Saturday, 31 May 2014

Tales from the Lake vol.1 - antholgy edited by Joe Mynhardt

Lover, Come Back to Me by Tim Waggoner: Alan is not enjoying his day out on the lake with his wife, but then being stuck in a canoe on the lake you nearly drowned in as a child would probably not make me have a fun day out either.
TW does well to convey the fear and physical terror of drowning. However, this is a horror story and something else is going on.
A strange and well written love/monster story with a fantastic ending.  

Don‟t Look at Me by Elizabeth Massie: Things that are created in the shape of humans or near-humans have minds and we can think. Ohmyfreakinggosh!!
When Pointy is rescued by poor Connie he does some rescuing of his right back. I really loved this little story, it had horror, humour, heartbreak and was based on that underlying fear I have of dolls! MY favourite.

Dead Pull by Taylor Grant:  Brennan works the pet store and inflicts pain and suffering – that was the end of my reading, originally!  I was then contacted by the author who suggest I carry on as there was NO torture and he was right, only cleverly done "implied" torture, so I guess the writing was impressive. A nasty little tale but I thoroughly enjoyed the ending. Thank you TG for convincing me to carry on!

Alternative Muses by J. Daniel Stone: an unrelenting style of writing that left me needing to take a walk around the block to clear my head.
The subject chosen did not help, self-torture and suspension all wrapped up with a pregnancy.
There were some really corny lines in this too which was ridiculous considering the shock horror topic.
I found it an odd addition to this anthology. Shock horror for the sake of it is really not my thing, but if you like gross out you will love this story.

The Reunion by Joan De La Haye : poor Frank gets a ghostly visit my his Grandfather and some of his friends at his new hotel.
It’s not a happy family reunion though. A very short tale of ….. well I’m not sure really but it was an easy read which held me engrossed to the final chop.

Devil‟s Night by Tim Curran: Hell has opened up and Mick and Bones are trying to survive. They start to sacrifice people to the Fire Eater but its slowly unravelling them in different ways.
TC does a brilliant job in explaining the horror of consumption by the Fire Eater and also the emotional trauma these two are experiencing.  A great story with a fitting ending.

The Fine Art of Wrecking by Jenn Loring: not sure about this one, calling the sea a living entity in Her own right with capitalising everything got on my nerves after a bit.
Felt a long winded way to get to the finale and then stop.

O‟Halloran‟s by John Paul Allen: Tom just wants a drink to sort his mind out but he seems trapped in a time warped hell. He and Helen had their lives mapped out and a baby now was not part of it, given time to reflect will he change his mind?
Fast paced and whilst gross, confusing and a little morally off compass this was a good story.

Las Maquinas by William Ritchey: the time line was a little out on this story and it had a very preaching religious tone to it at the begining, it also had some laughable B-movie style lines but I don’t think it was supposed to be funny.
All these comments are a shame really as the basic storyline and characters were good.

Perrollo‟s Ladder by John Palisano: I wanted more about the first paragraph!
This was a fantastic story until it just stopped….. was this part of a story? Or just intentionally left on a cliff hanger?

Game On by Charles Day: could be a good story – I don’t know stopped about the frogs and firecrackers. 

Lady of Lost Lake by Bev Vincent: four guys go on a weekend camping break by the lake. Essentially a lady in the lake story with real no essence but strangely I was riveted to this story and its telling.

Junksick by G.N. Braun: odd little things were off in this story such as sweat that drips from your temples yet pools in your armpits – strange anatomy!
A great story though with some fabulous descriptions. I thought the ending was a real kicker and really enjoyed that no hint was given.

Witch-Compass by Graham Masterton: Paul leaves Africa with a Witch-Compass but little else. As his life turns to dust around him the Witch-Compass points to what he could have if he wanted too, but can he make the right choices?
Well written with some really uncomfortable scenes I was engrossed until the end. Not sure how I wanted it to end but this choice was a good one.

Saint Patty's Night at The Crown & Devil Dolls –a poems by Blaze McRob:  cute, snarky and spooky, if you like poems, I’m not to keen but these are short enough to enjoy without getting bored, plus they were entertaining, it’s just not a medium I enjoy for horror.

As always I like the little author bios’ at the end – I personally would prefer them pre or post each story. It would have also been helpful if they had been in the order of the stories written.

