Friday, October 5, 2018

📘🎥Friday's Film Adaptation🎥📘: Ritual by David Pinner

Shrouded in the same brand of mystery and contradiction that forms its tangled plot, Ritual, the 1967 debut by RADA-trained playwright David Pinner is commonly recognised by cult cinema fanatics as the original seed that grew into the towering movie enigma The Wicker Man.

Set against an enclosed rural Cornish landscape, Ritual follows the trail of English police officer, David Hanlin, who is requested to investigate the murder of a local child.

During his short stay, he is slowly subjected to a spectacle of psychological trickery, sexual seduction and ancient religious practices.

As he delves deeper into the village’s mysterious way of life he finds himself becoming embroiled and seduced into their bizarre rituals.

He becomes more and more confused and starts to feel almost hypnotised by the community.

But when another child is murdered he knows he needs to break the spell and find the killer.

Can he get to the bottom of the mystery?

Or will he become the next victim in this dark Ritual?

Pinner's poetic and hallucinatory sequences were transformed into Robin Hardy's 1973 film, The Wicker Man, which has enthralled and inspired generations of British movie patrons and folk-pop enthusiasts throughout the world.

Praise for David Pinner 
‘Ritual’s opulent dialogue, with the sickly richness of its countryside, and Pinner’s decaying village, can stand alone from the book’s illustrious successor. But, be warned, like The Wicker Man, it is quite likely to test your dreams of leaving the city for a shady nook by a babbling brook.’ The Guardian 

A conservative police officer investigates a girl''''s disappearance on an island dominated by paganism.

Release Date: December 5, 1973
Release Time: 87 minutes

Edward Woodward as Sgt. Neil Howie
Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle
Britt Ekland as Willow MacGregor
Annie Ross as Willow MacGregor (voice)
Rachel Verney as Willow MacGregor (singing voice)
Diane Cilento as Miss Rose
Ingrid Pitt as Librarian
Lindsay Kemp as Alder MacGregor (the landlord)
Russell Waters as Harbour Master
Aubrey Morris as Old Gardener/Gravedigger
Irene Sunter as May Morrison
Jennifer Martin as Myrtle Morrison
Donald Eccles as T.H. Lennox
Walter Carr as School Master
Roy Boyd as Broome
Peter Brewis as Musician
Geraldine Cowper as Rowan Morrison
John Young as Fishmonger
Myra Forsyth as Mrs Grimmond
Alison Hughes as Sgt Howie's fiancé
John Sharp as Doctor Ewan (longer version)
John Hallam as Police Constable McTaggart (longer version)
Tony Roper as Postman (longer version)

Author Bio:
David Pinner was born in 1940. After school and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he appeared with repertory companies at Sheffield, Perth, Coventry (Belgrade Theatre) and Windsor. By 1969 he had written thirteen plays, including Fanghorn, Dickon, Lightfall and Eiderdown. Ritual was his first novel.




Blog Tour: With a Twist by K Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn

Title: With a Twist
Authors: K Evans Coles & Brigham Vaughn
Series: Speakeasy #1
Spin-Off: Tidal
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Getting dumped is never easy. Even though Will Martin Will knows that Carter is the love of Riley’s life, Will is left nursing a broken heart when his relationship with Riley ends. In an attempt to distract himself, Will throws in himself into teaching at NYU and writing. An invite from Riley to a speakeasy called Under helps Will begin to heal, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.

Soon after, he’s shaken by news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and Will reluctantly returns to Long Island to see the man who disowned him after he was outed.

Sparks fly when Will meets his father’s mentee, Republican Senator David Mori, who is both mixed race and openly gay. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret.

As his father’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City and his relationship with David grows beyond casual sex. Now, both men must decide how to bridge the divide between them.

Reader advisory: This book contains expressions of homophobia and racism by multiple secondary characters, references to disownment, and descriptions of terminal illness and death of secondary characters.

Series Summary:
Media mogul Jesse Murtagh and bartender Kyle McKee decide to go into business together and open Under Lock & Key, a speakeasy on the upper West Side of Manhattan. The bar, with its secret passphrases and craft liquor cocktails, becomes a sanctuary for Jesse and Kyle’s circle of friends, who gather once a month to catch up with each other and share their experiences.

Under is both hang out and haven for the men who spend time within its walls and their friendships build family ties that are sometimes missing from their own lives. 

Each book in the Speakeasy Series can be read as a standalone novel.

