Haunted Ends by Elizabeth Price – Review

A fun quirky tale of the paranormal with mystery and intrigue…

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Haunted Ends is part ghost story and part murder mystery which turned out to be an overall fun read. The story opens with ‘Sam’ who is short in stature but full of character. His journey makes for one of two main plot lines that eventually intertwine after the initial chapters; the other follows ‘Rocky’ a car fanatic and paranormal investigator that used to be able to see ghosts, this is an ability that returns to him and he decides to use it which makes the story.

Eventually we see ‘Sam’ and ‘Rocky’s’ paths cross in a ghost buddy story situation seeing them team up to solve a murder shrouded in mystery and deception. Rocky’s journey seems to be full of misfortune while ‘Sam’ is doing his best to adapt to his new existence.

Elizabeth Price has created a world where ghosts are characters too and not just some scary concept making it accessible to most readers; it’s quirky in places but still believable throughout.

As the story came to it’s final chapters everything was wrapped up nicely (although quite quickly) making for a good paranormal read that’s different, imaginative and fun.

4 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Open Evening & Cemetery House are FREE to download today!

Halloween approaches, the leaves have turned and the temperature has began to recede. While the shadows do their best to cast over everything it’s time to embrace the season and the unexpected because both Open Evening and it’s sequel Cemetery House are free to download today and tomorrow only! (this is a one off deal) 

dfw-lh-3dx2Every published author has that book which broke them into the world of story telling and Open Evening is that for me. It’s a story in which I am immensely proud of and I pretty much got to work on making a sequel for straight after; that was after penning Darke Blood which happens to be set in the same world now known as the ‘Order of the Following’. 

There are going to be more books based on these stories coming soon!

So what are they about? 

Open Evening and Cemetery House are two fast paced reads of the unexpected and survival. They are about so much more than the horror that is on the surface; they highlight the social struggle of growing up along with what it’s really like to go through high school. As much as there is terror and action, they are stories of friendship, coming of age and above all life. Much of the stuff in this book represents the years I spent at school – so it’s real to an extent. 

Its ‘Alien’ meets ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ ‘Final Destination’ and ‘Blade’ all wrapped up in some Halloween spookyness!

A recent review of Open Evening: 

“If you ever found secondary school hard, then you’ll be able to relate to the main character. If you loved Buffy the vampire slayer, then you’ll love this book…”

You can download a copy of Open Evening here for free! 

Cemetery House then picks up literally three weeks after the events Open Evening. High School is over and those who survived have moved into the world of work while something else lurks just underneath the surface. Not only is this a sequel but in this one you get answers and the rabbit hole goes deeper into this world which will then lead into the Darke Blood sequel!

‘CH’ is ‘Jurassic Park’ meets ‘House on Haunted Hill’ while continuing on from Open Evening.

You can download a copy of Cemetery House here for free!

A recent review of Cemetery House: 

“I really enjoyed this follow up to Open evening, gripping story definitely a page turner for me…”

 

This is probably one of the only times both of these books will be available together for free! 

 

 

 

 

HITMAN: An evening with Bret Hart – Review

‘My career was everything to me.’

Those were the first words said by Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart on what would become an evening of honesty and even some real emotion as he recalled the run up to his WWE return; that being the Hall of Fame induction in 2006.

And that was the subject of this evening’s show (Bret’s WWE return and beyond) of what has been a several night tour of the UK for Hart, London being the final stop which was all well presented and put together by Inside the Ropes.

Just an hour or so before the audience like myself had the opportunity to meet Bret; although brief I did manage to tell him how much it meant for him to come over to the UK and the fact I don’t think professional wrestling got any better after him. He was softly spoken and truly thankful like he always has been for the fans.

‘That mean’s a lot,’ he said and of course he continued on with signing autographs and meeting the large turn out of fans.

