Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas One and All! (Free Reads)

A Very Merry Christmas to One & All!

And at this time of year, we'd like to say a big thank you to all our Wittegen Press readers, especially those who have supported us by signing up to our mailing list. As a gift from us to you, we have two books for you to enjoy totally free. 

Those of you already subscribed to our mailing list will remember us asking you to vote on your favourite genres and now the two books based on the top two genres are ready for you to enjoy :).

Genre: Paranormal

Assassin's Blood

by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Meet Kira Roltof, or rather Jasmin Welby at the moment because she’s undercover. Kira’s an assassin with a sense of humour that’s almost as dangerous as she is. When hunting down her targets it helps that she's a vampire/werewolf hybrid and has been at the killing game for over seventy years. Practice makes perfect and all that jazz.

Of course her combined species status could just as easily get her killed as help her out. If either the vampires or the werewolves figure out she’s both, she’ll never be safe again.

Her latest target is a Mafia big shot. Nothing she can’t handle easily, except she runs into a little snag of the vampire persuasion at the end of the job.

Assassin’s Blood is a short story full of paranormal intrigue and action with a little bit of romance to round it off.

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Curse of a Banshee - (The Darwell [Magical] Cleaning Services #1)

by Sophie Duncan

B, a djinn/banshee low fae, runs Darwell Cleaning Services, a business that specializes in tidying up magical crime scenes. She's managed her company with her friend and business partner, Jean, for over one hundred years without any complaints, or problems. She keeps her head down and offers a job to those whom higher fae look down on for their lack of personal magic.

B and her team are expecting an ordinary night of clean-up when they arrive at the aftermath of a spell battle in the middle of an English woodland. However, when a terrified djinn boy appears in the middle of their job, B finds the mix of her djinn and banshee instincts, which she normally keeps under strict control, beginning to rise. The boy is not alone, he is being chased by criminals intent on selling him to become a genie, the same gang who took B's father a century earlier.

B must struggle with her own unsettled powers and fight the slavers for the boy's freedom, risking her own life and those of her friends in the process.

Curse of a Banshee is fast-paced fantasy taking a fresh look at ancient powers in a contemporary British setting.


Existing subscribers to our mailing list will have received our Christmas Newsletter containing the links to the books, for anyone else, you can get the books as well. We'll send you the links in the confirmation email when you sign up to the Wittegen Press mailing list.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Pay To Enter Writing Competitions - Your Opinion?

Now, I don't know about anyone else, but my instinct when a competition wants me to pay to enter is that they're only interested in making the money from the entry fee and not in the 'quality' of a winner, i.e. like the lottery, or those phone competitions where it's £1.50 to call in and the question is so easy it's just a raffle disguised as a competition. So, when I see writing competitions, either asking for writers to submit stories, or ones for authors to enter their published books, and then there's a fee to enter, I instantly get suspicious, my 'scam' radar goes off.

Is this just me being way too cynical? 

It seems to be pretty standard in writing circles that these types of competitions have entry fees. Some claim they're just covering administration, and that could be true for the $5 ones, but then I've seen others where the competition organisers are asking $50 and over to take a book submission. This to me is daylight robbery and can't possibly be for pure administration, this is for making a profit. I didn't think competitions were about making profits, I thought they were about showcasing talent, albeit talent carefully controlled by the 'traditional' publishing fraternity if you're talking about the major literary prizes.

To be fair, I have seen a few competitions out there that are formed in the pure spirit of finding new talent, no entry fee required. The Guardian are running a monthly prize for self-published authors which requires no entry fee, all that is required is some effort to enter. And the prize, kudos and some decent publicity - a pretty fair trade I would say. :)

So every time I see someone announce a literary competition on my social media streams, I'm excited, but prepared to be disappointed if I go to the site and they're asking for an entry fee, because, even if it's a small cost, it rankles. Maybe I'm not being cynical enough then, maybe I'm not seeing the 'competition' for what it is, a marketing opportunity, and every indie author knows that publicity isn't always free. Still, if I pay for marketing, I'm guaranteed some exposure, paying to enter a competition doesn't guarantee my book will even make it to a web page in the back end of the web somewhere.

