field agent guided by veteran Hector DeJean (Rhys Ifans).

17/04/2017

BOOK REVIEW - LUCA DI FULVIO, THE BOY WHO GRANTED DREAMS


The Boy Who Granted Dreams



New York, 1909: Fifteen-year-old Cetta arrives on a freighter with nothing but her infant son Natale: strikingly blond, dark-eyed, and precocious. They've fled the furthest reaches of southern Italy with the dream of a better life in America. 

But even in the "Land of the Free," the merciless laws of gangs rule the miserable, poverty-stricken, and crime-filled Lower East Side. Only those with enough strength and conviction survive. As young Natale grows up in the Roaring Twenties, he takes a page from his crippled mother's book and finds he possesses a certain charisma that enables him to charm the dangerous people around him ... 

Weaving Natale's unusual life and quest for his one true love against the gritty backdrop of New York's underbelly, Di Fulvio proves yet again that he is a master storyteller as he constructs enticing characters ravaged by circumstance, driven by dreams, and awakened by destiny.  (Book Blurb)

13/04/2017

AUTHOR GUEST POST - SIDDHI PALANDE, THIS HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA



India is a country of age-old traditions and customs. We have an auspicious day every day of every week, 365 days. We have set limits for everything. No brochures are issued but we know how a man ought to behave and how a woman ought to react. There are one too many curfews imposed. Our social setup is as much stifling as it is welcoming.  However, when it comes to marriages we are tad too strict.

06/04/2017

MOVIE REVIEW - A CURE FOR WELLNESS

        
A cure for wellness sounds rather contradictory. Nevertheless, it does exist. At least in a movie by Gore Verbinski,  which this article is going to be about.

It is the story of a young and ambitious worker of a New York company who is given an important mission to visit a forsaken health center in Swiss Alps in order to get his boss back out of the prolonged vacation. He warned everyone that he is not going to be back by means of a strange letter. It makes it to where everyone worries in the company and which is why a man was sent there to solve this problem. There are rich and powerful people having a rest, stressed due to hectic life for a treatment with a water with curative powers.

On arriving and spending some time within its walls, he realizes that miracle-working procedures of spa-saloon are not what they seem to be. While the main character begins to unwrap scary secrets of the place, his sound mind undergoes a checkout for stiffness. Despite all the attempts, Lockhart is not allowed to meet his boss due to some reasons.

Failed to accomplish the mission, he is going to go back to New York but it looks like now he suffers from the same weird illness, which is the reason why all the rest guests of the center are there wishing to get their dose of the cure. With each new day, hopes of Lockhart to be cured and returned home are fading away. Instead, he has thrilling hallucinations and borderland between fact and fiction disappears.

26/03/2017

WUTHERING HEIGHTS 2018 - INTERVIEW WITH PAUL ERYK ATLAS: BECOMING HEATHCLIFF

Shao'ri Morris and Paul Eryk Atlas in a scene from Wuthering Heights






















Though he may apparently look quite the brooding Romantic hero, he shares very little with the protagonist of Wuthering Heights. He is no Heathcliff at all.  Paul Eryk Atlas loves smiling, is the least vengeful creature in the world and has such a joyful disposition that he had fun even answering my teacher-mode questions and made this interview such fun to read! 
I can't wait to see Paul on screen when the new Wuthering Heights will be out in 2018 to celebrate Emily Bronte 200th birthday anniversary!