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Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of eleven T L Spencer turned to writing as a way to cope with her condition. Her vivid imagination and love of all things paranormal influenced her writing. T L Spencer enjoys all forms of literature and is currently studying at university, hoping to become a teacher.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Beautiful Disaster, Jamie McGuire

Intense... Dangerous... Addictive. Meet your new obsession.


As the release of Walking Disaster is right around the corner (2nd April, ladies and gentlemen), here is my review of Beautiful Disaster...

The story:

We have Abby, newly arrived at college with a past. All she wants is to settle down with her best friend and get on with her studies. She doesn't want to reminded of bad things, drunken brawls, gambling... anything that could lead to old habits and really bad memories.

Enter Travis, the college lover boy and resident hottie; the drop-dead gorgeous guy who has tattoos, fights and has far too many one-nigh-stands to count. He is maddeningly attractive... So Abby has to stay away.

But Abby being immune to his charms seems to fascinate Travis. As their friendship develops, a bet is made... and Abby loses. She must stay with him at his apartment for a whole month.

And then the fun begins and the romance starts.

Review:

At the top of the book (great cover by the way), it says INTENSE, DANGEROUS... MEET YOUR NEW OBSESSION... Well, they pretty much have it right there.

I am a romantic at heart, so Beautiful Disaster was right up my alley. But when I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I read the entire book in three hours; all 420 pages of it, it was that good.
 
And here is why.
 
Beautiful Disaster is a novel that, though contemporary, follows one of the most basic romance plotlines: boy-meets-girl, boy-loves-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl. And it does it well. The story arcs are well designed and the writing flows magnificently, taking the reader from one event to the other without the feeling of abandonment. I never felt lost while reading this novel and the comparisons to Pride and Prejudice and other romances are justified (not Twilight though).
 
The characters are yet another strong aspect to this story. As the novel is written in first person, the protagonist had to likeable, strong and yet have some interesting flaws; she certainly had to have a past (as all good heroines in the modern age do). Abby fit the bill perfectly. She was willful, brave, funny, realistic, and she had an essence of romance too. The fact that she drove me mad a few times is a testament to JM's writing brilliance. Abby really gets under your skin; at certain points I shouted at the book (at a fictional character, yes) because she was being an idiot.
 
Which brings me onto the yumminess of Travis Maddox... poor, muscular, built, tattooed, yummy, drop-dead gorgeous Travis. Now, here is a character worth writing about, and not just for the shallow reasons. I cannot wait for the 2nd April. He is one big complicated soul; I can imagine a psychologist having a field day with him. He sleeps with women all the time but hates the constant attention (which is why he's fascinated by Abby), he fights in an illegal fighting ring but takes Criminal Justice and is so uneblievably caring underneath all that hard muscle and moodiness that it just about tears your heart out. Travis is a vulnerable guy and quite often throught BD, I felt so sorry for him. I mean, who wouldn't love him?
 
My final thumbs up to Beautiful Disaster is the humour element. I mean, when you're writing a book about college students and romance, it isn't going to be serious all the time is it? JM has the fun down. Some of the one liners in the novel are superb; I was giggling for ages!
 
What was wrong with it?... I challenge you to find something... Maybe an 'off of' there and then but so what? I don't care; they were in the dialogue anyway.
 
This is one of my favourite books on the shelf. It's fun, romantic, dangerously quirky and the characters are awesome!
 
Bring on Walking Disaster!


The Pests... I Mean the Pets...

Here they are, the Spencer family zoo animals. Sapphi is our 19 wk old husky cross while Bella (mostly black) and Donna (white) are our two cats!

Look how cute they are...





A Contented Cat

Bella never used to sleep in my room... Until she discovered that my bed was next to a lovely and warm radiator. Now, I can never seem to get her out of it!

Last Bite...

Meet Jasper, my Twilight guilty pleasure :)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

At Eighty...

Okay, so in on a HP mad session, but this is sooooooo true, it brings a sort of tear to my eye...

S.Snape

My favourite character from the Harry Potter books...

As a Dog...

This picture describes me perfectly if I were to suddenly transform into a dog.
I blame my education...

Marius...

