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Love Books Love Travel - "Allies and Assassins

‘Welcome to Archenfield, trust no-one’ reads the tag line for Justin Somper’s young adult novel “Allies and Assassins”, such a shame as this seems to be one stunning place to visit. Surrounded by forests, fjords, mountains and streams, it’s an idea location for outdoor adventurists, foodies and culture lovers, it’s rich, happy and prosperous. Downsides are that Archenfield has no clocks , so time is marked with the sound of bells ringing out day and night, that and the fact there is a killer on the loose who has just successfully disposed of the current ruler, Prince Anders, uncovered cold and dead in his bed. Word of murder is spreading fast. The young falconer Nova Chastain is lamenting

Love Books Love Travel - "Devil in the Marshalsea" Review

What do you get if you combined Dickens with 24? The answer, a bloody good read. Antonia Hodgson’s novel “The Devil in the Marshalsea" is set with the backdrop of the cutthroat, gin soaked streets of London in 1727. In the middle of the tale is roguish protagonist Tom Hawkins. This charming man is suited to gambling with his life, his cockiness enrages envious men, his sex appeal excites the women, and the wine keeps his ‘devil may care’ attitude in full flow. Luck for Tom takes a nasty turn at knife point in a darkened corner of Soho. Losing all his nights spoils sees him hauled before the courts and unable to pay off his debtors. His rich clergyman of a father foretold of the day where h

Love Books Love Travel - "Dodger"

In the creative hands of author James Benmore the enigmatic “Dodger” is plucked from his timely demise and whisked away on an thrilling ride that dashes around old London on a rip-roaring romp. Fictions most beguiling villain returns on the race for his life. Literally. It's a gem of an idea, picking up the baton from Charles Dickens. 6 years on in the Artful lads bleak future and he’s now the underdog, on the ropes and unaware that he’s about to finally get top billing in his own action adventure story.!james-benmore-/c195d Jack Wild’s interpretation of Jack Dawkins in the classic musical “Oliver” stole more than a few silk handkerchiefs, he stole the

Ghostly goings on at Gwydir Castle, Wales

‘Thud’……’thud’, ‘thud’. One after the other, 3 large cardboard backed pictures tumbled forward off the huge book shelf onto the floor. It had been 30 minutes to set up the filming equipment, the interview had taken 40 mins and in all that time no-one had gone anywhere near that bookcase. What made these falling images even more poignant was the fact we had just finished discussing the paranormal activity experienced in Gwydir Castle. It was the last question we put to owner Judy Corbett for her Love Books Love Travel interview and as usual for a long interview we picked the room where we would experience the least disturbance, or so we thought. The huge heavy door shut, every windows clo

Stone Fish of Thailand

I've always felt uneasy in the sea. The crashing in, the dragging out. The rising tide, the creatures beneath. That sense of danger I could momentarily conquer close to shore, only to turn jellyfish in a heart beat as soon as I couldn't touch the bottom. I'd moved from lying on bottom of the pool in full scuba gear to going below the waves. Achieving a Padi in Paleros Greece in the clear Ionian Sea only to lose my bottle completely on a dodgy dive in Thailand. Ill fitting flippers and leaking goggles left me floundering and spluttering, clinging like a barnacle to the boat steps. As the team hauled my sorry ass on board and put the tank still full to the brim with oxygen back from

Behind the Scenes : Cocktail Week

We don't usually need an excuse to hit the bar for brainstorming sessions, so our team assembled faster than you can slice a LemonWedge when we discovered it's Cocktail Week! Our first choice of venue - Yauatcha in Broadgate Circle, Liverpool St. Usually high end places can be a bit prickly when asked to be used as a film location, and we understand why as no-one wants their clientele disturbed, so we were thrilled when they agreed to our request! Greeted by the beaming smile of Senior Bar Manager Eder Neto, a true mixologist we were going to get an education in respecting the booze. Now here's where I wrestle with the idea of ordering a cocktail. Picture the scene - it's 7pm Friday night

Behind the Scenes : Taiwan

Take Me to....Snake Alley I held in my hand a card with various tourist attractions on it, each with little tick box next to it. “Please don’t film snake alley.” Our guide Lilly made us cross our hearts on our very first shoot day, exhausted by the perpetuating scenario. A spiral of twisted reportages over decades has caused this slippery night market to continue. TV producers around the world arranging a segment where the presenters get to taste the reptiles blood for ‘medicinal purposes'. Cut. The handheld camera crash zooms into the freshly skinned and sliced up animal, a writhing mass on the hook. Camera swings up to presenter to flash their well practiced ‘disgusted tinged with game-for

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