Sunday, 5 January 2014

Karl Birthday Offer


Since January 6th is according to the Christmas story the day the wise men actually arrived at the manger, the end of the 12 days of Christmas, and the birth date of Joan of Arc I thought I'd celebrate. 

Okay there is another reason - it's my birthday also.

So on 6th Jan for one day only there is a 24 hour special offer on both installments of the Karl trilogy published so far on the Kindle.





Jan 6th prices

Book 1 Birth of Mystery & Book 2  The Lost Adventurer
 $1.63 on Amazon.com  & 99p on Amazon.co.uk

Sorry but these are the only markets we can set up special offers on.




Friday, 3 January 2014

Book review November & December 2013

A little late but never-the-less the last of last year's book reviews.

The Clone Rebellion - Republic (Book 1)
ISBN: 9781781167137
The Clone Rebellion - Rogue (Book 2)  
ISBN: 9781781167168

By Steven L Kent

The first two novels in the Clone Rebellion series follow the struggles of Private first-class Wayson Harris as he climbs the ranks of the military which now uses cloned troops for most of the grunt work. 

It is the year 2508 and humans now occupy six arms of Milky Way but it is not all peace and harmony. Rebellion appears to come from many quarters and Harris has to decide which side if any he is on.

The second book takes the story in a new direction, however where as the first made me want to move straight on to the second, by the time I reached the conclusion of that I felt the need to take a break before seeking out the third part.






I felt a bit removed from the characters by the end of the second. This may have been deliberate since the story is told in the first person and Harris is very suited as a loner character that when any suggestion of a relationship might arise it feels very alien.












Doctor Who: Summer Falls and Other Stories
Credited Authors: Amelia Williams, Melody Malone, Justin Richards
ISBN 9781849907231

Summer Falls by Amelia Williams
(Inspired by the Doctor Who episode 'The Bells of Saint John')

The Angel's Kiss by Melody Malone
(Inspired by the Doctor Who episode, 'The Angels Take Manhattan')

Devil in the Smoke, as recounted by Mr Justin Richards
(Inspired by the Doctor Who episode, 'The Snowmen')
  
Three very different stories, none of which explicitly feature the Doctor although that is not to say he doesn't make an appearance possibly incognito. The first two stories are stories suggested to have been written by characters in the series both 'ghost written' by two well established voices of Doctor Who literature. Here James Goss writes for Amelia Williams and Justin Richards for Melody Malone. All three give very different styled entertaining reads. The Angel's Kiss by Melody Malone is rich with innuendo that the joke might be lost on younger readers but it is impossible not to hear the great Alex Kingston's voice in your head as you read this story in voice of Riversong.





Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas

The Christmas display this year has come from the Lego Winter Village collection, and the City Advent Calendar.



The village I've collected over the last few years comprises of a post office, toy shop, bakers, cottage and a winter market and merry-go-round that with a turn of a handle also rotates.






However I must say the festive spirit in Lego City is a bit of a worry. Alongside the snowman, festive table and toys under the tree quite early on you got a policeman and a burglar. 

Not exactly keeping in with the spirit of the season I'd say personally considering other variations of the minifigures they have produced over the years.











Anyway all the best 
Derek


ps. The last book review of the year will follow shortly.

Book review September & October 2013


Australian Ghost Stories
(Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural)
selected by and includes an exclusive Introduction by James Doig.
ISBN-13: 978-1840226416


A collection of short stories with an Australian connection, whether by settlers or their decedents. Across this collection there are a couple of stories that draw on mythology for Australia, like The Bunyip, but the others are very general and do not draw on what could have been offered by the history and culture of the island. . For the low cover price on these books it is worth a read.