I will be careful about reading anymore from this grouping. I don’t want an un-themed anthologies anymore, I need to be able to screen what I read  so I can limit my exposure to animal torture as it was severally exceeded. I don’t have many strong beliefs, in fact this is probably the only thing I feel strongly about – zero tolerance on animal torture.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Do you steal books?

Do you use Internet Bit Torrent sites? eg Pirate web sites!

Do you love reading? 

Well then, think about those two answers!  If you love reading but use pirate websites you are basically stealing that book.....

Internet Content is NOT FREE!
ALL content is copyrighted unless expressly stated.....

so what does that mean?

Basically the author, editor &  cover artists don't get paid!

that means YOU are a thief!

So, what I hear you cry! they earn millions the odd book  doesn't matter.... 

oh, really?   so you would like to work the odd week for free would you?

if you dont pay these people for all their hard work ultimately they have to stop doing what it is that they are so good at - that means no more books in the that series that you love, or from the author you adore.

cant afford all the great stuff that is out there?? look for deals, most authors will offer deals on most VALID websites at some point, if you are unsure when the next one is - ASK them!! most can be found skulking around Twitter, FaceBook, Reddit, Google+ and many have blogs and websites of their own.

So please, think twice before clicking and downloading from those bit torrent websites.

Small presses & indie authors are being squashed before they get started and become household names by sites that offer 'free' downloads of all their stuff. If they can't make a living - or even buy lunch - how the hell are they supposed to keep producing content for folks to steal?

Be Kind! feed an author/artist today!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Epic Apocalypse: Apocalyptic Horror Bundle

Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo

If you like horror or zombies then you will LURVE this book/series.

When reading the Amazon reviews I loved this comment from one fan "I get a sneaky suspicion that in 20 years' time we'll all be talking Romero vs. Tufo"; the fact that in the UK alone he has 140+ and USA is 575+  tells you what a great book this is.
Mr Tufo introduces you to a family struggling to survive during the apocalypse, the love shown amongst them really marks this out as a "more than horror book", and it also has SO many other elements to it.

It is written from Mike Talbots PoV, with some other diary entries thrown in for good fun, his wife, Tracey, especially makes me giggle. It is not purely a diary/journal though, so don't be put off.

The humour is a large part of the story; the Talbotisms really guide you through some of the most horrific descriptions of the start of ZomPoc that I have ever read.

The scares and horror scenes are, unfortunately, all too believable and the route of initial infection is personally terrifying.
Many times you are left on tender hooks as the Tufo family seems to get/put themselves into some very butt clenching scenarios.  As others join the group this seems to multiply as Talbot has a way of antagonising people!

The climax to this first book is pantwettingly scary; Eliza is in a realm of her own.

It's hard to say more without giving the story away, particularly as I know how it progresses through the next 6 books, and onto Lycan Fallout.

As a side note, Mark Tufo is very involved with his fans and enables you to comment and ask questions on Facebook his page, often having random Unfair Competitions of the day to win all sorts of stuff you never knew you REALLY wanted. I also believe that a new trend has been started, if you become a fan you are called a Tal-BOT!

Return of the Phoenix: Monster Squad by Heath Stallcup

Ok, it is hard to believe that this is the first book from this author, I'm sure (and hoping!) he has many hidden away, ready to launch.  It is simply AMAZING!

The whole layout of the story is brilliant, he slowly gives you background on every member of the "squad" and the main outer characters, without detracting from the story line, each little nugget of information really blends in and allows the character to become real; I am already missing them.

There is some seriously hard core military stuff for those of you that like it, but nothing that bores us non gun toting fans silly.
The humour is subtle but grin worthy. The erotica was fantastic, not gratuitous and very much needed in such a hard hitting novel, plus it’s done with love. Now for the monsters!

Well from vamps to werewolves to trolls and everything else that goes bump in the night.... what can you say! HS even manages to have back stories on these guys! I am sort of expecting a troll to turn up in my back garden any minute now and will be most disappointed if it doesn't!

The little blurb at the end promises at least three more in the series... I will be booking the release date day off as Holiday to fully enjoy it.....bring it on!
This new author is one to WATCH!!!

Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer by Armand Rosamilia

Aha! at last a full novella full of Darlene! I love this girl!  Thong obsessed! What a butt kicking woman!

She can even stop in the middle of Zompoc to shave her legs!

Lots of true to life moments, people will probably be horrible and not all jolly friendship types when Armageddon begins but Mr R manages to bring some dark humour into that future.

