My 3rd book The Teleporter is released!

Let’s face it, the internet works in weird and wonderful ways. My last two book release posts had zero views and zero likes so I could be saying anything right now, like Zuckerberg is actually one of those lizard folk, or cheese is in fact political propaganda to keep us lactose intolerant…

But for those inclined, my third book THE TELEPORTER is officially available via amazon.

This time I have written what appears to a super hero comedy on the surface but has actually turned out to be something way more than the genre it’s identified by. Although yes it is still funny (I really hope!) the story faces many different modern issues in this world we live. From low self esteem and self reflection to corruption in politics and business, this one I hope will result in giving the reader something to think about all with a healthy dose of haha! But these serious issues are never treated as a joke, that’s what makes it compelling.

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So what’s the story? 

Our main character Kurt Wiseman is serial ‘drinksmith’ (cool word huh?) and a general layabout/ graphic novelist. That is until he accidentally discovers the ability to Teleport whilst investigating his corrupt millionaire media controlling Trump… I mean boss.

What follows is a story of triumph, struggle, friendship and even mild addiction as Kurt becomes the Teleporter and looks to fight injustice, not because he should, but because he chooses to. The whole morality of good vs bad is highlighted throughout the narrative as our comedy guy fights the forces laid against him.

Above all this story is about honesty and power. In these words lay the most truth I have ever told as a writer, and as long as fiction contains some element of realism then the reader can relate. 

 

I have to take this opportunity to thank my heroic book team for helping me put this together. My editor and publisher Nicky of Satin Publishing has been truly wonderful throughout the process and always contactable when needed. Her work has enhanced my story by tenfold.

Design for Writers have provided another fantastic cover managing to set a tone I could only visualize by words and they have been brilliant throughout.

My final nod is to the loyal people who have already got themselves a copy, the following I have is small but unconditional loyal and for that I must thank you a million times. This whole deal is to prove my passion is worth pursuing and my readers do that every time without fail. Thank you. 

For people old and new who are following me and reading my stuff I must implore you to leave a review via amazon, goodreads, a blog or even Facebook (Lizardberg wont mind), and remember Selfies sell books

The Teleporter is out now! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Red Headed Book Lover: A warning to Authors

Unfortunately we live in a world that is rife with the dishonest, and this is especially so in the Uber Democracy known as the internet. A place without any real regulation. I intend for this blog entry to act as a service first and foremost to my fellow wordsmiths who have delved into the world of publishing, independent or not, it is with great importance I come to you with this.

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I don’t see other writers as competition but as fellows in a world where we are all trying to convince the world our words exist. And it is our responsibility to look out for one another especially when our ultimate integrity is threatened. I use the word threat because what we do takes so much work and only a select will understand what that truly means, but for everyone concerned with writing books I have to do my duty for our industry. 

So here’s the story… and subsequent investigation… 

On the evening of April 19th 2018 I received an interesting email from someone called ‘Aimee Ann’ if that is ‘her’ real name is neither here or there. But what this person said is as follows… 

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Sounds good right, I thought so, and initial ideas began to stir around my head in how I was to reply in order to sound as professional as possible, that is without sounding desperate for reviews. Because all writers need more reviews and the fact I overlooked where this person got my email from I was ready to bite her hand off for a review… 

I checked out the website, and initially I was impressed. This person is good, damn good. 

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You cant deny the About section appears to be innocent and worded in such a tactical way for nobody to call bullshit. It’s all positive and draws attention away from anyone with an ounce of suspicion, that includes me. 

Of course the whole deal is written in a way to draw a level of sympathy, truth or not, and who the hell has 4 kids and still has the time to read, review and keep a damn blog up to date? I have no kids and have barely enough time to brush my hair! 

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And so I scrolled further down her rather wordy and ever so  positively innocent bio, until the ultimate red flag destroyed all perception of me believing this whole deal was genuine… 

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Red flag uno… is highlighted in pink above. No pictures personally tells me there is a hell of a lot to hide but this paragraph is very clever in delivery, its almost dastardly, as in evil villain dastardly. And I should know a thing or two about such characters, I’m a writer…

Look how she addresses the red flag and then diverts by involving her family and then even sub diverts by making the reader forget completely about the fact there are no photos of her by mentioning the husband and even diverts that as well. 

Next comes more diversion…

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And let me state here, there is no shame in supporting military charities, but this is just another diversion away from the real facts here. All of this is to give an author a sense of security and trust. 

And that is, red flag numero dos…

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At this point I knew the dream was over. ‘She’ charges for reviews… 

Any type of paid review service is quite simply unethical and viewed in the literary industry as morally wrong. Its cheating, its lying, its false. 

And so I used the google machine for a cold slap of reality to the face.

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The Alliance of Independent Authors provided me with the above testimony.  

Yes folks that’s 75 big ones for a damn review! And so I poked around the interweb some more and found only a few people have lifted the lid on the Red Headed Book Lover’s blog. 

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As you can see this email I screen grabbed from Blank Pages Revealed is identical to the one I got! 

And so my whole premise is simply to lift the lid of future authors who type Red Headed Book Lover into google and tell them simply, its an unethical scam! 

I will never reply to the email, it isn’t worth any more words.

The problem is, there are so many authors who have fallen for this. Reviews are basically currency for authors, especially indie ones, and so when desperation for reviews meets opportunist, Red Headed Book Lover is born, and its wrong, so wrong. 

It is never right for an author to pay for reviews! So I can happily say Red Headed Book Lover and Aimee Ann, I call bullshit and by the power vested by me as an author and creator of worlds, you are banished by the realm of genuine writers. We pride ourselves on hard work and the money we spend to give readers an escape. We can do that without paying for reviews! So kindly fu** off!” 

 

The Teleporter Exclusive Cover Reveal

Yes,you read that title correct and considering we are days away from the arrival of literature’s newest drunk super hero I thought I should share with the official cover of The Teleporter!

