Friday, 30 November 2012

To read or not to read?

Well I may be a little late to the party, but I have finally finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I had seen the movie, which is why I wanted to write this review.

Here was my issue - Watched the film, felt confused and almost turned it off.
Read the book - loved it 5***** without question. Then watched the film again and understood it!

So should a film adaptation of a book be for the reader or the movie goer?

In comparison having never read Lord Of The Rings - I watched all three movie's and felt completely immersed in Tolkien's world.

The movie I would have to give a 7/10 as I feel that if you wish to take a franchise into a new area then that customer - i.e the movie goer, deserves to feel the best possible experience.

Please comment if you do or don't agree.

Now to the question of my daughter reading this book. She's nearly 12 so I thought I would test the water. For me this time it was a yes. However, I was pleased  had read it first as I could address any issues she had.

What now? Catching Fire as fast as i can before the next film comes out!!! I am now a true hunger Games fan.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Kinsy Kirton the future of Illustration!

I received this amazing doodle yesterday from Kinsy.
She never ceases to surprise me with her amazing Illustrations.

Nothing makes me happier than friends and fans giving me their spins
on Val Saunders.

Thanks Kinsy and keep them coming XX

Monday, 26 November 2012

Triple Signed Postcards Giveaway exclusive to Charlotte and Gina

This giveaway in exclusive to Gina's Thirteenth Fanpage and Charlotte's Thirteenth Fanpage
These seven cards have been signed by Katy Carmichael - Voice of Val. Matt Timson - Illustrator of Val and G LTwynham - Author of The thirteenth Series.

The results and all updates will be posted by them on their pages. Good luck and as the great Boden Ekwall say's "May courage, honour and wisdom guide you to justice."
Triple Signed Postcards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Fan-Fiction Dr Who

Here is the amazing 11th Doctor Matt Smith
As a treat to my readers I recently wrote a piece of fan-fiction between my
character Val Saunders and the Dr.
If you haven't read the books it may feel a little confusing!
My next piece is being voted on at:
So pop over and help me decide who's next?
Twilight, Hunger Games, Batman...

The Metal Machines.