Titan Books
Sherlock Holmes - The Stuff of Nightmares
James Lovegrove
ISBN-13: 978-1781165416

In the autumn of 1890 a strange figure haunts the streets of London, this strange figure is the scourge of the crime world, but Holmes does not believe he is all that he seems, so when he is called in by Mycroft to investigate a series of bombings in the capital Sherlock's attention is directed at the new apparent champion of the people. A story more in the steam puck nature of the Rodney Downey Jr style Holmes than the Jeremy Brett TV adaptations of the original Conan Doyle stories.





Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural 
- Wordsworth Editions Ltd
The Tangled Skein
By David Stuart Davies
ISBN-13: 978-1840225273

I usually have some doubts when there is a merging of different characters from different works come together but fortunately this does keep the voice of Dr Watson. Holmes takes a lot of convincing when Van Helsing arrives with an account that Dracular is on the prowl. Holmes's investigations return him then to Dartmoor, the setting for Hound of the Baskervilles. An enjoyable read.







Sherlock Holmes and the Hentzau Affair
By David Stuart Davies
ISBN-13: 978-1840225488

This one is the Sherlock Holmes equivalent of the Prisoner of Zenda with Holmes pulled into a story of  royal inheritance, love and betrayal in the Ruritanian court. A pacy and exciting tale one Dr Watson would have been proud of. 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Charity Night

It’s the second of December already where has the year gone? Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog, but I’ve been so consumed with getting the last part of the Karl trilogy written all model building and other activities have gone on a back burner. The first draft is not yet ready and it’s already longer than the first two put together. 


Kelly Wilde & Tom Kohler
© Marc Major

I’ve not spent all the time locked away in a dungeon typing; I got out Saturday night to the Victoria in Walthamstow for their charity night in aid of Positive East. Along with the obvious flow of alcohol there was a charity raffle, an auction and other fundraising activities. 


Auction in progress.
© Marc Major







Yours truly even found themselves buying purchasing a James Bond Goldeneye jacket in the auction. Kelly Wilde and Tom Kohler were in great voice and entertained the crowd.  I believe the final count of money raised is yet to be announced.

Leon the winner of Karl book 1
© Marc Major



There were a large number of donated prizes and one of the lucky winners, Leon, won a signed copy of “Karl – Birth of Mystery”. I do hope he enjoys it.


I will present the book reviews for the last few months shortly and I’m going to be handing the blog over to a guest blogger to provide a review of two very unique and very different protections we’ve seen recently.
But more on that later.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Finished Models

A quick round up of a couple of models I finally got finished recently.

Two finally finished models for the Ghost Town

Checking the weather in the Ghost Town

First is the ‘off-cuts house’ which was made to use up scraps of the foam board which could not be used for larger designed buildings, the shape of this was determined by the pieces of board available. This has finally had the windows painted black and the varnish applied.

Here is a shot with a figure on the front steps, I was planning to take a few more pictures but it started to rain so I had to get the models in before any damage was done.











Tower



The original ‘mystery model ‘has also been painted and varnished now – this can have various uses. I’ve made the very top flat roof as an additional piece and not fixed, this allows models to be put in and two different looks for the tower. It can be a guard tower / look out post or as suggested a siege tower. I plan to make some wheels and a base for it later.

Here are a couple of rangers taking aim from the tower.



Rangers using the tower







And finally the ‘slot in place doors’ for the earlier coffee stick houses for the ghost town have finally been varnished and can be packed away with their respective models.


Switchable door selection


Monday, 16 September 2013

A Stich in Shelka

Quite some time ago, before the re-launch of Doctor Who, there was another Ninth Doctor, played by Richard E. Grant – this was an online animation on the BBC Website. Now for the first time that has been released on DVD. 

Writer Paul Cornell has a blog covering many details regarding this release and the Shelka panel from my tapestry gets a feature. 

At the time we all thought this was the new Ninth Doctor little did we know what plans were already afoot for the 2005 series. For me then, here was the new Doctor and he had to be added to the tapestry. Fortunately there was a panel that had not been allocated which allowed me to work in the new Doctor, the two young companions and Shelka itself.