For those not so in the know about the history of professional wrestling; I watched it religiously while growing up and even into my early twenties along with my brother who got us tickets to this event. The performance side of wrestling and the spectacle is what always attracted me to it, this is probably why I eventually joined a drama club and performed in shows. Wrestling is a performance art; it’s story telling and most punters who know me on here will know where I stand when it comes to stories.

Bret Hart is arguably one of the greatest ever, the 90’s was mostly a good decade for the Hitman while he became more and more popular. He won championships and was a staple to the industry and the then WWF. He really was (and still is) a Canadian hero who also inspired the rest of the world. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on what side you stand Bret’s career hasn’t been without controversy, of course the 1997 Survivor Series ‘screw job’ comes to mind (google it if you haven’t heard of it) – possibly the most fascinating piece of wrestling politics in it’s whole history. His rivalry on and off screen with Shawn Michaels cannot be ignored. Hart has also been through a lot more, he lost his own brother Owen, a fellow wrestler who tragically died during an event in 1998.

At the near end of the decade Bret who then wrestled for rival outfit WCW was forced to retire eventually due to a rather stiff kick to the head by Bill Goldberg; a person he referenced with the upmost contempt and now I have heard the real story, I don’t blame him. Not only did this kick cause a severe concussion; it took him a year to recover but it also led to a life changing stroke some years later. Goldberg apologised via the phone 8 months later.

We can all agree Bret Hart has been through a lot of misfortune; he lost a lot including the majority of a 16 million dollar contract he had with WCW after he got injured. His final payout via Lloyds of London – who he also regards with contempt, 1.6 Million and this included the a stipulation that he could never wrestle again.

His departure from the WWF in 97 wasn’t a good one. He’ll be the first to admit that he was angry and mad for a long time.

‘It doesn’t help to carry around a lot of grief,’ he says when tackling the subject of what he’s been through. 

There were a few moments when Hart had to stop, for a man who has been though so much and probably hardened by it he still manages to get emotional and this is when everything really sunk in to me. A lot of folks over the years have said he’s just a bitter former wrestler, he isn’t and he’s so damn proud of the career he’s had.

Bret even was determined not to be erased from Wrestling history and why should he? His family; the Hart’s are a famous wrestling family from Calgary; they deserve to be recognised. Vince McMahon of WWE, or the enemy back then called Bret whilst he was still in the hospital post stroke. They began to mend fences and Bret knew he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame which is what the subject of the phone call.

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The evening continued with a plethora of eye opening accounts of his return to the WWE and even his long awaited return to their flagship show Raw in 2010. This was indeed another emotional recollection but he had to do it, he had to bury the past and he did. Of course Bret went on to have a ‘match’ at Wrestlemania after seeing Donald Trump throw down with McMahon; of course Lloyds of London began a lawsuit but they did the match anyway even with Bret not able to take bumps.

After all these years Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart is still able to fill an auditorium just by telling his stories and they were worth every word. Even though he’s older he’s prouder than ever of what he has achieved and you can tell that by how emotional he got – something I never thought I would see, he let us in. You can still argue to this day that Bret is the excellence of execution, he admitted he never hurt anyone in the ring, so my belief sways towards him being just that!

This was my first Inside the Ropes show; I’m definitely going to be looking out for future shows especially if they were like this one! 

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Joker – Review

The world has waited a long time for an origins story of quite possibly the most iconic antagonist in comic book and story-telling. We’re used to seeing the ‘business end’ of most ‘bad guys’ without their journey really being acknowledged. The hero swings in and they get beaten, the end… 

‘Joker’ breaks that mold in what I could only describe as a pure cinematic journey into a level of madness and depravity most would find some level of discomfort in – but that’s why it’s so good and even with this story unfolding before our eyes this is just the tip of a much deeper and realistic iceberg.

*There aren’t any specific spoilers in this review *

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A huge player in the theme of this story is privilege versus the downtrodden in a Gotham city where hard times are showing no end and this is where you’ll find the motive and choice behind our title character. Joaquin Phoenix or ‘Arthur’ brings so much to the table in this film; if it wasn’t titled ‘Joker’ it could easily be the tragic tale of a man with a history of being abused who has an abundance of issues while he slips through the cracks of care and society. Very early on you cannot help but back this man who is like everyone else in this world trying to make it through with aspirations and dreams.  

