Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Fake Friday with Rhoda Baxter

It's been a while since I've had a guest visit my blog, and so today I have Rhoda Baxter returning to promote her new book - Please Release Me. 

Hello, Rhoda! So.... 

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be instead?

Chocolate taster. Or maybe a bookshop ‘character’ who doesn’t actually do any work, but hangs out in the armchair in the bookshop, drinking tea, chatting and recommending books to people. I’m doing lots of reading and eating chocolate to keep my eye in, in case the opportunity comes calling…

Oh, that does sound like a fantastic job. Doesn't pay so well though... 

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you want to play
  • Your hero? Ben Wishaw. Oh yes.
(I need to check out this guy... I have no idea who he is).
  • Your heroine? I’ve got two heroines in my book. For Sally, Keira Knightley. For Grace Ayesha Dharker (Grace is mixed race and I pictured her as a kind of taller version Ayesha Dharker).

Have you ever read a book that you’ve wanted to throw against the wall?

Oscar and Lucinda. I simultaneously love and hate that book. It’s wonderfully well written and I cared about the characters SO MUCH. And then… that ending… gnnnnh. I’m going to have to go have a lie down until smoke stops coming out of my ears. Excuse me.

Oh, I haven't read that book... maybe I won't now, if the ending isn't so satisfying... 

What do you like to achieve in your writing?

I want to make people laugh, pause and then think. I think I understood a lot about how other people felt by reading. I want the same thing to happen with my books. I write comedy because I’d rather have fun people talking in my head than grim ones. That said, they have very angst-ridden lives sometimes.

The Wuthering Heights debate – do you love or hate Heathcliff?

Oh, I don’t like him. I think he’s a wrong ‘un. Don’t like Cathy much either – wild wicked slip of a girl.

Phew! I agree. She's probably the reason Heathcliff became so vile. This book isn't a romance, it's a tragedy.

What’s your favourite TV show?

At the moment, it’s The Big Bang Theory. I’m very fickle though. Next week it’ll be Firefly again.

From TV, books or film:

Who is your favourite all time hero?

Easy. Willy Wonka. He’s a genius. He’s a millionaire. He looks like Johnny Depp under all that make up… and… He owns a chocolate factory. (I’m assuming he pays the Umpa Loompa’s decent rates and is a good employer, obviously.)

Who is your favourite all time heroine?

Amelia Peabody Emerson from Elisabeth Peters’ books. She’s an archaeologist, amateur medic and a total kickass lady. She and her husband Radcliffe get up to all sorts of adventures.

Some fab answers there! Thanks so much, Rhoda, for taking the time to answer the questions for my blog. 

Please Release Me

Buy link: myBook.to/PleaseReleaseMe

The very silly Lego book trailer: https://animoto.com/play/DBE2BHWxYkaRBiFK2Yehww


What if you could only watch as your bright future slipped away from you?

Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up.
That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question.
In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to communicate.
But Sally was never going to let a little thing like a coma get in the way of her happily ever after …

I will be donating 50% of my royalty earnings to Martin House Children's Hospice http://www.martinhouse.org.uk/

My website link: www.rhodabaxter.com
Twitter: @rhodabaxter

Bio:  Rhoda Baxter likes to write about people who make her laugh. In real life she studied molecular biology at Oxford, which is why her pen name might sound suspiciously similar to the name of a bacterium.
After trying out life in various places, including the Pacific island of Yap (it’s a real place!), Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Didcot, she now lives in East Yorkshire with one husband, two children and no pets or carnivorous plants. She has a day job working in intellectual property and writes contemporary romantic comedies in whatever spare time she can grab.

She can be found wittering on about science, comedy and cake on her website (www.rhodabaxter.com) or on Twitter (@rhodabaxter) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RhodaBaxterAuthor).

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A New Obsession... The Man From UNCLE

Ever since watching this film with my friend on Thursday, I haven't stopped obsessing about it. I wanted to see it because of Henry Cavill who plays Napolean Solo (the American Spy). Ever since seeing him as the Man of Steel, I've been a fan! And in this movie he doesn't disappoint either. He shares the screen with two other great actors, Armie Hammer (Illya Kuryakin) and Alicia Vikander (Gaby Teller) and the chemistry between the three of them is amazing.

Solo and Illya (the spies) have a love/hate relationship which is fun to watch but as this story unfolds, I found myself loving the relationship between Illya (the Russian spy) and Gaby (the East German girl). I don't want to ruin this film with any spoilers, but they have to pretend to be engaged... and you all know how I love relationships that are pretending to be in a relationship. Yes, I've been on YouTube and yes there are fanvids of these two already :)

There are a few moments in this film where these two sizzle. You think they're about to kiss... you want them to kiss... desperately...