But that isn’t all, because you and I both know books shouldn’t be judged by their cover alone or their blurb, so let me tell you what the Teleporter is really about…

It’s a comedy…

Okay most of you already knew that, pretty much all of my marketing efforts have centered around convincing readers this story is funny, and it is. The comedy delivered by main character Kurt Wiseman can best be described as fourth wall breaking honesty. And honesty is probably the ultimate key word that runs throughout the many themes…

Honesty, really?

Yes, really, because if there is honesty or realness clung to the concept of something fictional the whole thing becomes all the more engaging and real. Trust me when I say there is more truth in this book than anything I have ever written. 

So if this book delivers the truth via fiction, then what is it really about?

That’s a damn good question because the Teleporter isn’t ruled by genre, although it identifies as a super hero comedy and yes I’ve already mentioned that but what this book is really about you ask?

It’s about power, and the responsibility of power. 

But that isn’t all because power is never a simple thing. The Teleporter firmly glares into the face of adversity when it comes to the abuse of power. This story isn’t afraid to stand up and punch many different problems society has, right in the face. And the wonderful thing is, this book was never supposed to be that at all. Much like the age we live in has become an opportunity for people to proudly stand up against stereotype, prejudice and discrimination by just being themselves. That is indeed a world where people with power do not like, and that is what drives change for the better.

As well as power, the Teleporter wraps itself in comedic satire to tackle modern politics, media control, inclusion and even addiction. This world we live in today, the internet age, is a place where all of that matters, and that is why this story is something you should read. But after all of that, it is just a comedy.

So without futher deliberation, okay just a bit more…

I set out to write something which was a departure from my usual genre and go a little more lighthearted. What I got instead was a straight shoot into the fire of modern society and all of its wonderful problems in which this world is still figuring out. Even now I have no idea how the Teleporter will be received, I’m uncomfortable and even a little nervous. Those feelings are what drives me to be a story teller, staying out of comfort and branching towards something risky and daring. The not knowing is probably the greatest and most unique feeling a writer can have, it makes us create better stories. Ladies and gentlemen, here it is, my third book The Teleporter!

 

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The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale Review

It’s been a pretty enduring season for The Walking Dead, a roller coaster that many fans will prefer to leave behind, myself included. Opinions are divided and most viewers haven’t been happy with recent decisions for the overall direction of the show. Here’s my review of what was an interesting and important turning point for Rick and the gang…

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They had to do something with Negan…

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No doubt JDM has brought a masterclass of villainy to TWD, his arrival two seasons previous will go down in history and turned the whole story upside down. The original execution and motives of such a big character is probably the sole reason for the show’s downturn. I have covered Negan before but my concern has always been what will they do with such a momentous character, a seemingly indestructible force in a fragile world. His whole deal seemed to grow stale after the past two years, and there were scenes where I honestly thought the show’s writers didn’t know what to do him.

This seasons final episode set in motion a direction which sat somewhere between expected and unexpected. We finally got some level of resolve towards Negan and an indication of where his fate will move to next. You could tell especially in his half of S8 that they were doing something, and the pay off came, eventually.

Clearly the show running powers that be have spoken…

Looking around the internet rumor mill its no secret the show runner position for the walking dead has changed mid season, lets face it, they had to change things. You could tell almost straight away in the mid season premiere it was out with the old and in with the new, of course Carl’s death foreshadowed anything drastic and essentially became the theme of events to follow.

Although I truly believe Carl’s death should never have been, it has given the show an almost refreshing direction, now stay with me here, but the Rick we saw in the last episode of this season has been shaped by the loss of his son and the legacy he left behind.

Mercy is the greatest weapon of all, and a key to character development…

We’ve seen Rick take down the big bad before, we’ve seen the group move from settlement to settlement before, we’ve seen them deal with trust issues before. The decision for Rick not to kill Negan has interrupted the stale routine this show has got itself into, they have broken the cycle and maybe without knowing displayed a huge amount of development for the characters of this show. The take away moment from this episode was Rick showing mercy to a defeated Negan and the saviors. He has taken the high road and showed that people can be better than just killing.

That triple cross though…

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Eugene was playing chess quite simply and to see the moment his manufactured bullets backfired was a huge unexpected twist. Something had to happen and this was the moment the tables turned, for the better.

For the greater good of the group

Let’s face it there have been some wonderful character performances throughout the 8 years of TWD. Many of which were on display in this episode which to me felt like a television special. Jerry and King Ezekiel are wonderfully likable characters with a natural chemistry on full display as the episode opened.

Morgan has always been a favorite for me and the deep psychological issues he faces and tackles is superbly depicted. His character may seem erratic but under the hood he knows what is going on, and even referenced to the ‘bar’ scene him and Rick found themselves in a few episodes previous. Their decision to break the bond of their word didn’t fall on silent ears and was addressed, a pivotal moment which has broken the usual vague style TWD carries.

An unexpected emotional moment came to me through Dwight’s retribution and apology to Daryl. He is a man with nearly nothing left and somehow stands out as someone very relevant in the world where Negan is now a prisoner.

I enjoyed Father Gabriel’s journey toward the light, and again it seems his faith has pulled through. Another example of great emotional acting.

There’s still a long way to go

I know for a fact it wasn’t perfect, but this episode was the first good’un in what seems like a long run of dud episodes. Most of the season was in fact a dud without direction and too spread out. With the dissolution of Negan’s reign there seems to be a new fresh route this show could take.

There are still many open plot points which need to be answered, that will always be TWD’s style, but for the first time in a long time, this show has got itself a win, and we still get to keep Negan, something which I am sure will have some level of resurgence and value in later episodes.

A feel good factor

It feels good for the first time in a long time to watch this show, that whole putting the audience though as much shit as the characters has finally been lifted. Carl’s memory and contribution were memorialized throughout the episode playing on the audiences heart strings and perhaps sub consciously nodding to the fact he probably shouldn’t have died, even though his death may have got the Walking Dead out of this rut.