In places the film is awkward to watch and this a deliberate move to highlight ‘Arthur’s’ struggle socially and there will be moments that first appear funny but are actually tragic. This is a man who has been downtrodden his whole life in a world where everyone is sick of struggling while the elite prosper. Eventually these two concepts or themes meet in what is a culmination that is both shocking and incredibly powerful.

Just as the final thirty minutes of this film unravel the whole thing turns on it’s head and becomes a tale of pure anarchy. And even after this ‘Joker’ became apparent and did what he did, it’s portrayed in a way where his choices may have actually been justified for the life he has led. We see the grit of his story on his side of the fence and for everything he does it will leave you thinking, maybe he isn’t the bad guy after all.

I think this film is going to get my number 1 of 2019 and personally I think awards don’t mean much but Phoenix at least needs a nod. Robert De Niro was also fantastic in this film and played a role I never imagined to see him in. Throughout it felt like old school cinema with just a hint of independent film making and a dusting of Tarantino all wrapped up with a great soundtrack and some good cinematography.

5/5 – It’s harrowing, depraved, violent and graphic in places, it isn’t for the faint of heart but I highly recommend this film! By far the best ‘DC’ universe film since the ‘Dark Knight series’. 

 

 

Real Neat Blog Award Nomination II (+ tags)

The Hall of information has received it’s fourth award nomination of 2019!

It truly is an honor to be noticed as a blogger and I would like to thank big time blog-star Megan from A Geeky Gal for the nod. Let me take this opportunity to tell you about what a great blogger she is!

geeky galMegan is the epitome of blogging and without doubt one of the benchmarks that I follow for inspiration . Not only does she blog about all things geek but she also blogs about some very important subjects in the field of self care and mental health in the geek community. Very recently Megan completed a 30 Day Geek out Challenge which not only shows how dedicated she is to blogging but also how similar our tastes are in so many different things! So thank you to Megan for the nomination! 

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The Rules:

  • Display the Award Logo.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
  • Nominate 7-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Questions from Megan: 

1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

That depends of how self assured you want me to be… If things continue the way they are going now then the dreamer in me would like to think things would be pretty good. I’m certain the next decade will probably be the most important of my life as a writer and of course the person outside of those efforts. There’s a big motherfu**ing world of opportunity out there that I intend to go after and that includes seizing every moment I get. A couple more amazon reviews wouldn’t be a bad thing either…

2. Who or what is your spirit animal?

The cliche answer would be Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters but I’ve heard at least two people say the same. I like to be different because I am so I’m gonna say my spirit animal would be the wind. Fierce sometimes and gentle on other occasions. You can’t see it like most spirits but it’s there, always (deep right).

3. What is one thing on your bucket list?

Above all I would love to see my writing make its way to the big screen and then be a success. Most of my stuff is written in a cinematic style and to even see the trailer of something I wrote would be enough to convince me this was all worth it (plus there would probably be tears…).

4. What is your strategy for the zombie apocalypse?

Well I can’t shoot, I don’t like to run (even though I can) and I’ve never really been one to fight so my efforts would sway towards hiding out of sight most probably above ground with some beer and just let the whole thing play out…

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5. What movie/book character are you most like?

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Great question! And right now I have the perfect answer although I may appear to be reaching here but at this point in time I see myself as being mostly like Charles Dickens from the 2017 film ‘the man who invented Christmas’. The film highlights Dickens struggle to pen his most famous, the most famous Christmas story.

Now people are probably thinking how dare you compare to such a literary master and if I told you the true reason why I see myself as him I would be giving all my cards away – let’s just say this year and the festive season coming may have a quite a surprise in store… For anyone who is a fan of Dickens, literature and of course ‘a Christmas Carol’ I highly recommend taking a look at this film!