So, I'm torn. What's you opinion - are these myriad competitions just a way of turning a profit for the organisers, i.e. do they care about the winners, or are they genuinely looking to present undiscovered new talent to the world?

Saturday, 15 November 2014

I'm Withdrawing From NaNoWriMo :( - but I'm still writing (Curse of a Banshee Cover Reveal)

This is the third year that I've done NaNoWriMo, but, unfortunately, this time, I am going to have to withdraw. Circumstances have conspired to mean that I cannot attain that goal of 50K words in a month.

I've been sick all this week with a heavy cold that knocked me for six, to the point where I spent a lot of time sleeping and just feeling sorry for myself and thus I am way behind. I am also not convinced about the plot I launched into and if it can't convince me, then there is no way it is going to convince a reader - I need to do a bit more research, I think. Thus, the pantsing experiment has failed for me. I might have been able to work my way around the plot hiccup if I hadn't been feeling so awful this week, but the two problems together mean I won't be able to win NaNo this year :(.

That doesn't mean I'm not going to be writing more than normal this month - but it won't be on the novel I launched for NaNo. I have plenty of projects to be getting on with. Firstly, I am finishing a novella which is a thank you to all those who join/have joined the Wittegen Press Mailing list. It's called Curse of A Banshee, and it is the first in a contemporary fantasy series called, The Darwell (Magical) Cleaning Services. Our mailing list members voted on the genres of the stories they would like us to write, and this story evolved from their vote for contemporary fantasy. It follows a group of fae who make a living by cleaning up magical crime scenes in the UK. They don't have exciting powers, in fact, some of their talents are pretty useless when viewed in isolation: business partners, B a banshee who can see the future, but not tell anyone about it and Jean, a man-turned-gargoyle impervious to magic, but who solidifies to stone in sunlight, and their clean-up team, a human-hating pixie, a middle-aged human with magical sensitivities and a pair of shadow imps who would rather hide in the dark than talk to anyone. Yet, when they get to work on a large crime scene in the middle of a pine forest, they find themselves in a battle for theirs lives, a battle that will test their ingenuity and their teamwork.

And here's the front cover (expertly created by my cover artist, Tasha)! Isn't it fantastic?

So, I'm back on the writing bandwagon after my week of flu-y lethargy, and it's onwards after my muse. :)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

NaNoWriMo - OMG!

Okay, so I've been umming and ahhing about doing NaNoWriMo this year, because work is very busy and I have a lot of pieces to finish, rather than start another one. I was also dithering about whether to just use NaNo to up the word count on one or more of my existing novels - which felt a little bit like cheating. So, with all my dithering, November has rather snuck up on me and at 1 hour to midnight last night, I was still deciding if I would dive in to a new piece in the full spirit of NaNo.

The answer is, that I have decided to keep with the sprirt of NaNo and start a new novel, one I think can be completed in 50K words, since it is going to be the sequel to The Burning Web, which is only just over 40K. My reasoning behind this is that my muse is still wandering in a ghostly direction and, if I'm going to have a chance of getting anywhere this November, I have to follow my muse.

So, here goes nothing, I have a vague idea of the plot, also thrown together before midnight last night, and I'm pantsing this one - also not something usual for me - let's see where it takes me!


The Burning Web (5 stars).

The Burning Web by Sophie Duncan
Is it symptoms left from his brain haemorrhage, or a guilty conscience that is making Tristan McCall see things no-one else can?

Forced out of the police by scandal and illness, Tris is trying to rebuild his life through the renovation of the home he hopes to share with Xander, his husband. A sprawling Gothic pile, Berwick House is in need of attention, but Tris soon realises the attention is not all one way. Faced with a presence in the house only he can sense, Tris must decide if his damaged brain is playing tricks on him, or if Berwick House really holds a dark and dangerous message from beyond the grave.