Overall I liked the episode

From the very open of this episode I could tell it was going to be good. The twists and turns which led to Negan’s defeat were simple and straight to the point. I enjoyed the fact it happened just after the halfway point leaving more time to move towards next season’s plot.

The overall character development of this show has been flexed in this episode and I think the cast have ridden a proverbial shit storm out of a shituation. Full credit to the sheer effort they put in to make this whole deal feel so emotionally real. TWD has always captured the emotion above everything else.

Should they really be divided?

That’s the question most people are asking, and I think its another interesting twist. Was it right to publicly show mercy to Negan in front of the likes of Maggie. If so a civil war could be on the horizon. I’m not sure I fully believe the motives of Jesus and Daryl as they align themselves with Maggie, that may be my only criticism of a decent episode of the Walking Dead and for the first time we have no frustrating cliff hanger!

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The Problem with…Facebook

There’s a hefty amount of conflict that swirls around the title of this post, simply because it goes against what may be the most powerful social force today, Facebook. A vision which initially began as a college project has recently been revealed to have a concerning sinister underbelly…

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Those of the living under a rock persuasion (and I admire you) may not know that very recently Facebook had their business exposed by the way of Cambridge Analytica, a somewhat evil sounding corporation straight out of a dystopian future looking to control the world by harvesting everyone’s private information. And the rub is, that fanatical  analogy doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

If you google ‘Cambridge Analytica’ you’ll see for yourself what they have been up to along with Facebook. And to put it basically, they accessed millions of user’s data without really telling them! Now the details are rich amongst the many news articles online but a figure which seems to echo throughout is 87 Million. That is the number of Facebook users who had their ‘information’ collected via a sneaky quiz app, you know the types that come up every now and then via the news feed.

So what type of information are we talking here? Now this is where some of the facts may differ but we are talking personal things here, such as; political beliefs, interests, friend’s information, phone call logs even if you didn’t use facebook to call, location and even private messages. There is even rumors of deleted information still being kept somewhere..

This is where the real power of Facebook is exposed, and its quite concerning to say the least how much they have on one person. So what is real problem here? 

Facebook are heavily known for being vague and having many grey areas when it comes to rules. Kind of like ‘do as I say, not as I do’. This poses the real issue here and that question is; what are Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s real intentions?

Having all this data gives a major company a lot of sway via the information gathered. It can even be used in a political sense, such as an election. President Barack Obama did exactly the same as Cambridge Analytica and was even perceived and viewed as clever for doing so. But it doesn’t matter what this information is being used for, it’s the fact they have it.

For what initially seems like an uber democracy, the internet over recent times has just become yet another place where the corporations have more control and again Facebook has proven this. It’s all about the money seemingly, and in these circumstances the conflicted arises from the fact there is no real alternative to Facebook.

Honest people like me have invested in Facebook for the use of not just socializing but for trying to launch a career in writing. I’ve had success as an author because of Facebook and the networking it provides. I have met people from across the globe because of this social network and built a following over time. There is so much good in what Facebook is, the world is much smaller and better connected place because of it, but…

Some of the worst things have come from the best of intentions and Facebook is staring down the barrel of conflicted users because of their conduct. Near enough Everyone I know uses Facebook and let’s put this into perspective.

Let’s say I developed a way to harvest millions of people’s personal information, all the way to level where I knew what they had for breakfast. I’m pretty sure the law wouldn’t just let that fly, you probably wouldn’t see me again. But Mark Zuckerberg was able to sit in front of US senators and talk about the idea of regulating Facebook and tell them he doesnt ‘feel’ like he has a monopoly.

It’s incredible that billionaire types get some kind of preference all because of money. I can almost guran-damn-tee Facebook will live to fight another day after this scandal passes and the problem is for people like me, is that’s the result I kind of need to continue a decent social media presence. We have no choice but to carry on. Even if millions of people delete Facebook, or a token celebrity tries to make some political deal about it, they will still stand. For as long as the internet is floating in the airwaves there is no real way to put any real lawful control across the globe for it.

So I guess for now life will continue with needless selfies, an overabundance of emojis, name tests and vague attention fishing statuses… Every now and then Facebook brings something good but that frequency is dying.

Have you deleted Facebook? Or are you like me and need to reach followers  in order to promote books. Speaking of books,

The Teleporter arrives in just a few weeks, there,will,be, booze!

 

Wrestlemania 34 as it happened…

It’s that time of year again, where the Wrestle meets the mania! So here are the results from the 34th showcase of the immortals with WWE Wrestlemania 34 as it happened…

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Wrestlemania 34 Kick off Pre Show

So proceedings kick off for us in the UK at 22:00. It’s going to be a long night, with around seven hours of wrestling planned, all of it coming from the WWE network in which the kick off is just an advert for.  Did you know Wrestlemania is free when you sign up to the network and get some days free… that’s what we keep getting told anyway.

After some talking about various matches we see Miss Money the Bank Carmella talking some trash about cashing in her brief case and then she leaves.

We see that John Cena is in the crowd.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

The ring is full of superstars and we are introduced to hall of fame announcing duo of Jerry the King Lawler and Jim Ross. Most superstars are without a match later on in the night, familar faces include Kane, Goldust, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbyn, Rhyno, Matt Hardy and R Truth.

Highlights include a brief return of the Golden Truth, where Goldust then turned on his partner and throws him out, an impressive running knee from Shelton Benjamin to Tyler Breeze for an elimination, Ziggler doing the Shawn Michaels hanging on over the ropes multiple times, Zack Ryder getting eliminated from former parnter Mojo Rawley and a poorly timed commercial break right in the middle of proceedings.

Kane and Corbyn face off in the middle of now emptying ring who are then mobbed by remaining superstars. A super kick from Dolph Ziggler to Titus O’Neil. Audience chant DELETE as Matt Hardy rises to prominence followed by Kane who is eliminated.

The Last three are Mojo, Corbyn and Hardy, the other two ganging up on the latter. A video package interrupts and Bray Wyatt appears in the ring. He helps Hardy and eliminates Mojo, Hardy then eliminates Corbyn to claim the win.