6. If you could do anything you want for a living, what would it be?

The older I get the more I have come to appreciate the English language. Now I don’t see myself as an academic but if money was no option I would seriously consider being an English literature teacher. There’s a lot of great literature out there that just isn’t reaching the generations of kids in a way it deserves to be recognised, teaching stuff like that needs someone relatively hip and with it; I am both of those things, plus I’ve written books and plays… #morethanqualified – and I mean that without any course to put down any teachers currently out there – you guys rock!

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7. If we were all forced to wear a warning label,  what would yours say?

‘Warning: This writer will use what you say, do or think in a future project. Speak, act or think at your own risk’…

or more realistically ‘keep away from booze’ 

A huge thanks to Megan for the nomination and now it’s my turn to nominate the following for the real neat blog award: 

  1. LillBlu1981
  2. Mullen Crafts
  3. Stoner on a Rollercoaster
  4.  Debjani’s Thoughts
  5.  Christina Engela
  6. The Alchemist’s Studio
  7. Book Steff’s Bookish Blog

And here are the questions for the nominees: 

  1.  If you were to give a TED talk, what would be your specialist subject?
  2.  What is your favourite season of the year and why?
  3.  If you could time travel, where are you going? The past or the future? And why?
  4.  (Stolen from Megan because it’s a good question) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  5.  Name a book, a tv show or a film that you could watch or read over and over again?
  6.  Are you superstitious?
  7.  What do you think is the most important invention of the past 20 years?

 

Of course anyone who hasn’t been nominated is free to participate and those that do remember to link me in the post so I can see those answers! Rock and roll man! Peace out….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chilling Book Recommendations for Halloween… Part 2

As we crawl closer to all Hallows eve the leaves are turning and the weather is drawing colder. Shadows begin to cast over what was once light and in that darkness you’ll find the unknown. To compliment the season here are some more chilling book recommendations…

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What more could want other than a chilling story that contains some truth? Of course I am talking about ‘Building 51’ by Jennifer L. Place. 

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Building 51 follows the events of seven friends as they embark on an exploration excursion of an abandoned former hospital for the insane. In terms of specific genre this one is literally right up my ‘alley’ and I loved every word. This is while being on the edge of terrified throughout.

Fusing elements of real history and the paranormal make this story and the characters in it feel like something is lurking and watching them. Something is and this gradually becomes apparent manifesting itself in a range of unique and creepy ways. Without giving any further spoilers I urge you to check it out, trust me you won’t regret reading this one!

 

‘While some monsters are born, others are created..’

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It’s the late 80’s in small town america where some young women have gone missing, one of them happens to look like the main character. What unfolds is a premise that fuses a guess who concept with a sophisticated slasher that delivers.

The Four Before Me by E.H. Night is book I found hard to put down with the many twists and turns along with elements of crime, mystery, suspense and of course some chilling horror. You could compare this book with the early works of Stephen King although the voice in this story is fresh and new trust me.

 

‘Sometimes you don’t get to choose where you are placed in the collective ecosystem of a High School…’

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Every reader collectively rolls their eyes as I plug my own work… Let’s face it without Open Evening and it’s ‘success’ I would have shut up shop a long time ago and yes it’s my debut novel, yes my writing has moved on a lot since and yes it might be ‘tween’ level lame – but I still like it and what it has become.

‘OE’ is a high school horror with a twist that points towards the ‘Body Snatchers’ meets ‘Blade’ which then meets ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and the truth is, I poured a lot of my own high school experiences into this book, so the stuff without the blood thirsty monsters of holy hell contains mostly truth. It’s going to be free to download on the 21st of this month along with it’s sequel ‘Cemetery House’. Both of these books share the same universe as Darke Blood also! 

There’s something lurking in the shadows of Druid Wood and it’s terrifying…

within dark places

Without taking anything away from any of the other books mentioned I have possibly left the most terrifying to last because ‘Within the Dark Places’ by Duncan Thompson sacred the shit out of me! And I mean that in the most sincere of senses because not only was I scared but I enjoyed this book, a lot!