I love VP, he's awesome. And as a vampire, he rocks! Marius has a wonderful sense of humour in QOTD...

Friday, 29 March 2013

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Memory

I love this spell on Charmed... I only wish it worked in real life!

Louis!

Yes everyone, here is Brad all dressed up as a vampire! Look at him!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Invasion of the Starfish...

Here at Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire it has been a tad on the breezy side and the tides have been manic!
So, today when I took the dog for a walk I was expecting a mass of sand dunes on the roads, plenty if sea weed, maybe even a few dead dish.
What I didn't expect was an orange field of starfish! There were hundreds of them!






Blade Bites

Here he is! Kick-ass vampire/human...
He had to be included!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Which Way Now?

I love this. I want this. This is awesome. How cool is this? Whoever did this has my sense of humour...
Totally bonkers.

Ace!

Jesse...

Yes, the human turned vampire. I know she's not a vampire for long, but she has style :)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Drusilla

Yes, here is the mad vampire from Spike's woeful love life. Don't you just love an insane vampire?
She really did have that perfect mixture of beauty and crazy working for her; I loved the episodes of Buffy which started her.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Elijah...

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Okay, so technically this is one vampire too many. But look at him!
Elijah is gorgeous isn't he?
Much nicer than his brother...
Even in a suit, this man is just yummy!

With the Twilight Theme...

It's Bella! Here she is all vamped out with the eyes and everything. I love the opening sequence to Breaking Dawn Pt 2 because the music is exquisite. And in this film, KS actually has facial expressions. It's a miracle x

Friday, 22 March 2013

An Interview and Review...

Thank you Diana xxx

I love this interview and adore the review. It has so much detail in it and gives me a real idea of where to improve and where to maintain my pace of writing.

Here's the link for those of you who want to take a peek...

http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/interview-and-review-blood-prophecy.html

Thanks again to @OffbeatVagabond!

Top 10: Oh the Horror...

Goosebumps prickle your skin.A cold draft slithers down your spin. You shiver. Something, or someone is watching. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck as your breathing becomes shallow. You look for an implement; you can't find one. You're all alone. No one can help you. It's here... He's here... He has a knife... You run to the door but it's locked. You can't hide...

You can't go anywhere...

Everyone loves a good scare; especially when it comes to the movies. Who hasn't had a film day where they've crashed on the sofa, turned off the lights, drawn the curtains, grabbed the comfort food and said, 'Let's watch a horror film!' and then proceeded to pick up every cushion in sight as a means of protection? It is a tradition that will most likely continue for many years.

So, with respect for tradition, here are my Top 10 horror films. The movies that made my heart race, made me reach for a pillow, made me scream, made me jump; maybe even a mixture of all of the above...

Ten:

At number ten in my horror count down is Ghost Ship. I love this film; it has some clever filming techniques and with a lot more psychological horror going on, it can be quite creepy. The concept that a ship is sailing around like that is just freaky... However, I loced the characterisation within this film; there were no awkward crappy sex scenes (thank God) and the sexual tension that was there fit quite nicely. The ending was brilliant; I loved that twist. An excellent way of saying: You can't beat Death.

Nine:


An American Haunting. This is quite disturbing is some ways. Starting off in the present, we see a girl running through the woods, terrified for her life. She wakes up and is scolded by her mother for digging around in the attic, finding an old journal. Skip to the past, where said journal is being written and where chaos (creepy, by the way) is then taking place. All about actions having consequences (and more besides), this film is jumpy. It's also easy on the eye (James D'Arcy). Not that I'm shallow or anything...

Eight:

Nightmare on Elm Street. Okay, so it's an old film. But I don't care. Sometimes, old is good. Old grants you perspective. And this film is actually very good. Again, the concept is really rather creepy. That nightmares can kill you? Ouch.
 