Winner: Matt Hardy

That’s hour 1 over and the clock strikes 23:00. The Mercedes Benz superdome in New Orleans is filling up. We see John Cena in the audience again.

WWE Cruiser weight Championship Match

Cedric Alexander v Mustafa Ali 

The match begins with a back and forth between the two competitors with some impressive ground to air maneuvers. They exchange strikes and kicks in what is the typical warm up match for what will be a long night of ups and downs.

Alexander executes an daring dive outside to the floor and connects with Ali. They move back into the ring and things slow down with Alexander on the front foot. Ali is slowly coming back with an effective face buster for a near fall. The ‘spanish fly’ comes unexpectedly from Alexander and both of them stay down.

The both of them head up to a top corner and it looks as if its gonna go high risk. Mustafa hits Alexander with a spanish fly for a near fall.  We see another commercial type break with the action slowing down. Again it picks up Ali hitting a tornado DDT followed by his finisher the 5’4 only for Alexander to raise a foot onto the bottom rope.

Cedric Alexander hits an impressive move the Lumbar Check and manages to get the cover and the Cruiser Weight Championship.

Winner and new Cruiser weight Champion: Cedric Alexander

John Cena is interviewed in the audience and looks to be an audience member tonight.

Women’s Battle Royale

Lilian Garcia introduces the announce team which includes Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix and the injured Paige. Becky Lynch gets her own entrance and then the rest of the women make their way to the ring. Bayley gets her own entrance also.

Just before the match appears to start we see a preview trailer for a movie about Paige’s life story which just seems to be about the Rock. We come back to see the legit Boss Sasha Banks come down the ramp.

The bell finally rings for everyone to jump Carmella in which they then proceed to eliminate. Now they all gang up on Dana Brooke and do the same to her. Eventually a mass brawl ensues and everybody spreads out. The ladies of NXT take control of the ring and then another ad break comes.

Eliminations continue with Lana, Becky Lynch and Mickey James going out. NXT women seem to be dominating yet again and they gang up on Natalya who fights back but is eliminated by Sasha Banks and Bayley.

We’re down to the last two of Banks and Bayley. Banks offers a hand to shake and Bayley converts into an elimination to look like the winner but now Naomi appears and takes the win!

Winner: Naomi

Wrestlemania 34

The stage is set and we are ready for the 34th Wrestlemania…

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Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match

Seth Rollins V The Miz (C) V Finn Balor 

The opening bout begins with a scramble between the three competitors with Finn Balor going high risk early. He dives out to the floor onto the Miz and Rollins. Action quickly moves back into the ring with the continuation of back and fourths.

Seth Rollins takes his turn to execute two dives out of opposites sides of the ring and we then see a near fall for the Miz who then gets the figure 4 locked in with Balor. From out of nowhere Rollins hits an impressive top rope frog splash getting a near fall.

Action moves outside and then back into the ring with Rollins and Balor going against eachother. Balor hits Rollins with a slam for another near fall, he then heads up to the corner for the Miz to prepare for a superplex. Rollins converts into a buckle bomb and the Miz goes down.

Skull crushing finale from the Miz to Rollins for a two and a half count. Still no definitive looking winner with what seems like a three way game of tennis.

Finn Balor connects with coup de grace to the Miz followed by Rollins running in with a kerb stomp to pin the Miz.

 Winner: New Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins.

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Verdict: A good action packed opening match which really got the crowd going. Seth Rollins is now a grand slam champion in WWE. 

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

Charlotte Flair (c) V Asuka 

A great start with some serious lock holds and chain wrestling from either competitor. Asuka shows some superior strength against Charlotte. We pan to John Cena in the audience yet again.

Charlotte begins to show dominance with a moonsault that Asuka converts into an arm lock hold which Flair then reverses into a Boston crab. They break away with Asuka targeting Flair’s shoulder. They head out onto the apron with Asuka suplexing Charlotte onto the floor! This is by far a brutal and well put together match reflecting how far the women’s division has come in recent times.

Action moves back in between the ropes with Asuka continually targeting Charlotte’s left shoulder. They head up to the top rope and Charlotte hits a spanish fly! A near fall which almost broke Asuka’s undefeated streak. More ground based lock holds with Asuka placing pressure on the champion. Charlotte hits a spear and Asuka answers to a near fall. Charlotte hits the figure 4 followed by figure 8 one armed and impressively makes Asuka tap.

 Winner: Charlotte Flair Retains

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Verdict: Fantastic somewhat physical match. A token to women’s wrestling. 

A referee is seen running in and heads towards the audience and John Cena. He proceeds to run back up the ramp and go to the back. 

Fatal Four Way Match for the United States Championship.

Bobby Roode V Rusev V Jinder Mahal V Randy Orton (c)

Proceedings start with Rusev taking a dive into Orton and Mahal from the outside apron. He then moves back into the ring to go one on one with Bobby Roode. Mahal back in along with Orton who exchanges chops with Roode. A busy start to the match.

Jinder and Rusev face off with the Bulgarian dominating with an onslaught of boots.

Note: Aiden English is the incorrect way to spell Aidan. 

It’s Bobby Roode’s turn to assault Jinder who reverses the offence for Orton to run in. He gets a hold of Rusev for the rope DDT but fights his way out of it. Orton attempts it again an hits the DDT off the ropes. Randy is readying for an RKO but hits it on a running in Aiden English he then hits the RKO to Jinder. Next he tries to RKO Roode who converts into a glorious DDT.

Mahal manages to blind side Rusev and picks up a three count.

Winner: Jinder Mahal wins and becomes the new US Champion.

Match verdict: A great back and fourth fatal 4 way. Kind of a deflating ending but still good to watch, the crowd were in loud form.

Mixed Tag Team Match

Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle V Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

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Triple H’s entrance music hits and there are a bunch of bikes/trikes revving on the ramp. Both Steph and H appear on trikes and head down to the ring. Typical entrance for them with a lot of leather and green lighting.

