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June 2013

Book Review: Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
suite-nineteen-mel-bossa-cover In Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa, we meet country boy Ben (Lebeau) who moves to the big city of Montreal. Psychic Ben moves to the old textile factory Shilts Manor, which has been converted into apartments.

In Shilts Manor Ben meets fellow residents Lennox (Van Kemp), Eevie and Happy. Ben notices that there seems to be a strange relationship between the three of them. Ben also meets neighbour Ezra (Collins).

Ezra is a man whose shrouded in mystery: physically crippled, emotionally traumatised and spiritually unreadable (at least in the beginning of the book). Ben see’s all of this but can’t help falling for Ezra, who has taken a vow of celibacy.

Despite Lennox’s advice to stay away from Ezra, Ben begins to spend time with him. Ben begins to loose memory – even memories of important events; and it seems to coincide with the amount of time he’s spending with Ezra.

Ben feels like he’s loosing his mind; yet at the same time his gut tells him his very survival is at stake and that he must unravel the mystery – a spiritual conspiracy dating back to Christ, before it’s too late.

There were a few sources of frustration with Suite Nineteen. Firstly it focused too much on the events and mystery; it didn’t give the reader a chance to get to know Ben. Secondly rather than a series of small revelations, Mel Bossa opted for a big unavailing of the mystery towards the end. The mystery was over explained and left little to spark the readers imagination.

Suite Nineteen is essentially a paranormal mystery novel which has a good mix of tension building and action chapters. Mel Bossa keeps the reader hooked with her clever idea, writers voice and with an unexpected twist at the end of the book.

Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa is a seductive read which manages to captivate the reader, unravel the mystery and tie up all loose ends. You can buy Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa on Amazon.

Review soon,


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WordPress: Content Plugins

By Creativity, Technology, The WebNo Comments

I’ve recently installed two content plugins on my blog: Random Images for WordPress and WordPress Related Posts. The aims for these plugins were to recycle older content and direct visitors to other posts/pages of interest. From the sites statistics they’ve been a huge success. So let me tell you about the plugins:

(Random Image for WordPress Screenshot)
Random Image for WordPress by Justin Watt
Random Image for WordPress displays a random blog post title and image on the sidebar. It will only display posts with an image, those without it won’t display. But it has lots of customisable features, that are easily tweaked on a settings page (Settings – Random Image).


  • Sort images randomly or show recent images.
  • Edit the HTML template for how post titles, images and captions are shown.
  • Select from ALL or only specific categories/tags – very useful if I say only wanted to show book reviews. It’s set up for all at the moment.
  • Customisable image width and height.
  • Able to take images from galleries.

Plugin’s Page @ Justin Watts

This plugin is easy to install and use. It’s great because of it’s position on the sidebar. It catches the readers eye and if the title or image spark they’re interest, they can click for a view. It’s a brilliant way to recycle old content; but the randomness has it’s pro’s and con’s. The pro is that on the homepage, it’s good as you don’t know what the visitor is into so it gives a variety of content, changing on every refresh. The con is that on specific posts it doesn’t link to simliar posts.

Which is why I’ve installed WordPress Related Posts:

(WordPress Related Posts Screenshot)
WordPress Related Posts
WordPress Related Posts displays other related posts at the bottom of the post page the visitor is on. So for example, if you’ve come to a book review post, it will offer you other book reviews, possibly by the same author. It clearly links together appropriate posts and if you’re not satisfied with the results, you can choose which posts appear on that particular page. It has it’s own settings page (Related Posts on your Dashboard left sidebar) making it easy to customise the many features.


  • Highly customisable, you can choose to display or not: Title (before related posts links/images), number of posts, the number of comments, the publish date and an excerpt (max 200 words).
  • It can include or exclude a thumbnail image. I choose to exclude a thumbnail image, as I don’t want to distract the viewer from the post they’ve come to. I simply want to offer the viewer suggestions before they leave.
  • Choose a default image, for posts without an image.
  • Choose which posts are displayed on a post, if your not happy with the ones the plugin suggests. Although I have to say the plugin does it automatically very well.
  • CSS customisable.
  • Adjust the formatting for a mobile device.
  • Pageviews & click Statistics (if you sign up to it).
  • Choose to exclude certain Categories.

Plugin Page @ WordPress
Zemanta Ltd. Website

This plugin was easy to install and use. I’m still experimenting with this plugin, in terms of what format works best but it seems to be doing what I want it to do: directing visitors to other posts of interest. It’s useful for me as I write about the same sort of things. I guess if your content was varied and didn’t have simliar themes it wouldn’t be useful to you.

These plugins are helping to increase the time visitors spend on my site and helping them notice some of my other content. However, it means that I’ve got to create great, regular and orignal content that they will want to view.

Blog soon,


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A Night Out to Remember for a Very Long Time: The Rocky Horror Show

By Friends & Family, Gigs & Shows, Happiness & Joy, ReviewsNo Comments
Rocky Horror Show 2013 A few months ago my good friend Steve and I booked tickets to watch The Rocky Horror Show. Poor Steve had never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show DVD; so I encouraged him to watch it before we went. Well I say encouraged… it was more a forced watching.

This weekend with tickets in hand and costumes in man-bags, I dragged Steve to see the matinee performance of The Rocky Horror Show at Manchester Palace Theatre.

Before the performance Steve and I went for a delicious meal in the new Velvet Central Restaurant & Bar. As well as the tasty food, it hosts a luxurious, yet relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff.