Original Review September 2018:
When Will Martin gets an invitation to a new club called Under from his ex, Riley, he never expected to really enjoy himself or the company but he does.  Upon receiving news that his father has been diagnosed with cancer he reluctantly returns to the family home to help his mother and sister care for him.  David Mori has looked up to Senator Martin as a mentor and friend so when he learns of the senator's cancer diagnosis he wants to help.  There's no denying the attraction between Will and David but will they let it become more?  Can Will forgive his father before its too late?

I'm going to jump right out of the gate with this one by saying be sure you have a healthy supply of kleenex handy for this one.  I'm glad we get to learn Will's story.  When we met him in the author's Tidal duology, I can't say I really warmed to him but the deck was stacked against him as far as trying to find happiness with Riley Porter-Wright so I was excited to see his own journey to the HEA(if that's what he's destined for😉😉).  I was really intrigued to see the inner thoughts of an openly gay, mixed race Republican, I can't speak from personal experience but I think the authors were probably pretty spot-on with some of the attitudes David faced.

As my mother's 24/7 caregiver for the past 20+ years I have to say I was a little saddened that it seemed like Will was making all the sacrifices.  With a Twist may be Will and David's love story but I think it's more Will's journey of finding happiness with love, family, and friends.  So on one hand it seems likely that Will would be doing all the life changes but if I was him, I would have a seed of resentment starting in me from doing so, but maybe that's just me and my Irish-Dutch-German stubbornness😉.  I know David's not really in a position to make the same level of sacrifices at this time but I do believe he is the kind of person who will when the time comes, that time just wasn't within the pages of the story.

Now, having said that you are probably thinking that I didn't like the story.  You could not be further from the truth.  Oh no, I loved With a Twist(and look forward to more adventures and journeys in the Speakeasy series).  Truth is that I was so pulled into Will's relationship with his dad that at times I forgot this was a love story between Will and David.  David is the kind of politician that I think we all want speaking for us: he listens to his constituents and not just the party hullabaloo.  Even though I may not have agreed with Will's level of sacrifice I do love that he grows and discovers that not everything is as we remember it to be, for a stubborn man he is open to learn(reluctantly at times).  I don't think there's any doubt where the couple will end up but the journey getting there is what Twist is all about and for that journey you'll need to read this one for yourself, no spoilers from me😉.

Vaughn & Cole bring to life a horribly mismatched couple that couldn't be more perfect for each other.  Shows us that it takes time and sometimes time isn't always on our side, it might seem cliche but "making the most of the time we have" is an important lesson we all need to be reminded about.  With a Twist is a heartbreaking tale of words we can't take back, regrets because we're too stubborn to step first, and time lost.  But its also a heartwarming tale of reaching out, discovering new friends, and making up for lost time.  Simply put, this is a remarkably entertaining read that will leave you completely enthralled from cover to cover. Truth is, I think that despite my feelings on Will's sacrifices, finding myself so sucked in to the story and not wanting to say goodbye to Will and David says more to the authors' talents than anything I can put into words.


“Senator Mori, please, come in.”

Greta sounded very pleased as she welcomed David into the house. Will stifled a sigh and set his tablet on the side table in the sunroom. The man was handsome, but, with the exception of LGBTQ issues, he frequently voted like a typical moderate Republican robot. Will hadn’t worked out exactly how he’d been roped into having dinner with his father’s colleague, but, unfortunately, he couldn’t back out now.

Actually, Will mused, I know exactly how I was roped into this. Agnes Martin had said they were having a small dinner and insinuated it would be rude of him not to join them. By the time Will realized his mother had invited David, he couldn’t refuse. Even if Will had had been able to, he owed David an apology. He had been rude to David the first time they’d met.

Will had also googled him and been relieved to learn David wasn’t ultra-conservative but he still couldn’t wrap his head around a gay man aligning himself with a political party actively trying to damage their community. If Will was being honest, David’s relationship with Will’s father bothered him more. He was envious and resentful of the closeness they had. And hurt. Why did his father appear so much more accepting of David’s sexuality than Will’s? The rejection stung bitterly and made Will want to lash out and make David feel as terrible as he did.

But no matter how he felt, it didn’t excuse his behavior. He stood and headed for the foyer.

Will caught a glimpse of David, who stood talking with Greta. If only the man weren’t so infuriatingly good-looking. Will couldn’t think of the last time he’d found a man so attractive, even Riley.

To Will’s surprise, David wasn’t alone. A medium-sized black and white dog with fawn- colored stripes on its legs and a tail that curled up onto its back stood by David’s side. He held the leash loosely in one hand.

“Hello, David.” Will stuck out a hand for him to shake. David’s expression was friendly and his hands were large and strong around Will’s long, narrow fingers.