Next comes the only Olympic Gold medalist in pro wrestling, Kurt Angle followed by Ronda Rousey.

The match begins with Stephanie getting a few cheap shots in before the bell. Rousey is pulled away and so HHH and Angle begin. The gold medalist takes his opponent down to the mat with an arm lock, showing dominance early on. There’s more foul play as Stephanie works the ropes for Kurt to fall out. Again Rousey is frustrated in what will be a slow burn all the way to a hot tag.

Kurt finally gets the tag and Rousey is in, the crowd pop big time as she lays into Stephanie. Into the corner they go with several strikes from the former UFC champ. She then throws Steph across the ring and then goes for an arm bar which McMahon somehow blocks. They wrestle on the mat with Steph managing to break away but Triple H is down outside the ring so she cant tag.

Stephanie hits a DDT on Rousey for a one and half kickout. Its all McMahon now as she puts in a submission move, then throwing her to the floor via a hair pull. Rousey fights back and lifts Stephanie up into a shoulder height slam. A certain victory is taken away as HHH pulls the referee out of the ring.

HHH then pulls Rousey out and faces Kurt Angle. HHH throws Angle across the announcers table and heads into the ring to check on his wife whilst Rousey is going to face off with Hunter.  Rousey shows some superior strength here and literally man handles the Game! Steph is back in the ring for Rousey to intercept and they head out.

Back in the ring HHH and Kurt go into it with belly to belly suplexes followed by German suplexes. The crowd are on fire as HHH goes for a pedigree which is reversed into an ankle lock which HHH wriggles out of. Angle slam to the game which he kicks out of. Entertaining and quick paced with a potential match of the night quality.

Stephanie and Angle face off as she goes for a kick which he catches. Ankle lock as HHH puts in the pedigree, Rousey breaks the pin. Now its HHH and Rousey and she reverses the pedigree into an arm bar. Its locked in as Steph breaks the hold with a rear naked choke. Rousey gets to her feet and flips her over into an arm bar. Kurt Angle gets HHH in the ankle lock at the same time. HHH thows Angle into Rousey and the holds are broken.

The power couple look to go for double pedigrees but Kurt throws HHH out and Rousey converts into arm bar on Stephanie. She is yelling ‘no’ and eventually taps!

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Winner: Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle

Verdict: Most likely to be match of the night. Great action. 

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match

The New Day V The Usos (c) V The Bludgeon Brothers

Before the Bludgeons can even get in the ring they are drop kicked back and Kofi Kingston hits an early trouble in paradise to no pin fall. The action moves outside as the Bludgeons target all of the new day. They hit the ring and continue to dominate.

Big E blasted off the apron as he tries to get in the ring and the match properly begins with the USO’s targeting Luke Harper. A big splash with Harper kicking out at 2. The tag champs efforts head towards the outside with a double suplex to Eric Rowan on the floor.

In the ring Kofi is facing Harper who dominates and heads into the corner. Kingston is powerbombed and then handed to Harper who powerbombs him off the top rope for the pin.

Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers, new tag champs

Verdict: A quick match putting over the new champs who mostly dominated. 

Next up is John Cena who heads down the ramp and into the ring. The referee heads down and talks to Cena who then gets out of the ring. The lights go out and Elias appears on the ramp. He walks down to ring with a guitar and sings. Cena heads out of the ring as Elias gets between the ropes and continues his song. Eventually Cena heads into the ring and puts the beat down on Elias and hits him with an attitude adjustment.

Cena heads back up the ramp with his music playing and then the lights go out. In the ring we see a hat and folded jacket whilst Cena watches on. Again the lights go down and the gong sounds.

He’s here, the Undertaker is here. Shrouded in purple and blue light he walks to the ring and faces John Cena.

The Undertaker V John Cena

The bell rings and they collide. Into the corners and against the ropes, Taker flies and claims early dominance. He then takes Cena old skool and the crowd are electric. Snake eyes followed by a big boot and leg drop combo. He reaches the sky for a chokeslam which Cena suplexes out of.

Taker sits up as Cena goes go for a five knuckle shuffle and recieves a chokeslam followed by tombstone. One, two, three. It was a squash, WTF?

Winner: The Undertaker

Verdict: Taker hasn’t looked this good in at least 5 years and essentially this was a squash match. 

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And now we see the WWE Hall of Fame 2018 class!

Tag team Match

Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan V Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

The capacity audience are on fine form with the mass of ‘Yes’ chants as he comes down to the ring. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn hit the ring with a surprise move from behind and the brawl begins. The dastardly pair power bomb Bryan onto the apron before the bell even rings.

Bryan is down and stays there with Shane left to fight alone. McMahon calls for the bell to ring and the match begins. He dominates with quick paced punches and high risk moves. Soon enough Zayn and Owens get the upper hand. They take it in turns to dominate but Shane fights back and manages to hit a coast to coast to Zayn.

Owens turns the tables and hits a frog splash and as he goes for a cover Daniel Bryan enters the match and puts in the save. Shane desperately struggles to reach for a tag to no avail. Daniel Bryan is beginning to stir and Shane eventually makes the tag.  Bryan hits the ropes and hits a thunderous clothesline to Sami Zayn. He then throws out a big missile drop kick from above. Bryan takes it turns to hit either of his opponents in their respective corners and targets Zayn for a hurricanrana which he executes successfully.

Owens faces off with Bryan and puts in a powerbomb which Bryan kicks out of. Shane is kicked off the apron twice. Now Zayn and Bryan are about to face off. Several kicks come from Bryan to Zayn and he converts the running knee into the yes lock. Zayn taps.

Winner: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon

Verdict: A decent return for Daniel Bryan and of course physical from Shane, Owens and Zayn. 

Raw Women’s Championship

Alexa Bliss (c) V Nia Jax

The match begins with Nia going after Mickey James who joined Alexa down to the ring. The bell finally rings in what will probably be some level of a squash match considering the size difference between competitors.

nia.PNG  Nia Jax throws Alexa across the ring with a huge slam. They head outside with Alexa trying to walk off with her belt only for Jax to plough into her. Back in the ring they face off with back and fourth action but Jax finds dominance as expected. Bliss does all she can to stop her being dominated by eye poking but again Nia slams her down to the mat.