Friday, 31 October 2014

All Hallow's Read, Hallowe'en Blog Hop & Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop 2014


And to celebrate, I'm joining in not one, not two, but three great Hallowe'en online events. So what does that mean for you, my readers, well it means free reads from both me and my sis, Tasha, and some chat from me about this wonderfully spooky season. :D

All Hallows' Read 2014
Trick-Or-Treat Book Blog Hop 2014
Hosted by Author Patricia Lynne
Halloween Blog Hop 2014
Hosted by Author Sara C Snider

So, first things, first, the important bit. :) Both the Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop and All Hallows' Read are encouraging authors and readers alike to give away a book for Halloween. And Tash and I are supporting these events by giving away a new book of two spooky stories: Cursed, A Horror Collection It's free for Halloween. And do let us know if you went and downloaded the book in the comments, below, we'd love to know what you think :).

And remember, the best candy ever for a writer is to get a review :).

Cursed - A Horror Collection (FREE FOR HALLOWEEN)
Cursed - A Horror Collection was created for All Hallows Read 2014 to be given away as a Halloween treat on 31st October. It contains two haunting stories about curses and ghosts to give any horror fan a good scare.

This book has content not suitable for children and non-explicit scenes of a sexual nature.

If Wishes Were ... by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Essie and her friend Beth are taking a trip to commiserate Beth's loss of yet another boyfriend. When they visit a spooky old graveyard and Essie makes a wish on a haunted mausoleum, things don't turn out how she expected at all.

Happy Families by Sophie Duncan

Bridget loves Happy Families, so when she finds an old pack in a junk shop she buys them. She lives to regret it, as strange and nasty things start to happen to her house-mates.


And now on to my ramblings if you care to stick around :).

I have loved the scares of Halloween since I was little. It's not as big a thing in the UK as it is in the US, but I grew up in the time when Trick-or-Treat was just coming over to the UK as something that was fun for kids to do. I lived in a little village and we used to have Halloween parties where most of the village children would attend. We'd all dress up and then there'd be apple bobbing and spooky stories and, of course, plenty of sweet treats. 

I even remember one Halloween party when I was in Brownies that we had in the church. There was a treasure hunt and one of the clues delighted in directing us to the old funeral bier that was once used to carry coffins in and out of the church. We Brownies were a morbid bunch sometimes, we even had a song we used to sing at that time of year, about meeting corpses at the church yard gate. Each verse gradually built on the macabre image going on about worms and moaning. That used to scare the hell out of me, but I always sang it enthusiastically along with all my friends. I'm still a little lot nervous when going into graveyards at night time because of that song! ;P

If you have any scary stories to share, I'd love to hear them :).


As well as Cursed, our free book for Halloween, we're also discounting all our horror and paranormal books over on Wittegen Press to just 99c, or less

If you head on over to The Wittegen Press blog, you'll also find a collection of drabbles (100 word fictions) related to all our horror and paranormal books. And my twin, Tash, has another short scare to share on her blog.


Halloween Blog Hop List

Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop List

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Separation Anxiety (and Dracula Untold Review)

Well, I logged in this morning to write a review of Dracula Unbound, but what I got was a dose of separation anxiety! I couldn't get into my blogger account, because Google+ was temporarily down, to which my blog is linked. It showed me just how attached I am to my blog, because I was initially a bit peeved that I couldn't do what I wanted, and then I really began to worry - how long would it be down, was it just me, had I been hacked?

I felt a bit better on checking twitter and finding out there was a global problem, but it still left me feeling twitchy for the half hour or so I was waiting for the boffins at Google to fix things. I think part of it is that this blog and my Google+ are not just social for me, they're part of my work, my writing, they're how I reach my readers as well as my friends, but that wasn't all. Since the error was also affected my gmail contacts, I was also really worried I was losing them, all my friends, all the people I talk to, and some that I don't very often.

All I can say is, I'm glad it's been fixed!

Anyway - on to my thoughts about Dracula Untold.

'As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own kingdom in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.' - IMDB
I enjoyed this movie, it played to my expectations, there were no surprises, but it was an enjoyable fantasy. I would hesitate to call it an adventure movie, because it was on the dark side for that, but I did get the feeling they were trying for a 12A certificate at times, because, although it ended up with a 15 rating in the UK, the action was fairly close in and there was not much gore. I expect it got the 15 rating for the unavoidable impalings that went along with Dracula's historical character. Compared to some of the 12A movies out there, though, e.g. James Bond and the Bourne movies, I did think the violence was more fantastical and therefore this might have deserved a 12A rating.