Seven:



This is perhaps one of the oddest films I have seen. Yet, I love it. Everyone loves the tooth fairy, right? Well, not in Darkness Falls. This tooth fairy was once human, a caring old lady who collected children's teeth, exchanging them for coins. After a fire burned her home, she wore a mask to hide her features as they were sensitive to light. When two children went missing, she was blamed and killed. Though later they discovered her innocent of the crime, it was already too late; she had cursed the town.
Years later: young boy loses his last baby tooth and looks upon the fairy. His parents are murdered and he is blamed, Present day: his old flame is having trouble with her little brotehr who hates the dark. Oh, dear. The fairy has returned.
This story is well planned and kind of creepy. It's jumpy in unexpected places and has a lot of story in it, which is usually the down fall of many horrors. Again, it's the psychological element which is strong here. And it works.

Six:

This is one scary film. The Ring has this feeling of silence throughout and the whole 'seven days' thing, though corny is actually what makes it scary. Imgine knowing when you were going to die? That mental torture... Shivers. The symbolism is what worked for me in this film; the bad luck signs throughout the movie and the iconogrophy of death was all used extremely well.


Five:

Though our westernised version of The Grudge is nothing compared to the original, the film is nevertheless, unbeleivably cool. Sarah Michelle Gellar arrives in a what Japanese culture views as a cursed house. And from there all hell breaks loose.
What fascinates me about this film is its use of non-linear time. It starts at the end, then sort of works its way through time, changing when it suits. It leaves you with this disconcerted feeling and when combined with the off-balance filming techniques and the lack of sound, it is very effective.
The film iotself is jumpy and for this, on first viewing, I did have to have a pillow. The little boy was frankly just freaky.

Four:

Why do bad things happen to good people? This is what The Haunting in Connecticut asks us. I have actually seen the documentary and I can tell you, both are very creepy. The movie is excellently filmed and the soundtrack is amazing.
This movie touches on some very sensitive topics, as it would, being based on a true story. The idea that the closer one is to death, the more of it one can see, is disconcerting. The very thought of it has you uncomfortable. As most of the film is told from the parent's perspective, fighting an opponent she can't see (two, technically) gives the film a sense of hopelessness and isolation.
Effective is the word I would use to describe this film. And creepy.
Especially when all the food rots and the man appears in the mirror.

Bronze:



Insidious. This film is in Bronze because I hate clowns. And those people who were smiling looking like a bunch of horrible, creepy, icky clowns really freaked me out. Then we have that bride. Oh my God, how weird! Shivers just thinking about her. The psychological thing is strong with this film; they really had that effect down.
I needed a pillow for this film. And people to hide behind. And lights on...
There is only one thing I don't like about this film.
The demon. They took away the mystery.

Silver:

To see her is to see death. The Woman in Black is a scary, yet heart rendering tale of loss and revenge and if you think the film was frightening... go and read the book.
The most disturbing sequence for me was the inital sequence.
A playroom, day: three young girls sit together, talking animatedly, playing with china dolls and tea sets. Sudenly, as one, their happy smiling faces stop. They stare in unison at one corner of the room. Then, without pausing, they stand, crushing all their toys and china, to walk up to the windows. Their faces blank, they open the windows and as one jump to their deaths.
This film is only a 12. And in the first few minutes we have three under tens committing suicide? Okay. That is disconcerting.


Gold:


Sinister is truly Sinister. There is no other word for it. There just isn't.

It's Edward!

Yes, here he is. I bet you were all wondering if he'd make an appearance. Well, he has. And here is why: I myself was a fan of the books. Like all teens, I did have my Twilight phase. Now, at twenty, I can still appreciate the fang form...

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Akasha

The next vampire of March Bites is the Queen of the Damned... She who settles scores.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Candice as Caroline!

Caroline; the once human now turned super self control vampire. She has spirit and she has strength: in spades... Caroline has battled abusive boyfriends, negligent parents, evil friends and an obsessive hybrid to get to where she is today and she is still going strong! Big cheer for her! TVD has done a great job with her character!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Have a Break, Read a Book!

Is work or study just too stressful? Are you tired of staring at that computer screen thinking 'GO AWAY' to all those emails? Well, here is my solution.

Fill the kettle, make yourself a nice hot drink, sit back down and make yourself comfy! Kick off your shoes and pick up your book.

And remember...

New Pages; have at them!

If you take a gander at the task bar thing you'll notice I've made a couple of changes to the pages. There are a few new stories up there!

As always, I really like to hear people's points of view so after you read them, post a comment or drop me an email (see right) and I'll get back to you!