“Nice to see you, Will.”

“You as well.” Ignoring how good David’s skin felt against his, Will dropped his hand.

Greta patted his arm. “I’m going to go help your mother get food on the table.”

“Thanks, Greta. I’ll walk David back to the patio in a moment.” After Greta disappeared down the hallway, Will turned his attention to the animal sitting calmly at David’s feet.

“I see you brought a date,” Will said with a small smile. He was such a sucker for dogs. Not to mention hot men with dogs. He crouched and held out a hand. “Hello there, gorgeous.”

“Her name’s Mabel.”

She sniffed him delicately before pushing her snout into his hand in greeting. He laughed and looked up at David as he scratched Mabel behind the ears. David stared down at them with an expression both perplexed and amused.

“She’s beautiful,” Will murmured. “Husky mix?”

David nodded. “Husky and Shiba-Inu mix. Or so said the guy I got her from. She’s mixed like me.”

Will blinked at him and David laughed softly. “Sorry. I’m Japanese on my father’s side, and a whole range of European countries on my mom’s. My brother-in-law is always on me about the jokes my sister and I make about being mixed race. The jokes make him uncomfortable.”

“Your candor took me by surprise.” Will cleared his throat. “How old is Mabel?”

“Two—no, two and a half. I’ve had her since she was a pup.”

Mabel let out a whine and licked Will’s forearm as if pointing out he’d stopped petting her. Will chuckled and resumed.

“Do you have any pets, Will?”

He shook his head and gave Mabel a final pat before he stood. “I live in Manhattan and my building doesn’t allow it.”

David nodded. “I think she’s enjoying the move from Queens to Long Island. She seems to like the beaches and canals quite a bit.”

“When did you move from Queens?”

“A few years ago. On your father’s recommendation, actually.”

“Hmm.” Will made a noncommittal noise. He wasn’t sure what to make of the relationship his father and David had. David’s race wasn’t an issue. Neither of his parents had ever shown themselves to be racially intolerant, although Will had a vivid memory from high school of arguing with his parents about why using the term ‘Oriental’ was really, really inappropriate. At worst, they were occasionally clueless, but even then, they’d listened to his argument and made an effort to change.

Sexuality was a different story, however. How could Bill be vehemently against his own son’s sexual orientation but have no problem working side-by-side with a gay man? And inviting him to his house for meals? Will bristled, but he forced himself to tamp down the irritation. That reminded him, he still needed to apologize to David.

Will cleared his throat. “Uh, before we head back to the patio, I wanted to say I’m sorry about the way I behaved when you were here earlier this week. My temper got the better of me, and I hope you can forgive me.”

“Of course. No hard feelings.” David gave him a warm, open smile.

“Thank you.”

Will’s mother appeared before he could say anything else. “What on earth are you two still doing in the foyer? Let David in, Will.”

“I was getting to know his dog, Mabel,” Will said, feeling slightly abashed. Apparently, all of his manners did go out of the window when he encountered David.

Agnes regarded the dog with a soft sound of delight. “Oh, she is lovely. Even prettier than the pictures you sent me. I am so glad you asked to bring her. You probably felt like you needed a guard dog to fend off the cats. I am so embarrassed Fluffers used your shoe as a litter box.”

A laugh escaped Will before he could stop it. “That old thing is still alive? I haven’t seen him around outside and I assumed he’d died.”

Agnes frowned at him. “Fluffers is very much alive. Just getting a bit senile these days. Thankfully, David was very gracious about it.”
David chuckled. “One should always expect the unexpected when it comes to pets and kids.”

“You are correct.” Agnes smiled at him. “Now, I want both of you to come back to the patio. Appetizers are on the table.”

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books to read when you need to relax?
K. Evan: I’m both a big romance nerd and an angst lover, which means I win all the points for tearing up while reading on public transportation. I’m drawn to contemporary romance and I love sci-fi, but I’ll try anything. A couple of series I’ve returned to repeatedly are “Out of Uniform” by Annabeth Albert, “Cost of Repairs” by A.M. Arthur, and “Psycops” by Jordan Castillo Price. I read other books by the above authors, as well as Sloane Kennedy, Charlie Cochet, R.J. Scott, and others. I’m always on the lookout for something new.

Brigham: I am a huge fan of historical romance, particularly Jordan L. Hawke, Summer Devlin, and K.J. Charles. I also enjoy contemporary romance. Rhys Ford is a long-time favorite. I love all of Tiffany Reisz’s books. I also recently read J.R. Grey’s “King Consort” and Clancy Nacht and Thursday Euclid’s “The Congressman’s Whore” which were great twists on some very classic tropes. And I also read Lee Welch’s “Salt Magic, Skin Magic” which was truly extraordinary.