I was a bit confused at the ending (I can’t do spoilers) but am looking forward to more from this great girl, with some real insecurities....

Chaos: A New World by John O’Brien

My Hubby attended the World Horror Convention in Portland Oregon, with me and among others met this author, who very kindly gave me a signed copy of this book.

As Horror is not  his my usual bedtime reading the fact that it was a gift in no way influenced my opinion of this story. He grabbed it off me and this was the result!

As an ex-serviceman details of the weapons and the plane were as food and drink to me.

On receiving the book I explained to John that I have a 20 page rule i.e. if I am not hooked by then I will not waste my time trying to continue, needless to say I had no difficulty passing that barrier

The book is set on a premise that could actually happen if we (society) are not careful and drives forward at a good pace.
The characters are well rounded and in most cases likeable with the odd clusterf*** to provide contrast.

There are quite a few twists and turns throughout the plot.
The lead character is Jack Taylor an ex-USAF and Special Forces veteran, who faced with the collapse of society and the evidence of an epidemic decides to try to secure his family and then set out to rescue his girlfriend Lynn, who is based in Kuwait.
He has, because of circumstance, been able to take his children and his son’s girlfriend with him, to leave them behind would have placed them in obvious jeopardy.

The action is based initially on his collecting his children and the girlfriend, the drive to collect them through eerily quiet streets gives no real hint as to what is yet to come; only that it is not going to be a picnic in the park.

Jack then begins preparing/planning to get an aircraft, that hopefully Jack is able to fly, if not initially, at least after reading the manuals.

They proceed to put the plan into action.
It progresses through their locating and acquiring a C130 and then their cross country/cross continent travel to locate Lynn.
With stops and confrontations on the way not least with authority,

The action involving the people affected by the epidemic is fast paced and because of the way it is written, you can almost feel them outside and hear them in you nightmares, you certainly do not want to open the door to check.

The characters of the children and the girlfriend are quickly established and they mature throughout in response to the circumstances and trials that they are forced to face.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it at one sitting interspersed by breaks for food and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre and likes the military angle that John puts on it.

I would rate this 3 – 4 and am already reading the next book in the series and looking forward to not only meeting all the current characters again but new ones along the way.
Having never read this type of story before, I am now a fan.

The Dead Wait (preview) by Joe McKinney

Great comments to readers and loved the “ground rules”.

The bug-out bag list is now on my shopping radar although so many pages of it did seem excessive.

I’m glad JM explained the zompoc was quite slow in coming or it would have felt very unreal even for fiction.  I loved the premise though and have put the book on pre-order.

My favourite bit was the drunk bear story.

This little sampler has allowed me to see why so many people rave about JM writing and I look forward to a start of a new series from him.

Trudge: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse by Shawn Chesser

I fell in love with this family. However, the initial attack scene was totally off for me and the inner dialogue could have been so much better.

This sort of sticky but bland writing continued but the actual story and characters were brilliant.

Around chapter six it seems that SC slides into some awesome author mode and the book/writing steps up several gears. The beginning needs some more kick and condiments to it (IMO) to draw in new readers.

The main characters are Cade, his wife Brook and daughter Raven. As they are on opposite sides of the country the dual settings and storylines really give good, but non distracting, tension.

I really enjoyed all the news caster feed, back histories of the family and even the political rhetoric. The military element is there but again, it is non distracting to us less interested readers.

As each group gathers and loses members no character is safe. There are occasional humour moments which really bring home the realism of the people and the horrors they are facing.

The White House situation was a shock but brilliantly done, it also allowed for the “why” to occur.  SC left the book hanging on a fantastic note, no shocking cliffhanger but I have to know what happens next.

Surviving the Dead Vol.1 by James N. Cook

Gabe & Eric have bonded hard and fast over beers, martial art fights and grief. 

The start of this book really drew me in but then swung me back to sometime before the apocalypse.  I was slowly informed how they got set up so well, plausibly believable.

JNC does a spectacular job of starting the zompoc with a unique way of describing the ground rules regarding infection and how to kill a zombie.

Both men are 3D and I worried about them from the start.

As I was led to follow Eric on his cross country trek to get to Gabe I lived all the detailed descriptions of the houses and places he visits.

There is a lot of gun chatter and strapping on of weapons, which for non ammo-nerd this gets a little tedious.