This story follows a small group who decide to spend their weekend in a woods with chilling results. From the very beginning there’s a stack of mystery and intrigue as to what exactly is lurking in the shadows which starts to play on the readers imagination more than anything; something which is text book horror and also very effective in a book like this.

 That wraps up part two of my chilling book recommendations for Halloween. Have you got any? Hit me up and I’ll check them out, my list is always looking for new reads! 

 

Chilling Book Recommendations for Halloween… part 1

Halloween is just around the corner and considering horror is probably my favorite genre in both cinema and reading here are some chilling books I’ve read over the past year which I recommend…

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“Something happened tonight, I don’t know what. Something that ripped the veil between the Chicago of the living and the Chicago of the dead…” 

undertown

‘Undertown: A Novella’ by K.Noel Moore is a chilling and clever fusing of history intertwined with real events set around the historic crime wave/prohibition era of 1930’s America.

I found myself reading this novella in one sitting within a few enjoyable hours. There are plenty of references and terms used in the narrative which are authentic to the historic era with a handy reference/definition section placed at the end of the book (something I felt was a nice touch and shows the author has put in a large amount of care, research and thought into).

Overall Undertown is a perfectly paced, easily readable and well written history novella with just the right amount of chills and atmosphere to make it stand out.

 

‘In space, not all things were certain… not even death’

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Next up is ‘Demonspawn’ by Christina Engela which is a sci-fi horror space story with psychological mystery and suspense throughout. The somewhat damned crew of the I.S.S. Mordrake; a ship seemingly stranded and damaged beyond repair in the furthest reaches of space then stumbles upon another ship, derelict and just floating there…

The story reminded me of films such as Alien and Event Horizon but Demonspawn could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with them. There were many concepts of the sci-fi genre in this book that were original and put together in a way not seen before anywhere else. You can grab yourself a copy here.

 

‘A slow burning tale that twists into the deep shadowy darkness of the unexpected…’

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In Blood of the Sixth’ by K.R Rowe  there’s a lot going on under the surface of a story which sits within the realms of gritty urban horror, mystery and witchcraft.

Blood of the Sixth has a complex interwoven plot which is delivered in a way that makes it an easy to follow read; something I imagine the author has worked tremendously hard to achieve. The whole layout of the book from short sharp chapter length, to characters all the way to general story has been well thought out.

For some parts of my reading experience I genuinely laughed and others I found to be quite harrowing (again in a good way) as there were some real graphic violent portions all of which fitted well for the genres. The use of description in some instances has been painstakingly constructed and again the hard work by K. R. Rowe is obvious to see so trust me when I say this book is good!

‘A modern vampire story that takes the reader on a journey of twists and turns…’

Nocturnal blood

There are only a handful of authors out there who are keeping the vampire genre alive and one of them is Villimey Mist who presents ‘Nocturnal Blood’ a story than convinced me throughout the duration of my reading experience that it truly is a great addition to the genre!

I found Nocturnal Blood to be a highly readable tale of bravery, friendship, character development and vampires; a genre in modern times that doesn’t get nearly enough credit especially when stories like this exist. Its also an important story in a sense that the M.C suffers from anxiety and O.C.D which is a brave thing for an author to write about!

The sequel is coming very soon so now would be a perfect time to grab yourself a copy!

 

“There are more than shadows lurking in the darkness of those trees.”

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Wait what? Your plugging your own book in this thing? My answer to you is fu** yeah and why not! Keeping with the theme of vampire stories here’s mine. ‘Darke Blood’ is a story that reviewers have convinced me is worth reading – I personally thought for quite some time it wasn’t that great but some awesome people have left some awesome reviews for a story I literally had to find my inner author to finish writing it! The journey is turning out to be worth it in the end and the sequel is coming next year!