The plot itself, well, it's a fair attempt at an origin story. I mean, we know what has to happen by the end before we start, so, if you were expecting Dracula not to end up as King of the Night, then you're going to be disappointed ;P. I was slightly concerned before I went to see this movie that we'd have this long, long, angsty build up to the whole vampire thing with a bit of vampirism at the end, and for a few minutes at the beginning there, I was still worried, but actually, they paced the film about right.

There's a build up of tension in the first half hour, setting the scene, giving you Prince Vlad's background as a child warrior for the Turks and his continued servitude to them to maintain a peace which is very one-sided in favour of the Turks. And the concept that he already knew what it meant to be a monster while fighting for the Turks before becoming a vampire was underplayed, but in a good way, only really coming out in the climax at the end.

The cast is a who's who of British Character actors, and I mean actors in the male sense, because if you want to watch female roles, don't go near this movie. Only one woman has a speaking part (as far as I remember) - that is Sarah Gadon as Vlad's wife, Mirena, and her role is a typical male catalyst role, I won't say what happens to her, but can you guess? I won't say the movie has any stellar performances in it, it's more about the plot than the characters, even the Turks, who, as bad guys, might have had more gutsy parts, are actually quite bland. Vlad is angsty and brooding, as expected, Mirena is loving and supportive, but they're all a bit remote. In fact, I think Art Parkinson, who played Vlad's son, Ingeras, probably did the best job of emoting and making contact with the audience - his performance in the scene where Vlad is being forced to hand him over to the Turks as a royal hostage is very well done.

So, in summary, not a stunner of a movie, but worth a watch, just don't expect too much, it is an origin movie after all. If they make #2, which they set up at the end of the movie, I think it will be much more interesting, because they won't have to stay within so many boundaries. Charles Dance's evil Master Vampire, who doesn't even have a name yet, has made promises of machinations and plots, which could ignore the Dracula story altogether, and I would look forward to that kind of movie :).

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Zen and the Art of Plot Navigation - pantsing by a planning writer ;P (plus All Hallows' Read)

After having stop/start writer's block for the last week, where I was struggling to get out a couple of hundred words at a time if I was lucky, I dumped the story I was working on and started a new one. I wrote 7K words today, 5.5K of which was the start of my short horror story for giving away for All Hallows' Read - I might actually make the end of the week deadline to get it to my editor :D. If you don't know what All Hallow's Read is, check out their website - encourage reading in everyone!

Only thing is, I did a little more than pants the story so far, I literally just wrote with no idea where I was going and let Zen and the Art of Plot Navigation take me. It really worked, I think I have a great horror story coming on, but now I have to round it out - I think I know how it's going to go, but it's been a long time since I just let the characters lead me.

This is going to be an interesting adventure!


And  now an outrageous segue to plug my new book :D - this is a horror story I've already finished, my 5-star ghost story:

The Burning Web.

The Burning Web by Sophie Duncan
Is it symptoms left from his brain haemorrhage, or a guilty conscience that is making Tristan McCall see things no-one else can?

Forced out of the police by scandal and illness, Tris is trying to rebuild his life through the renovation of the home he hopes to share with Xander, his husband. A sprawling Gothic pile, Berwick House is in need of attention, but Tris soon realises the attention is not all one way. Faced with a presence in the house only he can sense, Tris must decide if his damaged brain is playing tricks on him, or if Berwick House really holds a dark and dangerous message from beyond the grave.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Recipe (great for Halloween treats): Maple Syrup & Dark Chocolate Cookies

Recently, a lovely friend of ours, who came visiting with her daughter from Canada, brought us some lovely maple syrup biscuits. Needless to say, they didn't last all that long! Well, I love maple syrup, so I decided to go searching on the web for a maple syrup cookie recipe that I could try making. I found loads :). I also have a penchant for chocolate chip cookies as well, so I decided to combine both my loves into one cookie. And below is the result. These are lovely on a chilly evening with )if you're a Brit anyway) a nice cup of tea - they'd also make great treats for a Halloween part (bat-dropping cookie anyone? ;P).