Enjoy!

KS is... Henry!

Oh yes, here he is, the royal black sheep Henry Fitzroy. Portrayed as the devilishly charming yet conflicted Vampire from Blood Ties, no girl can say no to a picture...

Monday, 18 March 2013

Sapphi at School!

Here is our lovely (if very active) husky/ rottie/lab cross, sitting nicely, ready for her time at puppy school. What the trainer didn't realise of course was that while taking this picture, we were holding a bag of treats above my head!

Supervision...



Jane Bites

Here she is, the sadist vampire bitch. I love her and hate her at the same time; Dakota Fanning does a marvellous job with the character in the Twilight Saga. And when she (SPOILER) gets her head ripped off... :)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Time for a Top Ten... TV series!

We all love our TV series. Most of us will readily admit to just having to watch a certain programme because of those characters or that plot line. They can be addictive... and a lot of fun when they're done right.

Though there were a number of TV shows that I loved such as Hawaii five-0, Buffy, Angel and Smallville, they didn't quite make it into my top ten. So with that in mind, here are my favourites...

Ten:

J.A.G
I love a man in uniform! There is something about a hero that just doesn't let go, a man that does the right thing not the easiest and is always such a gentleman. The show has a great script and the characters are superb. I love the Admiral!


Nine:
 

Firefly
A Joss Whedon classic, the whole 'cowboys in space' thing really appealed to me. All the characters are surprisingly realistic with enough inner conflict to remain convincing throughout.The action is cleverly directed and entertaining and despite the rotten ending to the series, I really enjoyed it.

Eight:
 
Numbers
I watch this when I'm feeling more intellectual (sort of). The concept for this series is brilliant; the CSI with mathematics is fascinating, more so because I'm not a number person.
 
Seven:
 
The X-Files
'I want to believe.' My mum got me addicted to this show when I was younger and I blame her for every weird thing I have ever done since. Mulder with his open-minded, intelligent beliefs combined with the analytical Scully, doctor and spy for the FBI. The relationship dynamic grows steadily over the series and is definitely one to watch.
 
Six:
 
 
The Vicar of Dibley
Such a funny show. Set in the lovely English countryside, the of Dibley loses its Vicar. Enter Dawn French, a woman! Gasp!!! And chaos then ensues. With the stereotypical characters: posh snobs, farmers, forgetful old people, knitting grannies etc.
Brilliant.
 
Five:
 
The Vampire Diaries
Damon...Damon...Damon... Oh and there are some other characters too, obviously. Vampires, werewolves and witches, oh my! And with the added trouble of the Doppelganger and the Klaus hybrid issue, this is an action-packed series.
On a serious note though, the storylines are well adapted from the novels, though wacky at certain points and the characters have a lot of inner conflict, especially Damon and Stefan. They are unbelievably well written.
 
Four:
 
Castle
The brilliance of this show never ceases to amaze me. I love Richard Castle the best-selling author, playing detective with Kate Beckett the actual detective. So savvy and sophisticated!
 
Bronze:
 
Supernatural
What can I say about this show? It has ghosts, demons, sirens, angels... basically it has everything. Including the two hotties that drive around in that gorgeous Impala destroying all the things that go bump in the night. The complexity of the plots is simply immense for this programme: respect to the writers!
And a yummy to Dean Winchester! And if Sam Winchester is the nerd, then I'd say that this fandom wins hands down in the brains department.
 
Silver:
 
Charmed
'Here now the words of the witches, the secrets we hid in the night...' I watched my first episode of Charmed aged ten and was instantly hooked by the characters and the magic. Everything about it. Even now, ten years later, I adore the show and cannot go even a few days without watching at least one episode. It sounds obsessive, but it's true. There are just some things I have to do and this is one of them!
My favourite character has to be Chris. He is so self-sacrificing, coming back from the future to save his brother and having his entire family hate him for most of the season just to get his task accomplished. Phoebe is my favourite Chrmed One.
 
Gold:
 
Merlin
Five series of magic, mayhem, mystery, betrayal, love and action. This series really does have everything and the last episode had me crying my eyes out.
Epicness!
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