Val Saunders eyes adjusted to the lack of light; she hadn't expected to arrive in darkness. She still found it odd when they arrived on a planet in the dead of night, having left the Prison with bright morning sunshine. Zac was grumbling in the background about how shed rushed him, and that he still had to calibrate his watch.
            Fine, just tell us what we need to know…” she pacified him, whilst straining her eyes, trying to make out as much of her surroundings as possible. There were metal walls enclosing them; not endless towering ones like the prison, but tall enough to make her crane to see. Tapping her boot on the floor, she could tell it was made of a similar material; it resembled an enormous container, a solid cell. It felt void of life, no sounds to lead her to believe there was anything living here - as she laboured to see, she found herself blinking uncontrollably as a soft breeze caught her face, leaving a tinny taste in the air which caught in her mouth and throat. There must be some form of ventilation; they were definitelyy breathing oxygen, even though it was a little stale, "why exactly are we here?"
            "The Prisons been receiving frequent signals from this planet, which has drawn the attention of the High Judges. A large amount of uncategorised energy has been building in its core. Enough to show on our grids," he tapped away on his screen.
            Val raised her hand, creating a small ball of fire in her palm. "What on Earth?!" she exclaimed. They stood together for a moment, opened mouthed, trying to comprehend the extent of the menacing shadows.
            "Val this is not what I expected, I think we need back-up." Zac's words were stiff, like he was afraid something or someone would hear him, and there was clearly nothing with a pulse living here, or were these things alive?
            "I agree and if I wasn't stuck to the spot, with a weird sensation of fear running down both my legs, I would run." she whispered, pressing at her earpiece. "Jason, can you hear me?"
            "Hello mate, need me already?" the familiar voice of sarcasm answered.
            "Yes - unless you have something better to do?" She replied.
            "Why the stress? Whats going on?" Jason knew her well enough to note worry, even in her banter.
            "Seems whoever weve interrupted building their energy ball has a thing for machines, and lots of them." Val allowed her fire to extend a little further. There was no movement, but she wouldn't leave them open to the chance of anything jumping out from behind those weird things. "Jason, can you tell us anything about this planets history?"
            Before she could get a response from him; "Incoming!" Zac warned, moving a few feet to the left.
            The noise inside the metal casket reverberated, allowing it to become painfully loud and Val was forced to jam her hands hard over her ears to block it out. The franticness of the whirling and buzzing was making her judgment of exactly where it would arrive impossible. Then, just a few feet away, something started to appear - then disappear. "Ready yourself for battle." Zac warned her. "I can't get a lock on what's coming, so lets expect the worst. Val extended her sword. Her fire ball, now the size of a volley ball, floated just above her hand.
            The object finally came to a standstill and Vals eyes scanned it rapidly up and down. "Ok this is far too weird." She extinguished her fire and approached the new arrival.
            "Please tell me you know what this is?" Zac quizzed.
            "Funnily I do, but I have no idea why one has just arrived half way across the galaxy." She was now close enough to touch the object; her sword retracted as she reached for it. Making contact with its wooden door, she ran her hand down towards the handle. Wrapping her fingers around its cool metal she pulled tentatively. Nothing happened, she jerked a little harder but it gave the same negative response. "Jason, it's locked can you tell if theres anything inside?"
            "What's... go ing... o...." He became static in her ear.
            "Jason, Jason, we've lost our signal." she informed Zac who was now walking the perimeter of the object scanning it.
             "Is this an Earth object? It looks like your primitive style. I have nothing on record."
            "Oh it's definitely from Earth, but what's it doing here? And why here, with all these other objects? You know, they look a little bit like large metal traffic cones with lumps." Val left the door and headed back towards the metal objects that had originally brought them to the surface of the planet.
            "I have no life forms here; are you just going to leave it?" Zac asked seeming agitated at her skipping from one thing to another. "Val, focus!" he protested.
            "Yes, focus." a mans voice caught them both by surprise, his head popping out of the door that had previously been locked. "I wouldn't touch that if I were you, he pointed at the metal object in front of Val, grave danger mixed with a little madness could follow." His inappropriately timed smile was most infectious.
            "Who are you?" her sword was extended again.
            "I'm a friend, that's the first thing you need to know Val," he raised his hands in submission. 
            She paused, "How do you know my name? And what's that thing in your hand?"
            Zac joined her as they both stood together blocking the man. "Val, I have nothing on him, he has no record from the Prison or Earth. I say you arrest him and ask questions later."
In some completely inappropriate way, Val just wanted to laugh; he was dressed like a 1950s professor, wearing a ridiculous dicky-bow tie and tweed jacket. Not just yet, her inquisitive side made her want to know more about this man - who knew her name.
            "I understand you're confused and that's perfectly logical in this situation, however I would like to point out that you have arrived on the planet of Skaro; those odd looking things over there are Daleks and I'm here to make sure you don't make the same mistake twice, and this…” he waved a small pen shaped device, “…is a sonic screwdriver," he beamed and sauntered confidently past her and Zac, who watched on in bewilderment.
            "What do you mean the same mistake twice? What have I done before, for this to be the second time?" She wasn't stupid, she knew time travel was possible, she'd been skipping around for a few hundred years now, but she remembered every arrest, every charge, and shed never met this eccentric man or his blue phone box. He gave an odd skip towards the thing he had called a Dalek and kicked it. Its metal body complained by shuddering to the left, like a lifeless dodgem.
            Theyre dead at the moment, but you, my friend are the cog in the wheel that brings them back to life. He aimed the thing he had called a sonic screwdriver at something that resembled a toilet plunger sticking out of the metal Dalek. His gadget buzzed noisily; then he shook it and gazed into the end, huffing in annoyance.
            How? And what life theyre machines. Val asked.
            Well, now, if I told you that then I would be changing the future, he scratched his head, ruffling his brown mop of hair, but then I guess I am already. Odd isnt it? This time travel malarkey. He swivelled round to face her. Youre just going to have to trust me now arent you? He straightened his dicky-bow.
            Why would I do that? I have no memories of you and what if this machine here is the innocent one, and youre the one trying to create the energy surge? You just appeared out of no-where. You know my name and seem to be ordering me to do something. These things you call Daleks havent done anything wrong at the moment. I have been taught that everyone deserves a fair trial.
            You were this stubborn the first time, he shuffled around making her turn to keep her eyes on him, Val, I hope you dont mind me saying, for someone of your age…” he raised an eyebrow at her, “…you should have learnt by now that things arent always what they seem, but your gut instinct is always right. Now look around you and tell me again that you think these things are on the side of good? He took her wrist and held it up. Pointing his screwdriver at her hand, a flame skipped to its command. No-one had ever done this to her before. The more he pointed the higher the flame got until Val could see the extent of the gathering. Now tell me why would you bring so many Daleks together if it wasnt to create an army? This is not a nanny convention.
            Val pulled her wrist and the man let her go without a struggle. So what is it I did to cause such a problem? she extinguished her hand.
            Zac interrupted, we have a problem.
            He said that last time as well, The man chirped.
            Talk to me? Val tried to ignore him and focus on her Hunter.
            The energy signature seems to be growing exponentially, faster than I can record it. And its nuclear.
            Hes going to tell you to take one of the Daleks with you as a sample, in case the planet explodes. This was, and still is, a very bad idea. He shook his head.
            Were you going to say that? Val switched glances between Zac and the man.
            Possibly…” he mumbled uncomfortably, well it makes sense, this planet will struggle to contain its energy source and we need to teleport out, very soon.
            Told you, now last time you ignored me and caused a galactic catastrophe, well not you exactly, I guess thats a bit of an exaggeration. But your Prison decided that the blue print for the Dalek was almost perfect; they replicated them and sent them all over the galaxy as peace keepers, which in hindsight seemed like a good idea. They are the perfect followers. Trust me I know.
            So what went wrong? She asked.
            You kept the original alive, and he waited like the intelligent killer he is. The mans expression became dark; Val could see angst and pain written all over his face. He watched as you spread his soldiers across the Galaxy, calculating the perfect moment to strike, a moment when no-one was expecting it.
            Val, we have approximately one minute to get out of here.  Make a decision, we need to leave, if we return empty-handed were going to get a mountain of paper work and possibly given Mechanics duties for a year or two.
            Tell me why I should trust you, and like my Hunter says, if we return empty-handed from a dying planet, our lives wont be worth living anyway.
            Because I know youre a good person Val Saunders, daughter to Mike and Sue, who by the way are pretty amazing people themselves; great apple pie and hot chocolate. I know you love Hawaiian Burgers and Superman is your favourite superhero. You have a very tight, yet attractive uniform, he raised a crooked smile, but live for your time on Earth in jeans and Converse shoes. I had those in one of my regenerations; very comfortable. He glanced down at his boots, as if remembering a time long gone, then snapped back to the present. Theres nothing more I can say, the rest lies in your hands. Trust your instincts. He stepped back heading towards his blue box.
            Twenty seconds. Zac interrupted.
             She had to make a decision fast and for some crazy reason she knew he was right. Lets leave now. she instructed.
            What? Zac complained.
            I said lets go.
            Val, the man called to her as he opened the door to his phone box.
            The reason you dont remember me is because you chose to have all the memories of our adventures together erased when I left you.
            Me and you? Adventures together?
            Yes, but dont worry, well meet again. He saluted her.
            I think youd better tell your name for next time? she asked.
            Five seconds! Zac grabbed her wrist.
            Im the Doctor.
            As they started to slip into their teleport she called out, Dr Who?  