Then Steve and I headed off to the theatre for The Rocky Horror Show. Here are some photos:

Rocky Horror Show 2013
Rocky Horror Show 2013
Manchester Palace Theatre.
In the bar, after Steve & I changed
in the one toilet cubicle.
Rocky Horror Show 2013
Rocky Horror Show 2013
“Oh Rocky (Steve)!”
Frank ‘N’ Furter (Me) says.
My fishnets & gold/black stilettos.

Rocky Horror Show 2013 Steve & I took our seats ready for the start of the show. As the show began I pulled out my phone, turned off the flash and took the first photo (below). A Usher appeared at the end of the row and flashed her torch at me. I twisted my neck towards her direction to be met by her angry scowl and she indicated that no camera’s were allowed. This is not the first time I’ve experienced an appalling, militant and killjoy Usher at Manchester Palace Theatre.
Rocky Horror Show 2013
Rocky Horror Show 2013
The first photo taken,
interrupted by the appalling Usher.
The Interval: If Steve won’t wear his
Rocky wig, then I’ll wear both.

For the first part of the show I didn’t feel able to take anymore photos. This was a great shame as the set, costumes, lighting, choreography and directing were all brilliant.

However in the second part of the show I snapped a few more photos; despite a further warning from the killjoy Usher.

Rocky Horror Show 2013
Rocky Horror Show 2013
Part 2 – Draw the curtain.
Part 2 – They’re back.
Rocky Horror Show 2013
Rocky Horror Show 2013
The cast after before the encore of Time Warp & Sweet Transvestite.
The cast bow and enjoy the applause at the end of the show.

Rocky Horror Show 2013 A Short Review
I’ve already mentioned that the set, costumes, lighting, choreography and directing were all brilliant. Brad & Janet did have dodgy accents that were slightly off-putting at first; along with Brad feeling one-dimensional throughout the show. Phillip Franks (The Narrator) was fantastic with real banter between the audience and himself.

Overall the show was beyond amazing with all the favourite songs performed including: Science Fiction/Double Feature, Time Warp, Sweet Transvestite, I Can Make You a Man, Don’t Dream It, Be It and I’m Going Home.

Oliver Thornton (Frank ‘N’ Furter) was truly outstandingly. He added his own unique diva-esque personality into the character which made the role his own and worked wonderfully. Oliver Thornton plays the Frank ‘N’ Furter of today; one who is aware of his fame and ready to celebrate his 40th Anniversary.

Here is video Oliver Thornton as Frank ‘N’ Furter singing Sweet Transvestite:

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I highly recommend a night out to your local theatre to see The Rocky Horror Show.

You can also buy the orignal Tim Curry Rocky Horror Picture Show, DVD & CD Lip Box Special Edition on Amazon.

Write soon,


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Book Review: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Reviews2 Comments
wedding-night-sophie-kinsella-cover In Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella we meet sisters Lottie and Fliss.

Lottie is sure Richard her boyfriend is about to propose, but when he doesn’t Lottie ends the relationship.

Then Ben, Lottie’s first love from 15 years ago gets back in touch and tells her that he’s never stopped loving her. He drunkenly proposes and she agrees to marry him with one condition:
no sex until the Wedding Night.

Fliss is going through a difficult divorce and adjusting to being a single mother to her son Noah. The divorce is making Fliss bitter and she’s starting to feel that getting married to Daniel was the worst mistake she ever made; Noah being the only good thing to come out of the marriage.

Fliss receives a call from Lottie telling her that Richard & she have broke up and that she’s going to marry Ben. Fliss is understandably more than a little bit concerned. Especially as Lottie has a habit of making ‘unfortunate choices’ when experiencing emotional trauma – like that time she joined a cult.

Fliss decides that this marriage to Ben is another ‘unfortunate choice’ and must be stopped. When Fliss fails to stop the wedding, she puts all her efforts into stopping the Wedding Night so that the marriage can be annulled.

Wedding Night is written with chapters in both Lottie and Fliss’ perspective and starts as comfortably predictable at the beginning, but as the book progresses the predictability becomes increasingly frustrating to the reader.

As with all of Kinsella‘s books the element of fantasy and escapism came in the form of a very wealthy business man whose a love interest for the main character. In Lottie’s case, this was Ben. This was a missed chance for Kinsella be more creative and use a different fantasy element.

The description lacked detail, relying far too much on the readers imagination. Compared to Kinsella‘s previous books, the characters in Wedding Night felt dumbed down and lacked any emotional depth. The reader gets to know Fliss a lot better than Lottie which is dissatisfying as the story is suppose to be about Lottie’s Wedding Night.

Mid-way through the book Fliss decides to read Lottie’s diary. The diary Lottie wrote when she was eight-teen, when she first met Ben during her gap year on the Greek Island of Ikonos. This was a perfect opportunity to add some depth to Lottie’s character, as well as give the reader some idea of the past relationship between Lottie & Ben, but Kinsella completely missed this, much to the readers disappointment.

Kinsella clearly tried to write a comedy and there were a few funny chapters; but many fell short of causing a smile, let alone a laugh. Kinsella‘s desire to write humorous chapters seemed to be at the sacrifice of the plot, which felt filmsy and put together with numerous hints that were as subtle as anvils falling from the sky.

Kinsella really lost her way with this book. Wedding Night was more chick-trash than chick-lit. Kinsella is regarded as Queen of chick-lit, but if she writes another book like this she is likely to loose her crown.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,


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I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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