Guy Ritchie directed this film. It's of his usual calibre, but I would say it's better - if not his best yet! Brilliant. You will be entertained from start to finish, there is never a dull moment, the comedy is timed to perfection. But the comedy isn't spoofy, it's just dry and fun. The film is set in the 60's to keep it in line with the TV series it is inspired by.

One fantastic action movie! My friend and I came out of the cinema wishing we could go back in and watch it all over again.

Don't worry, I still have a love for Henry, who is my inspiration for book 3 (which I'm currently writing) but I think it's safe to say, Armie Hammer, my Russian Spy, with his blond hair, blue eyes and slim, muscular build at 6' 5" will be my next book inspiration - or he'll be fighting it out with Tom Hiddleston.

If you're wondering - like I was - where have you seen Armie Hammer before, he's The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp which is okay, and he's Prince Alcott in Mirror Mirror which is the tale of Snow White and is another fantastic movie.

Here's the official trailer of The Man from UNCLE. I promise this isn't showing you all the jokes and best bits. The whole movie is the best bit!

If they can make a million Mission Impossibles... then they can make a sequel to this movie!

*I've found the pictures/photos off the internet, I've lost track of who they belong to, but they don't belong to me. And I hope the owners don't mind me borrowing them for the cause of bigging up this awesome movie.

Monday, 14 September 2015

A Dismal Day in #Dismaland

Dismaland could well be what Weston-super-Mare needed. Oh, the irony that it's at Weston! Only a local can probably appreciate it.

I'm not sure if there's another suitable, run down old seaside town it could move to, but I assume this is what may happen. I dearly hope that it will stay longer than it's estimated departure of the 27th September 2015. So many more people would love to get to see this exhibition - and it's bringing thousands into our seaside town, people who would probably never set foot here.

With topical debate about the Tropicana staying or going - it's been closed virtually since I moved to Weston in 1998 - in its dilapidated state, it was the perfect venue for Dismaland. With the buildings crumbling, there were even old cigarette butts lying around and I wondered if they'd been left there for dismal-effect.

I was lucky enough to go last Thursday with a good friend, and tried not to laugh as I entered, otherwise the staff told you off. The staff, to add to the dismal experience were miserable... you couldn't help but laugh. They were brilliant actually. I don't know how they kept it up.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience way more than I actually thought I would. Dismaland really is an interesting slant on an art galley. It is poignant, controversial, political art, and not suitable for children - well, in my opinion. I'm certainly not taking mine.

Some of it is shocking, some of it you may not overly agree with. It's opinions and views of the artists at the end of the day. I was in the park for just over three hours, and could easily have stayed longer to take more of it in. There is so much to see and read.

If you're lucky enough to get tickets - (more go on sale Wednesday) - take this bemusement park with a pinch of salt. And have a camera handy!

What I will say is, when I stepped out of Dismaland, to return to my car to collect the boys from school, I couldn't believe how busy the seafront was. I can't help but think this has been a boost to Weston's economy and local businesses. But when Dismaland goes... what will become of its dismal host? Is there a future for the Tropicana?

As you can see, the weather wasn't dismal... in fact it turned very hot!

Oh, and if you do get to go... and you visit the 'library' (which is a caravan, right hand side of the park, top corner- ish) - see if you can find my bookmarks which a friend so kindly left there for me... :)

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Summer Holidays Recap

I thought I would take a look back at the summer holidays, which seem to come round quickly, just like Christmas, and then when they arrive, have flown by.
Apex Park

Every year I make plans how to fill my time with the kids, and depending on the weather, I never quite get to do half of it.

Admittedly, the boys are with their dad the first two weeks at the start of the holidays which allowed me this year to jet off to Spain for a few days. When they returned, I had four weeks to entertain them.

Well, this is the list of things we have done:

It's been parks, bike rides, the Cheddar Gorge, walking, climbing, zorb fighting, Slimbridge - feeding the swans and ducks, meeting/making new friends...

Zorbs - Apex Park
Costa coffees, hot chocolates, museums, train rides...

1 of 70 Shaun's - Dolly
Hungry Horses for tea...

Tytensfield with Dad for his 70th

More train rides to Bristol, Shaun The Sheep hunting, selfies, a visit to Nanny Sylvie's (where they did cinema and more parks), castles, steam trains, National Trust houses, 70th birthdays...

Board games, lunch at Za Za Bazaar, and a book signing...

The last Shaun - Starstruck! 
And ending with the theme park Devon Crealy, adding roller-coasters, log flumes, water chutes and drop slides, and Glamping, where we've cooked on a wood-burning stove and made camp fires, roasting marshmallows, and played football with newly made friends until dark.

Sadly, I couldn't put all of the photos on my blog...


Yeah, I think I'm ready for the boys to go back to school.