If you were approached to have your book made into a film, who would you cast?
While writing, we were looking for two very specific facecasts. Will Martin’s character was the more straightforward of the two and called for someone elegant, blue-eyed, and WASPy. We’d already introduced Will’s character in the “Tidal” series, and had chosen model Garrett Neff as his face.

David Mori presented more of a challenge. David’s character is Caucasian and Japanese and we wanted a face who reflected that mixed race heritage. Luckily, model Hideo Muraoka made that easy for us. Daniel Henney also provided some inspiration, though Mr. Henney is part Korean rather than part Japanese.

We’d be perfectly happy to cast both Garrett Neff and Hideo Muraoka in a “With A Twist” movie. Or any movie!

It's often asked what is your favorite part of being a writer but what is the easiest or most natural part of the creative process for you?
K. Evan: For me, the most naturally flowing parts of writing are plotting world building. Plot building in particular is fun when you’re working with a cowriter. I really enjoy that process of throwing plot ideas around with someone and storyboarding. Brigham and I live in different parts of the country, so we employ tech for that process, primarily Slack and Google apps. However, we’ve used Instagram chat and Facebook Messenger, too, and recently started playing with OneNote. Once I have a plot down, I start filling it out further in my head, before I even start working with words. Usually by the time I sit down, there’s already a lot percolating in my brain, waiting to be let out.

Brigham: It’s funny, because I am almost the opposite. I start with the characters. I have to “hear” the character’s voice to begin with so I need to understand them first. After that is dialed in, their dialogue flows really seamlessly. World building is fun for me, but it happens a little later for me. I don’t “see” the world around the character until I have them figured out. So, I think that may be one reason K. Evan and I do so well together. We balance each other out and it winds up being quite seamless.

Is there any one character you've created that is most like you? If yes, who and why?
K. Evan: Of the characters I’ve written, several are very unlike me. That presents a fun kind of challenge, because I generally need to make an emotional connection with the character to hear their voice. I might ‘give’ pieces of myself to a character, too, and make that connection resonate more strongly. Maybe the character is a Star Trek fan, their kid digs Pokémon, or they think gnocchi is one of the most delicious foods on the planet.

When those pieces really click, the character’s voice is very clear—almost loud. And one of the loudest voices I’ve ever heard is that of Jesse Murtagh from the Tidal and Speakeasy series. I doubt that anyone who has met Jesse will find this surprising. So is Jesse really like me? In some ways, yes. He’s a big sap, but maybe people don’t know that about him. He’s super weird and has a deeply inappropriate sense of humor. He’s a workaholic who thinks rules are crap but absolutely sees their value in maintaining order. He enjoys attention but prefers to stay out of the spotlight. Jesse also works at understanding the people around him every day, even when they make are totally not making sense. And he’s capable of being attracted to absolutely anyone. Even space aliens. Okay, maybe especially space aliens.

Brigham: Hmm. I’d say probably Riley and I line up most. Certainly not on the surface, but I think our reactions to what’s happening around us tend to be similar. After Riley came out, his family disowned him while I lost some extended family after my grandma died. Obviously, it all came about in a much different way and I am lucky to have a very supportive immediate family. But I think Riley and I have some of that same hurt from losing that sense of family with the people we’re related to so we both tend to do whatever we can to create a new family within our group of friends.

If you could go anywhere (finances, time, & obligations not an issue) where would you go and why?
K. Evan: I would go to space. A shuttle, a starship, a space station, another planet—I’m down for it all. As that’s unlikely to happen, I’d love to travel to New Zealand back here on planet Earth and stay someplace green and quiet and peaceful for a while. As for why, New Zealand appears to be one of the last ‘untouched’ places left to us environmentally speaking, and, as a city dweller, I’d love to see that.

Brigham: I’d travel the world. I’ve been to most of the fifty states in the US, Australia, France twice, Canada many, many times (I’m only about an hour from the Detroit-Windsor border), and most recently, Ireland. I’ve loved all of those places and felt like I learned so much. However, I think there’s so much more of the world I’d like to explore. France and Ireland really intrigued me though and there is much more of Europe I’d like to see. Truthfully, if I could move there I would. Ireland in particular took me by surprise because I immediately felt so comfortable there and it felt like “home” very quickly. If I could only choose one place to go, Ireland would be it.

K Evan Coles
K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

K Evan Coles

Brigham Vaughn


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