Here’s a recent review by Blair from the awesome Feed the Crime blog… 

And with that self promo I have no shame in this is the end of part 1, stay tuned next week for part 2! 

Have you got a chilling book rec? Drop it in the comments because here at the Hall of information we are always looking for more book reads!

‘The Stairs’- a paranormal account

The events relayed in this account are true.

 

There are unexplained moments that happen in our lives. Some remain that way forever in the back of our minds and on the fringes of belief. For the majority, these ‘events’ are far and few between but then again there are some exceptions. My second paranormal experience was just that; an exception to the rule. It also happened to take place in the vicinity of where my previous one happened. I don’t believe in coincidence when it comes to the paranormal simply because of this…   

In the summer of 2017 I joined my significant other, her family and friends on what had become the annual two week trip to the south of France. For those who read my previous account  you’ll know the setting; a picturesque converted farm sitting on the hills of beautiful countryside. It’s remote and peaceful. The weather hot nearly everyday although this year the presence of bugs was way reduced due to a late frost.

Our particular digs like the other years a ‘gite’ which could hold up to 12 and on this trip 10 of us were about to become 12 at the midway point of the holiday when my S.O’s sister and her other half would be joining us. Their room sat opposite ours and my S.O’s in the right hand wing of the place. We had a bathroom between us and little stretch of narrow corridor which then flowed out to the main staircase. This staircase was fashioned out of dark red varnished wood and the steps were separately slotted into the wall. Like I mentioned previously when someone would climb these steps it’s would be difficult to miss with the distinctive wooden ‘drumming’ and vibrations which resonated against the wall whenever they were stepped upon.

On the night before our new arrivals were due I had already gone to bed when I had the rather strong urge to pee. I eventually gave in to those urges and decided to get up, I put the bedside lamp on and made my way to the door which I unlocked and headed out into the dark corridor. At this time the whole place was dead quiet, everyone was in bed by now and so it was dark but the little light from behind me showed the way and so I went into the bathroom, before I walked in I noticed the open bedroom door in front of me where our new arrivals would be staying the next night. The room sat in the shadows and in my grogginess I shuffled into the bathroom and closed the door.

Being half asleep I took the decision to sit on the toilet and during so I heard the distinctive sound of footsteps drumming up the stairs. Was someone up at this hour? The steps pattered on wood as they continued from what I presumed was the ground until they reached our level. I had the distinct feeling someone was rushing into our wing of the gite and flowing past the door I was behind and into the vacant bedroom. What followed was a loud echoing slamming which sounded like what could have been a heavy door closing.

I finished my business and headed out into the corridor. Immediately I put the light on to see nobody in sight. I walked to the stairs to see nobody around. My inspection of the situation pointed towards nobody I knew being around at the same time. That slamming sound, so distinct and even harrowing, I am swaying towards belief that it was something not of this mortal coil.

Some encounters remain unexplained…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Door’ – a paranormal account

The events relayed in this account are true.

 

There have only been a handful of times in my life when something has happened that cannot be explained. Many of us have experienced the same; from the cliche odd bump in the night or the feeling of being watched to even something lurking in the corner of your eye. I’m a sceptic and even after this encounter and another after that, I still am. But to this day it still remains unexplained, so let me take you back to the summer of 2013…

Like the year previous I had joined my significant other and her family on the annual summer trip to the south of France; a beautiful place all year around; in the summer the weather is a hot as Spain and this is accompanied with the forest backdrop that could be England but way more rural.

Our road journey was around 10 hours plus and on this year my S.O and I were joined by some close friends. The accommodation and our home for two weeks would be on a former farm converted into ‘gite’s’ – barns which now serve as self catering holiday homes. Of course with our larger party we were in the 12 berth gite. Located on forest surrounded hills and farms, this place truly is picturesque and remote. All roads leading there are single track and you can even hear how quiet it is; bliss. This is without mentioning the stunning Jurassic Park like views.