When he stumbles upon a group sheltering in a warehouse it’s nice to see JNC does not go down the “only the bad survive” route.   A plot is soon hatched amongst them to raid the nearest town as Eric brings valuable information about the undead.

The planning does get a bit repetitive after a while and I wanted to skip on past to get to the action. However, I really enjoyed all the people interaction and I did enjoy the way JNC incorporated the back story of everyone in the group in a different way for each.

One niggle in the continuity is in the first chapter where it states that Eric is not a good shot due to being rusty, but then as the story travels backwards you are shown how much practice he gets and how often he is told how good he is!

As JNC brought me full circle I have to say I really enjoyed the hope given and not just the misery.

I am supposed to be going to Atlanta for the next WHC (2015) after reading this I am not so keen.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Zombie Tea Party by Armand Rosamilia

Zelebrity Money: Ron and his Aunty have an unusual yard guest, he used to be an actor don’t ya know! 
The fact that he is a zombie is not that unusual in this trailer park. But Ron needs to eat, he needs a pay check.  Cleverly done with a great sense of tongue in cheek.

Zombies, Dogs and Old Bones: I nearly coughed up a lung laughing about the zombie from the Thriller video A sad little love story about Sue & John and how Gidget their dog reunites them.

First Settlement: short and sharp. AR gives a whole new version of how the west was won.

Manhatten….: Buddy & Kevin are trying to survive, there is a nasty undertone to this story, yet it has some random and clever movie and music references.

Southern BBQ: Jessie is having a family cook out, he is in such a rush that he fails to notice the zompoc around him. Funny in sad way.

Trail of the Undead: wow this one was so fast, furious and nasty.

Swim Out Past the Breakers:  so not worth taking a day off work to surf during the start of the zompoc! Not sure how AR manages to make gross so funny.

Blind in Texas: OMG! What could be worse than the zompoc?  How about being injured and blinded at the start… horrific little tale that gave me the shudders.

Caution, Smoke Ahead: Cheyenne finally gets a second chance with her 15yr estranged daughter. But it’s not the zompoc that has ruined it but her own drug addled past. AR has perfectly captured the incredulity that you get when someone you expect to fail without you does exceptionally well. I wasn’t sure if to laugh or cry.

This is the End:  Harry is cut off and forced to eat only asparagus. What could be worse?  Seeing y our brother who owes you money after 5yrs. Another slap around the face from AR.

Sanctuary:  Keith has a plan but he didn’t count on the thong!  Good little insight into a cramped space and lot of lust. So wanted this one to carry on.

Interesting bit about why AR writes about zombies and how his hero is… so much so I have now bought The Rising by Brian Keene, if he gets excited about a book, it must be good.

Nice chunk of Dying Days at the end.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Trudge: Surviving the Apocalypse by Shawn Chesser

I fell in love with this family and really struggled with what they had to face. However, the initial attack scene was totally off for me and the inner dialogue could have been so much better.

This sort of sticky but bland writing continued but the actual story and characters were brilliant.

Around chapter six it seems that SC slides into some awesome author mode and the book/writing steps up several gears. The beginning needs some more kick and condiments to it (IMO) to draw in new readers.

The main characters are Cade, his wife Brook and daughter Raven. As they are on opposite sides of the country the dual settings and storylines really give good, but non distracting, tension.

I really enjoyed all the news caster feed, back histories of the family and even the political rhetoric. The military element is there but again, it is non distracting to us less interested readers.

As each group gathers and loses members no character is safe. There are occasional humour moments which really bring home the realism of the people and the horrors they are facing.

The White House situation was a shock but brilliantly done, it also allowed for the “why” to occur.  SC left the book hanging on a fantastic note, no shocking cliffhanger but I have to know what happens next.

Reading the book overall I really enjoyed the read it had great characters and just enough humour to keep from being horrific, but still not sure about the beginning.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Darwin's Sword by DL Whitehead - Guest Blog by Hubby

I met Mr DL Whitehead at the World Horror Convention 2014, having been introduced by my wife Vix, however I got my paws on it first. 

I knew that I was going to enjoy this book as soon as I read the prologue which is written in such a descriptive and atmospheric manner that I could hear the rain as it bounced off the road and sloshed and riled down the gutters and into the drains.  I could almost feel the water running off my head and down the back of my neck
The book is based on an evolution experiment thereby the pointer to Darwin and a scientists’ attempt to recreate life, in the form of a personal clone. 

