and the winner is……

Natalie P won the Thunder and Blood novel signed by Stacey Voss herself. The winning name was drawn out of Nicks favourite camel shaped mug that he lusted after in Tunisia. I gave the honours to Pesky Kid who, though reluctant at first, was easily bribed with a chunk of milk chocolate.

Thank you to everyone else who entered, you made this experience a lot of fun. I hope one day that I will be giving away a signed copy of my own book and that, once again, you will all place your bids in excited anticipation. That is if we all live that long. 🙂


‘Thunder And Blood’ Book Giveaway

Stoker meets Orwell

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Thunder and Blood, a novel by Canadian author Stacey Voss.

It’s the story of two sisters, Sarah and Christine, who set off on a weekend away in an attempt to distance themselves from their personal problems. However, they soon find themselves caught up in a mysterious fog, become separated and are plunged into an alternate history, an alternate history where Vampires are indeed real.

Thunder and Blood touches on important and contemporary issues including the abuse of power, genocide and interracial love. In this new world blood has become the currency, replacing money (oil?). The author raises the Vampire above the stereotypical view giving them complex and all too familiar personalities. By the end of the book one has to question just how different this world is to the one we live in today.

I have a signed copy to give away to one lucky person. All you have to do is visit Stacey’s site here

and tell me what is the name of Staceys’ favourite coffee then leave your comment/answer on my blog.

The winner will be chosen on Thursday 19th November at 12pm (GMT), it’s open to all, names will be placed in a hat and one winner chosen by Pesky Kid (who says that he is open to bribes of chocolate). 🙂

Good Luck



15 Minutes Of Fame (well…sort of)

Last night I attended Script Factor at the York Theatre Royal. Five budding playwrights battled it out with their 15 minute scripts upon the theme of Brief Encounter…and I got to play a part.

Let me rephrase that…I got VOLUNTEERED to play a part. So there I was on stage, a script shaking in my hand waiting for the moment when ‘Customer 2, Scene 2’ had to speak. Worse still, I had to speak in  a posh accent, no mean feat from this broad Yorkshire lass. Anyway, I did it and was happy not to be booed offstage.

Later in the bar a group of ladies overheard me jokingly chastising Nic for throwing me in at the deep end. They voiced their surprise and told me that they had assumed I was part of the acting group as (in their words) I was so professional. What a wonderful compliment that was in fact, I’m still smiling now.

And the point of this tale?

Life sometimes throws us unexpected challenges that scare the bejesus out of you. Take a chance, go for it because you might just find that you really, really enjoy it.

I must go now, Stephen Spielberg is on the other line…….

Devil On My Shoulder

Yesterday marked my 41st birthday and I reflected upon my life so far. I thought about my journey,  my achievements and my place in the universe…then quickly dived into a vat of wine to numb the depression. I soon rallied though as a surge of unexpected optimism entered my veins.

It came to me as I lay soaking in the bath. The bathroom light had packed up again so I was surrounded by scented candles. A poem was formulating in my head (bear with me please there is a point to this). Unfortunately I did not have the foresight to take pen and paper into the bathroom but the crux of the poem was as follows.

Many people in my past have used the tool of words to lash me but they are gone now. However, I have taken up their weapons into my own hands and carried on their work. I carry the instruments of torture inside myself and ritually abuse my own creativity. There is a devil on my shoulder pouring vitriol in my ear and yet, I have come to realise that I do not have to keep it there. I have the ability to brush this devil off my shoulder forever and hurl those weapons into the abyss. And that is exactly what I have done…right now. See…there it all goes, screaming as it falls into a bottomless pit.

I suspect that there are many who could tell the same sorry tale and I also suspect that most can, like me, can heal their wounds. It doesn’t matter at what age we choose to begin to live…as long as we DO live. And I mean really LIVE!!!

Here endeth the lesson. 🙂