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Our rooms were decided upon arrival and so myself and my S.O took the top left area. You can see from the pic above the window in which our bedroom was and this was the left hand wing of the gite. Up wooden stairs and a left hand turn into an alcove half way up would bring you to a narrow corridor which then faces another corridor leading left and right with a bathroom between a pair of rooms. If you were to go further up the stairs instead of turning left it would take you up to a living room area and then moving right would take you to the higher section of the gite and to more bedrooms on the right wing – this is where a pair of our friends took a room each. It is worth noting the stairs which were varnished wood had been installed by way of slotting into the wall; you would have to literally tip toe not to be heard and they made a distinctive ‘drumming’ when anyone walked on them.

After what was a long travelling day, we had eaten dinner and the general mood amongst our camp was good and fun; we were in the usual spirits of exchanging stories, jokes and generally messed around like we always did in each others company. We were on holiday and things were good.

Eventually it was bed time and so myself and my S.O went back to our room and began to unpack our stuff. At this time everyone else was probably doing the same or going to sleep and so silence ruled over the gite for the night.

Whilst I decided not to fully unpack I got myself into bed and as my S.O was considering joining me our bedroom door softly opened. The door was previously closed with a handle that requires pulling to open.

At that moment neither of us were startled and I thought about perhaps yelling an expletive at probably a prankster in the night. Instead I walked up to the door and behind it was nothing but the darkness. Now there was probably enough distance for whoever decided to play this prank to be easily discovered and still I didn’t see a soul in sight. Upon walking out and even getting to the stairs I expected the culprit to be huddling somewhere but there was nothing. Being one of rationale I shrugged my shoulders and returned to bed, this time locking the door.

The next day I quizzed those who I consider to be behind such activities to no avail. To this day nobody has admitted to opening that door. It’s worth mentioning on that night the window in our room was not open and as far as I can remember there was no strong winds or even a breeze outside.

My answer wouldn’t point towards the paranormal until the owner of the place mentioned in passing to one of our party about this particular gite being ‘haunted’; not a lot of sleep was lost as this was mentioned on our final day. The story even developed to be one of a little girl who can be seen around the extensive forest surrounded site.

Because there are so many variables, I spent some time being very sceptical on the matter. We had even returned the next year to the same place and nothing had happened for the whole duration of that trip.

Even though I was slightly wary that next year it wouldn’t be until 2017 when something else happened involving ‘The Stairs’...

 

 

Loderunner by Christina Engela – Review

A fun tale about the perils of voyaging through space to earn an honest buck with a meaningful important message…

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In the already established ‘Quantum’ universe comes a tale of the unexpected and it might be the best of the series so far. Although initially set on the planet of Deanna we are introduced to P.I Timasket Skooch who happens to win the deeds of a ‘Loderunner’ ship during a card game.

From the early stages of this story Christina Engela makes great efforts to not only tell a story with wide appeal but also includes a powerful inclusive message about the subject of transphobia and embracing who you really are on the inside. In this book particular its a subject that runs as one of the main themes; our main character ‘Tim’ shares a relationship with ‘Dory’ – a woman for all we know but in pre-transition. This subject as a whole doesn’t particularly matter for ‘Tim’ who see’s ‘Dory’ as much more.

Leaving his significant other behind ‘Tim’ sets out into the depths of space with an assembled multi character crew on his newly acquired ship in search of earning a buck or two. I particularly enjoyed the depth of character quality in the crew and it made for another crucial element of this book. They agree to take a pair of passengers who appear to be more than what they appear and again the powerful gender message follows while being intertwined with mystery and deception (saying any more would involve spoilers).

What ensues is a story with a powerful meaning along with the usual fun moments Engela is known for, space stories really are her speciality and the setting makes the writing feel very much at home.

“Does age define the ability to suffer?” A question which best describes the theme in the book and it’s done in a way that doesn’t feel preachy or even like a protest but more so with deeper meaning. By the end of this book I found myself rooting for the characters who deserved the resolve they got. Overall a fun meaningful read.

5 stars