There are other reasons why he has used his own DNA but to say would give away part of the plot.

The consequences of tampering with the natural order of things become quickly apparent and the race is on.

The ‘MAD’ scientist is Dr Masters and the man in the white hat is Jake Storm an ex Special Services/CIA operative who now runs a large private security firms looking after a number of highly classified sites/organisations.

The main thrust of the tale is that of having created life, a possible homage to ‘Frankenstein’s monster’, it becomes impossible to control it and having imbued it with particular abilities makes the situation even worse.

At times we are reading parallel threads whilst Jake is trying to locate/save the doctor’s family and his compatriot is shadowing the clone.

This establishes an effective timeline, much like those in screen action pieces on television where you are watching the main story unfold whilst still being kept in the look as to what is happening elsewhere.

The story is well paced and the characters well rounded, with a selection of good guys, nearly good guys the odd useless bureaucrat and two or more bad guys.

Whist protecting the master’s family and trying to deal with the monster Jake and his team are in turn chased and harried by a team led by a team from one the many alphabet organisations that the USA has.  Their mission is to obliterate all the evidence of the experiment that has become public by getting rid of the witnesses, while at the same time trying to gain access to the research for future use.

The Clone meanwhile is attempting to establish himself as the original and removing anyone, anything which contradicts that and also attempting to locate the Masters family so that he/it can set up home as part of confirming the identity.

There are a number of psychological problems relating to the good doctor, which have been ratcheted up in the clone and so lead him into acting in a violent way.

There are unfortunately a few editing errors that cause parts of the story to stutter and at least one story link appeared to be missing so that I had to re-read parts to make sure that I understood what was meant.

Although British I had no difficulty with any terms used. A good read  and I hope there is a sequel!
(currently available on GooglePlay and in paperback - I am assured it will be on Ebook very soon!)

Friday, 16 May 2014

Echoes: Whisper Trilogy Book 2 by Michael Bray

Firstly, just look at that amazing artwork on the cover. Horrific Tales certainly do an amazing job with finding the right artist, feel and the amazing editing. 

Whilst you can read this book as a stand-alone novel it IS the second part of a trilogy so not, but there are enough flash backs to get the idea of what when on before.

Dane Marshall is a paranormal hunter and as the host of TV show  ‘Paranormal Truth’ he plots with his producer Fred to enhance the audiences experience with dubbed sound and lighting effects but it is always filmed “live” by Sean the cameraman.

We start the story as this trio are plotting a new episode and discussing the Hope House Hauntings. However they are as jaded as the audience and need a new hook to pull in ratings. Cue the Hope House haunting – Dane just happens to be Henrys brother. Henry Marshall; town councilor for Oakwell and keen to open a hotel for ghost hunters to prevent “his” town from sinking.

In parallel the plot thickens as we watch Henry discuss, plan, plot and threaten all the council members of Oakwell to get this hotel built, Henry has “files” on all of them and starts to reveal them in his efforts to get what he wants, this town is full of hidden secrets. All the double crossing was really good fun in the middle of all the terror and gore.

Cody and Scott are part of a local teen’ gang and get caught up in the double dare situations that ghosts, hauntings and abandoned houses usually bring to fascinated and bored teenage boys.  As they and their friends get deeper into the house and woods it is clear that something is affecting Cody. Add some lust into the mix with Emma and Carrie and you have a mega receipe for mayhem, which MB plays upon brilliantly.

Not to forget the other major players in this horror fest, Steve and Melody now have Isaac in their lives and post the fire Steve remains physically damaged, Melody has her own scars; financially they are broken. But that is not their only problem or secret and after a visit from Henry their lives are thrown into turmoil once again.

Between the Gogoku curse and the bones found under the ruins and buried in the hotel foundations you can just feel the bad juju happening.  Michael Bray does an excellent job of drip feeding the information and back story whilst keeping you very rooted in the present.

When then kids decide to spend a night in the clearing with THE oujia board from the original house fire you just know something is going to happen. But it was not what I envisaged nor did I expect to get the heebeejeebies in full sunshine and I don’t believe in ghosts or spirits!

As opening night arrives all the pieces of this horror/gore puzzle are slowly brought together, as MB places you in each groups head, you can see all angles of the terror unfold.

Each side thinks they have the situation under control but MB still has some surprises in store.

The ending is explosive and I am eager for the final part in this trilogy, not sure which direction it will take as so many angles to this story.  I was totally engrossed in the skullduggery of the plot as well as the horror moments.