Maple Syrup & Dark Chocolate Cookies
Maple Syrup & Dark Chocolate Cookies

Soo, in case you want to make these rather yummy cookies, here's my recipe, it makes 60 cookies of about 2.5 inches round:


  • 1 cup / 227g / 8oz butter or baking spread, softened at room temp
  • 1 cup / 227g / 8oz caster sugar (US granulated sugar is fine) - if you want an even richer flavour, use brown sugar instead
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup / 237ml pure maple syrup (no getting the blended stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups / 908g / 32oz self-raising flour (if using all purpose flour then add 2 teaspoons of baking soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup / 200g / 8oz dark chocolate chips (optional, but I like chocolate) 


  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C / 350 degrees F & grease your cookie sheets (if you're like me an have a small oven, you will have make more than one batch (3 for me), so you'll be washing and re-greasing your sheets several times)
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar (I used an electric whisk for this, you can do it by hand it you want to build up your arm muscles, or put it in your mixer)
  3. Add the egg, maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix until you have a light brown, soft and airy paste (it will be quite sloppy at this point it needs to be to take all that flour)
  4. Sift the flour and salt (and baking soda if you need it) into the bowl and also add the chocolate chips if your're using them. Stir until all the flour is blended in.
  5. Using a teaspoon take a heaped spoonful of the mixture and place onto your baking sheet, repeat this procedure leaving 1/2 an inch or so between cookies to allow for spread - see image below.
  6. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until golden brown (depends on your oven).
  7. When you get the cookies out of the oven, leave them on the sheet for a couple of minutes, this allows them to harden a little so you don't squidge them out of shape when getting them off the sheet. Then, using a fish slice, lift each cookie onto a wire rack to cool.
Laying out cookie mixture on baking sheet

Something else you might like for Halloween, my 5-star ghost story, The Burning Web.

The Burning Web by Sophie Duncan
Is it symptoms left from his brain haemorrhage, or a guilty conscience that is making Tristan McCall see things no-one else can?

Forced out of the police by scandal and illness, Tris is trying to rebuild his life through the renovation of the home he hopes to share with Xander, his husband. A sprawling Gothic pile, Berwick House is in need of attention, but Tris soon realises the attention is not all one way. Faced with a presence in the house only he can sense, Tris must decide if his damaged brain is playing tricks on him, or if Berwick House really holds a dark and dangerous message from beyond the grave.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The History of Gothic Literature in England (British Library from 3rd Oct 2014) - I prefer ghosts to monsters!

There's a new exhibition on at The British Museum, examining the fascination of Gothic Literature in England (although they also mention Poe, because who can get away with talking about Gothic Literature without including the most macabre of them all). There a full article about it here on the BBC News Channel. They have everything from:

a vampire hunter's kit


an animated were-rabbit!
They also have more sophisticated exhibits, such as an annotated manuscript of  Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. 

The article is interesting in the fact that it talks about the current fashion in Gothic literature, saying that vampires are over and zombies are now in. Well, vampires were done several years ago, thanks to the flooding of the market from Twilight, although some of us are happily still writing them. The same is now happening with zombies. I can't turn around without there being another zombie apocalypse novel gracing my dash :). However, unlike the vampire flood, I can't say I'm interested this time. Zombies just don't do it for me. I chuckled at Warm Bodies, but that's about it. I'm not a Dawn of the Dead kinda gal, so I'll be watching this craze sail on by. 

My favourite horror will always be ghosts and I think that's due in part to the old tales I grew up with. If you look at Brtiish Literature and our folk tales, we've always favoured spooks over monsters. While Europe had their vampires and werewolves, the Brits have filled their fireside tales with vengeful spectres and messages from beyond the grave. There isn't a castle in the country without its own personal ghost, mostly more than one, in fact. 

Ghosts and their tales go back a lot further in Britain than the Gothic horror which the exhibition traces back to Horace Walpole's 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto. I read them (check out my A to Z posts for 2014 if you want some of my author recommendations), and I write them, my latest book being a ghost story, The Burning Web. I just love being scared by the shadow in the corner and feeling the trepidation as I follow a character up those old wooden stairs, not knowing what they will see when they reach the top! 

The ethereal presence of a ghost is much scarier to me than any physical monster. What about you, what's your favourite fear?