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Ok, so when I saw this movie was over 2 hours, I readied myself for 3 trips to the loo and enough popcorn to fill a small elephant! Over 2 hours is a very long time in the cinema, I remember pirates of the Caribbean and feeling as desperate for a drink as Captain Jack Sparrow!

I also took on board it was a 12a - UK. So after seeing the previous one which I felt was too violent for my daughter - who's nearly 12 I had not invited her to watch it with me.

What did I think: I can only say I mourned when it ended. It was the same feeling you get when the end of good book is just pages away. I wanted to stay in Gotham forever.

Story line- fantastic! This is what we pay for at the cinema. 

Affects - out of this world - I want all the gadgets, don't care how much they cost!

Anything wrong? Well if I was to nit-pick I would have liked a little more Batman but that is just looking for something.

Score 9'1/2/ 10

To add - I would have no problems with my daughter seeing this one. It had the regular shoot up but Batman makes it very clear "I don't kill people!" which I loved.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Skyfall - from the perspective of a woman!

OK - I'm not your average girly girl but I'm still a woman. So last week I went to see the amazing Daniel Criag in the new James Bond film. 50 years of Bond and a great director and cast - what can go wrong?

Well on a positive note they brought back some of the things that have been missing in the past two Bond movies. There was a lovely new geeky Quartermaster and a few gadgets, we got a lot more of the original Bond soundtrack - which does add to the excitement.

BUT! It was still lacking. For some reason it really reminded me of Batman Begins, there were quite a few similarities, and when the lights came up at the end I felt it was lacking. However my partner had this crazy boyish grin from one side of his face to the other!

So as films go at the minute - definitely worth a watch. I would give it 7/10

I still have hope that Daniel will get at least one good new script before his time as Bond is over, because he really is a great bond. I just wish Ian Fleming was alive to write it!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Val V Bertha

This is a scene from Nyteria Rising - It takes place in a wooded area near Manningtree in Essex. It has been illustrated for me by the amazing Matt Timson -  illustrator of all things Thirteenth.

We really hope you like it XX

Breaking Dawn 2

Well last night was the last night for Twilight!

So as always i travelled back to Lincolnshire to meet with my friend Maria, my Twilight buddy!

The excitement in the cinema was palpable. Woman alongside women knowing this was the end, but we still had tonight.

The curtains pulled back (in my imagination) and we were off.

For those who have read the book - it covers all the basis. For those that haven't I felt it was more of a crazy ride. The not knowing what would happen at the end clearly had a huge affect on the viewers.

Highs? THE battle scene - without question!

Lows? The CGI baby!! not good :(

Stars 9/10 ********* why not 10 - that baby!!!

Go and see it - twice if you can XXX

Circle of Moms Blog Award!

Happy Sunday - I'm very excited! I have been nominated for a blog award in the USA!!! To vote for me all you have to do is click on this link and click on the thumb! No emails, no details, its that simple. PLEASE PLEASE vote and you can Vote everyday from now till the 7th of Dec :D Thank you X


Head Shave

A few weeks ago I announced I was having my head shaved for charity and last night was the night! It was amazing and I wanted to share this because it was something that I felt described my relation to writing. sometimes you have to take ri sks, it could go well or it could flop on it's belly. But without the lack of fear there is nothing new. We can't find you and you're amazing creativeness if you don't take the step to show yourselves. So if you want to sing, dance, draw,write or just be yourself do the world a favour and get out there and show us what you've got xxx

Total raised £2536 for the wonderful and inspirational Claudia XX
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