MB style of writing is a pleasure to read, however his subject matter is not. He manages to really make his characters real and forces emotions to the surface.

MB is definitely an author to watch, he has a great complexity to his writing but with an easy to read style.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Complaints and Compliments (WHC 2014)

Finally home after a week in Portland, Oregon at the WHC (world horror convention).

It was a daunting prospect to arrange and go, not only the travelling, Hubby and I have not flown for a loooong while (I hate it) but the cost involved coming from the UK.

Add to this the stress of meeting authors who I have been squeaking/fan-girling over for a few years and the good/bad reviews I have done about they work. Would they like me? Talk to me? or want to take me out in the woods and skin me alive for that bad book review?

Whilst the journey out was fraught simply because of the length and connections all in all it went smoothly, although I have to say that Delta Airways are definitely the poor cousins of Virgin Atlantic; the planes are dirty and in need of an update, the food is rank and you need to pay for it (bit of a shock after all the "inclusives" of Virgin) and the trollydollies whilst polite do look like the Walmart/Asda versions of the airways.

We enjoyed our lay over at JFK we did some Yankies shopping and had lunch, just as well with the cost of a sandwich on the 5hr 40min flight to PDX!

We were dismayed to find that one of our suitcases was damaged beyond use at the other end and trying to find a suitcase shop was interesting, after discussions with the hotel staff; who were generally amazing (DoubleTree Hilton - my TripAdvisor review) we found one in Macy's but the cheapest was $116   eeeek.

The actual convention was brilliant, I have my niggles about it such as the dealer room was not open to the public so basically the authors were trying to sell to each other mostly and it also left the room a little flat. 

The awards were fun to watch but I was dismayed not to have heard of half the entries (probably my lack of reading) and a little disappointed to find that Stephen King won the top dog award - I doubt very much if he cares for such accolades and it would have been better to have given it to another writer. Also there did not seem to be any readers choice awards, group or category.

As for the actual authors, they were amazing. All so friendly and mostly approachable. The ones I did stalk/grope/ etc were very nice about it all and even signed books for me.

The authors I like to call friends were exceptional to meet and all for different reasons - I do hope some of them decided to visit the UK so we can show them all the fabulous places/things/food/beer we have over here. 

All that said I am excited to try and plan to go again, next year? maybe depends on the finances, this transatlantic travelling is not cheap!

I really loved taking out jaffa cakes, chocolate and Union Jack gifts for my friends and managed to also buy a ton of Oregon/USA stuff back for our nieces/nephews and even the cats got some USA treats!

On the way home Virgin/Delta out did themselves with "how shite can you be" - checking our luggage in we noted that the lady was too busy telling her colleague what she wanted for breakfast so completely ignored us asking questions about our connection flight, as it happens she also managed to forget to put labels on our luggage and its currently floating around the USA baggage system somewhere. 

The Delta crew were the same, just a bit more grumpy than last time, just dont ask for a second cup of coffee.  We were amazed though at the things people brought on to the flight - a pizza, boxes of Voodoo doughtnuts (ok if we could have we would have!), huge bags of MacD food and a cat; poor thing howled the whole 5hr 40min flight.  oh and David Miliband! who put him on the flight (and in the cheap seats too)

We were given 55mins to run from one end of JFK to the other for our connection flight, all well and good when you know where you are going, dont have 23lb back packs and a Hubby with two naff knees!

As it was, the connection flight was delayed and we ended up waiting for over an hour, however we did get to speak to fellow Brits and lots of (very loud!) locals all telling us about President Obama being in town, apparently it ruined the traffic!

After a very very very long flight, the time difference really kicking us in the butt, not helped by really awful seats and some annoying fellow passengers we arrived in Blighty. BUT remember the luggage issue! so eventually we spoke to a lovely lady at baggage reclaim and then grabbed our car with no issues at all (Holiday Extras) other than the chaps making a huge joke and pretending to have lost the car when we explained about our lack of luggage!

So now at home, weighed in a fat club (dont ask!) what little luggage we do have has been unpacked etc.

I was pleased to note that our awesome house/animal sitter retains her title of awesome and that the cats did all jump all over us on return.

And so ends the saga of the WHC 2014, I hope you have enjoyed reading about all my fun, the silly pics, the amazing food and the awesome authors. Please continue to read all the reviews and feel free to make comments :)