She picks Bliss up onto her shoulders and climbs the second rope. She falls back and and slams Alexa in the middle of the ring. One, two, three.

Winner: Nia Jax , new Raw Women’s champion.

Verdict: Essentially a crowd cool down squash match. 

WWE Championship Match

AJ Styles (c) V Shinsuke Nakamura

For the first time ever AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura lock up with the crowd captivated and electric. Styles takes the offensive lead and looks to be in control during the early stages of this match. Nakamura fights back and they move into the corner. Forearms are exchanged between the two competitors.

The match slows down and the audience seems partially dead for now, its been a long night as we hit 04:00AM and hopefully the last hour of wrestling. Things continue to crawl along with the pace of this back and fourth flow affair. I’m not sure where its going.

Styles throws out a devastating kick taking Nakamura’s leg away. They move to mat based submission holds. The injured leg is focused on as Nakamura hits the turnbuckle with his knee, Styles hits the springboard forearm and goes for a pin. Kick out at 2.

A spingboard 450 from Styles but Nakamura throws up his knees to block. The pace slows again. Styles clash to Nakamura and thats it, one, two, three!

Winner: AJ Styles retains WWE Championship

Verdict: A slow paced match, the crowd died down near the end, its been a long night, this match could have been a lot better. 

After the match Nakamura presents the belt with the champ and then proceeds to low blow Styles. A possible heel turn perhaps after he puts a beat down on Styles.

And now its time for yet another mid card match…

Raw Tag Team Championship Match

Cesaro and Sheamus (c) V Braun Strowman and mystery partner??

Ok so Braun heads out into the audience in search of a partner and brings back a kid called Nicholas. The match begins and Nicholas stands on the apron as Braun goes against the champs. He lays in a chokeslam to Cesaro but Sheamus intervenes.

The tag champs begin to gang up on Braun who easily kicks out of a pin attempt. Nicholas is tagged in but Strowman comes back in the ring. Strowman hits the powerslam and takes the pin.

Winner: Braun Strowman and Nicholas, new champs, WTF???

Verdict: Okay??? 

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The main Event…

WWE Universal Championship Match

Brock Lesnar (c) V Roman Reigns

The match quickly gets going with Brock taking Roman into suplex city times three followed by Reigns hitting two superman punches. Brock hits the third outside of the ring. He throws Brock outside opposite.

Belly to belly by Brock to Roman on the outside, they are both back up quickly. They head over to the announcers tables with Roman being thrown onto one. Back into the ring they go with more suplexes, the pace begins to dwindle with the crowd chanting ‘cm punk’.

Again they focus on the tables with Lesnar leading Reigns into the barricade. Roman battles back and spears Brock onto an announcers table. Again they get up and into the ring, a super man punch followed by two spears from the number one contender and still the champion kicks out.

An F5 from Brock but Reigns kicks out! ‘Put him down!’ Paul Heyman yells after a third F5 and again Roman kicks out.  It’s approaching 5am in the UK and the match is showing no signs of ending although anything could and will happen with Brock and Reigns.

F5 through the announcers table to Roman on the outside, that’s number 4 as Brock drags him back in the ring. The Beast incarnate is priming for the finish with another german suplex, Roman is dwindling here.  F5 number 5 and Reigns kicks out somehow, again.

Brock takes his gloves off and drives his fists into Reigns head, blood everywhere but somehow Reigns fights back with his face covered in red! F5 number 6 and that’s it, one, two, three!

Winner: Brock Lesnar retains WWE Universal Championship

 

Wrestlemania Verdict: Better than most from recent years. Many of the matches were good value and action packed. Some titles changed whilst others were retained. Great to see Kurt Angle back in a Wrestlemania Ring. Ronda was more than impressive. The whole Cena Taker deal seemed strange and of course ‘Nicholas’ was particularly odd. Paige looks as if she’s shot to pieces and been replaced by a drag queen, yep she looks that bad. 

The main event became a little excessive with the amount of finishers, and the blood was probably a step too far. That’s it for another year. Be sure to check out my next book The Teleporter which drops this month! 

The problem with… Potholes

Okay, so I’ve been letting this one slowly cook in my mind for a little while, and normally I don’t like to go all political or serial debater in my posts. But seeing as the Hall of Information is my corner of the internet, I thought I would, because let’s face it, there isn’t one driver in the UK who doesn’t face the daily dodge of potholes.

hold on jack

I’ve tried to make this less of a generic poke at what is the main problem with Britain’s roads, apart from the overcrowding, HGV’s, sneaky speed camera placements, road rage, BMW’s and of course the recent snow shit-uation. And I point those problems out with the least amount of hostility, apart from the damn snow (shakes fist at clouds).

There is a particularly relevant to me case study that will hopefully enlighten those within the borders of ‘Great’ Britain and even those looking from afar. Because everyone loves a good old fashioned story of complaining.

Note: This SAGA has been going on for over a year!

Exhibit 1: Early 2017 

potholio

The above picture is marked in two different colours via some wonderful work by yours truly in MS Paint, which isn’t as good as those XP days..

The green represents the private property in which I reside. If the camera panned up a little you would see me pecking away at my latest novel or even putting up a finger depending on your approach. As you can see there is some dirt and upon closer inspection water damage below the window which is caused by the shit-uation in Red.. 

This particular patch of road in Watlington Oxfordshire, (I wont do street names, people might find me…) is riddled with pot holes like the one you see. And you might be thinking, that isn’t so bad… No car is going to fall down that…

Wrong, because the deal shown in Red, is severe deterioration of the road so much so, water cannot actually flow into the drain pictured. Actually the water just sits there by the kerb. This means when a driver of the speeding persuasion (another problem with UK’s roads) or not so fast persuasion (again a problem) passes said spot it splashes and damages private property. A grade 2 listed building!