Is it symptoms left from his brain haemorrhage, or a guilty conscience that is making Tristan McCall see things no-one else can? Forced out of the police by scandal and illness, Tris is trying to rebuild his life through the renovation of the home he hopes to share with Xander, his husband. A sprawling Gothic pile, Berwick House is in need of attention, but Tris soon realises the attention is not all one way. Faced with a presence in the house only he can sense, Tris must decide if his damaged brain is playing tricks on him, or if Berwick House really holds a dark and dangerous message from beyond the grave.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Burning Web (Ghost Story) by Sophie Duncan AVAILABLE NOW only $3.99 - Perfect for Halloween!

My newest release, The Burning Web, a spooky ghost story perfect for anyone getting into the spirit of Halloween, is available to buy now at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple for only $3.99/£2.49.

Something more than guilt is haunting ex-copper, Tris McCall, when he and his husband, Xander, refurbish a crumbling Victorian mansion, Berwick House. Faced with disbelief and medical explanations for the spectral visitations from both his doctors and his partner, Tris must decide if it is the damage left by the brain injury he has suffered, or something darker that is speaking to him. Can he trust his own senses, and if he can, what are they telling him?


I really enjoyed writing this book. I might have even scared myself a few times when I was editing it late at night at home alone! ;P I am a big, big fan of ghost stories: I read and reread the likes of Susan Hill and M R James when I want a good scare. That traditional, Gothic style of story with old houses, dark shadows and vengeful ghosts is my kind of book and The Burning Web is my tribute to those terrifying masterpieces. 

I've written paranormal novels (The Night Blood Chronicles) before, and I have dabbled in horror short stories, but The Burning Web is my first novel-length foray into the ghostly genre. I wanted more space to explore the idea of what a haunting can mean to modern people, and I wanted to add that rational doubt to the Gothic feel of my plot. Tris and Xander are a modern couple, dogged by trouble. 

Tris is an ex-police officer, who left the force after a shooting incident, the stress of which led eventually to him suffering a brain haemorrhage. The guilt of his mistake has followed him out of the force and renovating Berwick House is his means of escape from the past. 

Xander, Tris' husband, is a trauma surgeon and has become Tris' carer during Tris' recovery from the debilitating stroke. Part of the story examines how that responsibility has affected the relationship between the beleaguered couple as they start to emerge from what they think are the dark days behind them.

It is onto this backdrop of Tris and Xander's relationship that I have overlaid  the ghost story. On his first night in Berwick House, Tris begins to sense something is amiss, but can he trust what his damaged brain is telling him? I will leave that up to anyone who reads the story to decide :).

Do you like a good ghost story? Share your favourites :).

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Burning Web (Ghost Story) by Sophie Duncan Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Information

As promised, it's cover reveal time for my new book, The Burning Web. The book is a ghost story following ex-copper, Tris McCall, as he tries to rebuild his life after a shooting incident that cost him his career and his health. The consequences of his actions have changed Tris' perspective on life in more ways than he knows when, still recovering from a brain haemorrhage, he begins visiting Berwick House, the rambling Victorian pile he is planning to make a family home with his husband, Xander. he quickly discovers that the house holds secrets that force him into keeping some of his own.

The book has a fair collection of scares and spookiness, so I hope the cover reflects that. So, here's the cover in all its creepy glory :)

The Burning Web is NOW available for Pre-order too.
Through Amazon, Kobo & Barnes & Noble

Monday, 25 August 2014

Express Yourself Meme - Name ONE cancelled TV Show You Would Love to See Back

The Express Yourself Meme is hosted by  Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests. And their 'question' this week is Name ONE cancelled TV show you would love to see back on your boob tube with NEW episodes?

I would love to see new episodes of Sapphire & Steel, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy show from the early 80's. I have all six adventures on DVD and I watch them over and again whenever I want a challenging show. Unlike most 80's TV shows, it's not exactly good guys verses bad guys, because I wouldn't call Steel (played by David McCallum) a good guy. He's an agent of an unnamed organisation whose job is to stop time breaking through and doing damage in the universe and he will do whatever is necessary to achieve that aim. Sapphire (played by Joanna Lumley) is his partner, a warmer character with a conscience, but she takes Steel's lead.