Exhibit 1B

exhibit d.PNG

The above picture shows the first initial repair, the date 27th of March 2017. That’s a year ago folks, and look at the miniscule effort. It’s as if somebody just painted over the hole with thick black paint and its worth noting the dirt and damage beneath the window of my house, a grade 2 listed building…

fix me

Now what can one do in such a situation, well there is a handy website known as Fix my Street.  Which you can report potholes and indeed attach pictures, lots of pictures, which I have done, lots of times. They even pass it on to local councils. Sounds good right, well..

And so we must move on, to exhibit B… 26th of March ’18

29681298_10155694427117424_1224382644_o

This is a current in door view of the recent ‘fix’ that some men in a flatbed did one late morning for a couple of minutes. Now this one doesn’t show the smaller scale repair they did, with even less scraps of tarmac. This time they made the effort to drill that and fill most of the hole, stopping a majority of the rain water, but there is still a lot of splash-age going on. Please excuse the miniature tea set simply put in for scale…  And water still seems to sit there destined to cover private property yet again, and damaging private property yet again.

Now disappointingly the rough patch is in desperate need of a resurface was ignored again. Referring to exhibit 1 the area marked in Red is the total problem hence Exhibit 3 below…

exhibit 3

Now that’s a much better expression of how inadequate the repairs have been over the course of, well a long time. My thinking here is logical to the point where I think one proper pothole repair would save the cost of multiple shoddy ones… that’s just basic maths right? You can see the water still sitting there waiting to wash over the house with its all too familiar colour of oily grey with a hint of precipitation. 

And so here is my latest entry to Fix my street. I even attached a photo with pretty colours pointing out the obvious problem…

fix me street

Of course I went into full condescending sarcasm mode, and why shouldn’t I, this is just an example of what is happening on a daily basis in Britain’s Roads. I say screw the economy for a while especially if we cant even get to work in the first place because I fell down a hole, or splashed some good looking writer’s house.

The council or whatever their real name is have replied saying this problem has been actioned to be repaired, but it still hasn’t and may have even been forgotten…

All joking aside, this situation is no joke, people face serious damage and serious threats to life from roads that need a look at properly. Motorways, A roads, B roads and every other driving surface are riddled in this country. Something must be done…

Got any pothole stories, don’t just tell me, hit up Fix my street and then share this post so we can shame Oxfordshire County Council who will be tagged on the Tweet machine, so waves to those peeps, and do something about it… seriously before someone gets hurt, badly. 

The Teleporter: World Exclusive Blurb Reveal

2018 the teleporter

What if there was a power like no other? What if one drunken slouch stumbled where nobody stumbled before and discovered the ability to teleport!

And just when you thought there were enough super hero stories in this world, we made another one…

Kurt Wiseman spends his days underachieving and his nights quenching a thirst for drink. He doesn’t fit the standard bill of someone looking to battle injustice and certainly has no aspiration for abs. That is until destiny calls upon him to face an all too familiar sounding mega-rich powerful businessman who represents everything wrong with society today.

Wiseman accidentally acquires the power to teleport and realizes he must fight a politically loaded story arc as well as enduring a journey of self-reflection by overcoming his greatest weakness, booze. Even if the path is filled with comic book cliché, inappropriate one liners and genre busting fourth wall action. Kurt must earn the trust of his friends and save the day.  

Not all heroes in this world are the same and with great power comes the possibility to go viral! This is a story that will unite humanity.

 Kurt Wiseman is… The Teleporter!

 

 

 

I, Tonya: Review

It’s Wednesday, which means yesterday was half price Tuesday at the cinema, which means today is blog post review day… So like many of the people in my damn way, I ventured out into the snow and did some cheap ticket grabbing and saw me a gritty biopic called I,Tonya…

(This review may look as if it’s a little late to the party depending on your location, but this film has only just come out here in the UK)

i tonyaMargot Robbie leads a cast of the real life story that centers around former american figure skater Tonya Harding. A story perhaps not particularity well known by younger generations but by people of a certain age. I was intrigued by this film’s premise and trailer so put it on the list to watch.

The film opens and introduces viewers in a documentary style way with interview sequences from the handful of main characters this story has to offer. Those who do know about the ‘incident’ surrounding Harding will have their expectations eventually fulfilled but for someone like me, who didn’t know the background I was still treated with some pretty fine performances from the cast along with a great story.

The narrative throughout is done via a unique fourth wall breaking style, with central characters not only narrating but telling the story as it happens along with flash forward interviews.

I, Tonya is the story of a young girl who fights her way to the top of the figure skating scene, even if she is never perceived as good enough, and this is where Margot Robbie delivers. Her ice skating sequences are wonderfully shot with much of it close up and to look as if Robbie was indeed not a stunt double. The emotional side off the ice was just as good and believable with the abusive relationship she found herself in with estranged former husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan). Some of the domestic violence Harding endured isn’t held back in the film and some audience members did gasp.

Much of this film has been taken from real events and real footage, which we see comparisons to at the end much like Tonya Harding’s famous execution of the triple axel in a skating competition along with her interaction with the press. She became the first american woman to attempt and execute this move and so she rightly earned her way into the winter Olympics.

Her mother played by Allison Janney delivered an oscar worthy performance of a real hard ass, nothing is good enough parent who drove Tonya forward in skating. I wont reveal the main plot or resolve to the film as we don’t do spoilers here, but I will say I, Tonya is a fantastically told, and wonderfully shot film put together like a documentary. There are laugh out loud moments sandwiched with some true heartbreak and triumph.

I must commend the wonderful sound track which takes you back very effectively to the eighties and early nineties. Overall I come away from the cinema knowing I watched a great film and story which is worthy of telling.