It would be a perfect series to bring back for the modern era, it wouldn't need much revamping, since it already has a very modern feel to its writing not being so cut and dried about good and evil and examining a situation practically. I'm thinking that Tom Hiddleston would make a good Steel, he has the right mix of cool Britishness and bite, you could be rooting for him and slightly afraid of him at the same time. Gemma Arterton, or maybe Billie Piper would make excellent Sapphires, mature enough to hold their own against Steel, but with a soft side as well. 

Any favourites you'd like to see with new eps?


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Coming Soon: The Burning Web Cover Reveal & Pre-order Information

Coming soon - 1st Sept 2014 - Cover Reveal for my new ghost story: 
The Burning Web
Plus, from then it will also be available for pre-order from Amazon, Google Play and Smashwords.

And here's a little teaser :)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Express Yourself Meme - Back in Time, What Would You Bring Back & From When?

The Express Yourself Meme is hosted by  Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests. And their 'question' this week is If you could go back in time and bring back one item, what era would you visit and what item would you bring back?

Hmm, I have been sitting here at my desk for 15 mins thinking about his question...and I still have no idea. I can think if plenty of eras I'd like to visit, but it's the item to bring back that's stumping me.

I think if I were to go back in time, it would be to meet someone who means something to me. And the person of many I have chosen is Jane Austen. I would go back to the Regency era just to talk with her and discuss her writing and her opinions. Then I would bring back something to inspire me in my own writing, perhaps one of her quills that could sit on my desk and urge me on. 

Any times or places you want to visit? Would you bring back a momento, and if so what and why?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Express Yourself Meme - ONE Thing Steampunk-ish You Find Fascinating

The Express Yourself Meme is hosted by  Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests. And their 'question' this week is What is ONE thing steampunk-ish that you find fascinating from book, TV, movies and/or the intranet (i.e. fashions, mechanics, ideas etc)?

I've always found the movements of clocks fascinating and beautiful. The way they fit together, some of them so fine that I wonder how the craftsmen made the tiny cogs for the movement. So I think that's what I like most about the steampunk genre, the intricacy and interlocking parts of some of their designs. I'm not a big fan of taking modern equipment and pretending you can reinvent it with cogs and steam, but I could watch those cogs go round for eons, their little tick, tick, one gear moving another and tiny arms can keep me fascinated for hours and hours.
So, steampunk, is it your type of genre, any recommendations for those of us not in the groove?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Express Yourself Meme - Who Were Your Celebrity Crushes When You Were A Teen?

I'm really late with my EYM post this week, sorry, but it has been exciting week what with The Wittegen Press site revamp :).

The Express Yourself Meme is hosted by  Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests. And their 'question' this week is Who Were Your Celebrity Crushes When You Were A Teen?

I had loads of celebrity crushes when I was a teen. I suppose my first would have been Morten Harket from A-ha. I had T-shirts, posters, albums and any magazine article I could get my hands on. Both my twin sister and I shared the crush, in fact we shared most of our celebrity crushes :).

Then there were Jeff Yagher, who played Kyle Bates, the rich boy turned resistance fighter in V The Series - I was so upset he always played villains in other stuff. Apparently he's a special effects wizard as well as an actor, so he does a lot of work behind the camera too.

Michael Praed as Robin of Sherwood, first time a hero crush of mine died on screen (I cried for days), and then he went and did it again in Dynasty! And then again in Son of Darkness, where he played a vampire, who ends up dead too. I wasn't holding out much hope for him surviving in Nightflyers, which is an adaptation of a George R R Martin short story - I won't tell you what happens.

Jason Patric as Michael from The Lost Boys. If you've read this blog before you will know it was the movie that got me into vampires and I might have mentioned that it was the whole half-vampire idea and Michael's struggle to free himself of it that endeared me to the toothy ones :).

And those are just some of my celebrity real people crushes - I did have crushes on some cartoon characters and puppets as well (no, not Kermit the Frog), I always rather liked Jen from The Dark Crystal, and then there was Mark from Battle of the Planets, (lots of people liked Jason, but I always preferred Mark). AND I'm going to stop there, because, seriously, we could be here all day.

So, who were/are your celebrity crushes?