My favorite moment would be the emotional stare in the mirror Tonya gives as she is desperately trying to keep it together and smile over tears. This scene itself garners an Oscar nod along with the make up effects to age and make the characters look like their real life counterparts

Overall I would say go see it, rock and roll man…

 

A thank you…. to all of those who downloaded my second book Darke Blood whilst it was free this week and last week. It went to number 1 in both UK and US ebook charts…

The Walking Dead…and buried?

 

This weekend see’s AMC’s the Walking Dead stand on the cusp of maybe the biggest fall from grace in television history. Here we stand in the middle of it’s eight season feeling pretty much underwhelmed and somewhat not bothered about it, well that’s my feeling anyway, and I’m an avid fan.

I don’t usually do debatable pieces but I feel compelled to give you all my two cents…

To begin with, this article will contain spoilers of the Walking Dead, you’ve been warned! 

twd

I remember some years back spending the month of August binge watching seasons 1 to 4 of the Walking Dead readying myself for the remarkable season 5 and the year after which saw possibly the most gripping moment on television. Season 6’s finale episode.

You can’t not mention the arrival of the notorious big bad known as Negan, and every top story must have the big bad. Soon after his introduction we realized the Governor was a choirboy compared. The S6 finale had us on the edge of our seat, Rick and the gang were on their knees literally and were putty in Negan’s hands. What a huge moment for TV, an introduction like nothing we had ever seen and a monologue sequence by Jeffrey Dean Morgan which put viewers for the first time in a wonderfully weird position, a love to hate position for record breaking viewing figures. Then, we had to wait half a year to see who died. Say what you like about that moment, but that was part 1 of TWD’s peak.

negan 2

Season 7 opened where we left off, Rick is a defeated man, his eyes say it all, fantastic acting from everyone in this episode, much like all of the series. That episode did something to the audience which has never been done before. We felt demoralized, down and not wanting to see any more. I didn’t want to watch anymore, seeing such strong characters chopped down.  I have never felt that way about a story before. Two beloved characters fell, Glenn and Abraham, a shocking turn of events and even then it didn’t cheapen the major character death thing that Game of Thrones loves to do, quite well mind. We as an audience were wounded. And that folks was the very peak of this show, it never got better than that.

It just went downhill…

The Walking Dead has never recovered from that moment and the introduction of Negan. I’m not sure the show knew what to do with him next, maybe the greatest thing about the show (him), ended up being its true demise. Looking at the current mood on social media, most people are not happy with the show.

And  S7 had it’s moments, the whole Daryl getting kidnapped easy street thing was good, and the Hilltop seemed intriguing, along with an introduction to King Ezekiel by way of Morgan and Carol. Dwight’s character was perfectly conflicted and full marks for Eugene. All of these ingredients were the perfect recipe for this show to really push forward and move into a whole new chapter, war. Except that didn’t really happen. Season 7 was a sluggish decline all the way to the finale when we finally saw the three ‘good’ communities unite, that was awesome, but was that really enough? We finally saw Negan retreat, just about, and was that enough?

Although the whole long hard season thing worked to an extent, viewers didn’t get anything from it. There was no Negan origins story, no signs of any real fight back and no consistency with how the last seasons dealt with any resolve. Okay, some series are allowed a duff season, I can allow that considering the Walking Dead has a fantastic cast of actors who take their craft seriously. The zombie effects are second to none, but the story; began to show signs of crashing and burning throughout season 7. And then the first half of Season 8 happened.

The opening three episodes opened with a good effort of trying to replace the missing action from the previous season. But it didn’t feel like an ‘all out war’, as advertised. a lot of it just seemed over pushed and over done just to cater for S7. I know this show doesn’t like to explain things and sometimes that’s good for ‘creative scope’ but I began to question what exactly was going on.

Negan looked to be on the back foot but then the resolve of that angle just fizzled away. And again we saw no origins story. We are then led to believe the Saviours are trapped in their own compound but then just got out. The one good thing about S8 was the King, and his epic ‘still I smile’ routine which got dashed and ruined. Don’t get me started on how pointless the tiger turned out to be! Jesus appeared to be a complete flake, a soggy corn flake actually and his confrontation with Morgan was underused.

So the Saviours get out with no real harm and go straight after Alexandria. Quickly they dismantle the place and pretty much level it. We see a brief exchange/fight between Rick and Negan, again not enough. The good guys and characters we have come to love are hidden underground, and then it gets revealed Carl has been bitten.

There’s no real indication as to where Season 8 part two will go. Like many of the seasons they play up to the unpredictable nature of what a zombie apocalypse is but there’s hardly anything left for me to look forward to. I’m not bothered at all about tuning in this monday (sunday for US fans).

If you ask me, there’s something really wrong probably happening underneath the hood of the car as to speak. You can almost sense that in Talking Dead when Scott Gimple sat on the couch. He confirmed Carl will die, a character we all thought would see the finale episode. How many high profile original character deaths can an audience deal with until they call time?

Rumour and induendo suggest that Gimple has been removed from his current position and there have been talks of a ‘shake up’ but again this gives me little faith for S8 part 2. More news has recently surfaced that Lauren Cohan (Maggie) hasnt signed on currently for Season 9. Another top character death will bring the walking dead on the verge of being buried and with no signs of retribution for Glenn’s death by the birth of their child.

My conclusion is simple, if this was a show based off my books, I would have stepped in a long damn time ago and never let this show get to this stage. Negan is slowly becoming a pointless novelty, albeit well portrayed like all of the cast who I imagine work so hard to convince us and immerse us into this world. Time is quickly running out for probably the most watched television in a generation.

Netflix are becoming stronger and stronger, they started out with producing low budget high performance quality shows. Now they are producing high budget, high quality performance shows at an increasingly quick rate. If they were to create a high budget zombie show, then it could be curtains for TWD.

There are some great shows currently streaming; Altered Carbon, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, Westworld, Black Mirror to say a few.

Broadcast television has to catch up in terms of quality story. And for the network that brought us Breaking Bad, AMC are a far cry away from those days now.

I will be tuning in, but the Walking Dead currently sits on probation/ last chance saloon for me. In the words of Shrek, it could be ‘all ogre now’…