Down Under Has It — The Lords of the North Winners

A little history before I tell you something about the two winners of The Lords of the North audio books. A few years ago I had a giveaway of this book, and after I announced the contest had begun, the BBC contacted me to ask me if I wanted some more books. I said, “Sure, just let me know how best to order them from you, because it has been a bit difficult.” The woman I spoke with said, “No, we’ll give them to you. Just tell us how many you want and where to send them.” You could have knocked me down with a feather, but I recovered long enough to ask for three books. I wish I had been more on the ball and asked for a dozen. :D I gave away two of the books and planned to give away the other but never got around to it until now.

In the meantime, I found a windfall of books and was able to obtain several others from a dealer for a decent price. I’ve been sitting on those for at least a year. But my friends, life has been chaos at my house, so yeah, this is the first opportunity I’ve really had to do this, and I say that because most of my posts are by the seat of my pants, but a giveaway has to be more planned out. Okay enough of this, onto the winners. (is that a comma splice? I’m never sure. Yes, I suck at grammar).

Because of so much interest in the audio book, I decided to award two winners. The first winner will receive the 10 CD set, and the second winner will receive a 1 CD set. Other copies i have will be awarded another time. Probably later this year.

Being my usual curious self, I wanted to know about these two winners, what there interest was in the book and about being fans of Richard Armitage.

The first winner is Carolyn:

A beautiful beach in Adelaide

A beautiful beach in Adelaide

I have tried everything to get this set and all to no avail – my life is now complete. The only thing to surpass this would be to meet RA, and with Adelaide being a bit of an Australian backwater I don’t hold much hope for this – still I didn’t expect to win this fabulous prize and look what happened!

I’m relatively new to the world of Richard Armitage, although, now that I’m going through a retrospective of his work I realise that I’ve seen him many times over the years as I’m a big fan of BBC drama.

My sister introduced me to him (metaphorically speaking) about 18 months ago and I’ve been in awe ever since of his talent, thoughtfulness, humility and not forgetting his stunning good looks. This ‘introduction’ came at difficult time for me and I found his hard work, good humour and determined attitude quite an inspiration, which encouraged me to take steps to get my own life back on track – a work in progress…

More of Adelaide

More of Adelaide

I think I’ve seen every you-tube compilation, and interview, and if I could, I would have seen him in London in the Crucible, however, I did the second best thing and saw him in the Old Vic Cinemalive, at two of the three screenings here in Adelaide last month. I continue to be amazed by the way he immerses himself in the character and his power in a live performance.

Between my sister and myself I believe we have every DVD he appears in and NOW every audio book. We’ve also seen his big screen movies whenever they are screened (usually more than once) and then get the DVD for the collection.

I’m also part way through the book ‘North & South’, I’ve finished ‘Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew’ and I’m waiting with bated breath for the cinema release. I can’t wait to see his portrayal of ‘Chop’.

Now that I will have this set, if there’s something of his I haven’t seen, read or heard it must be very well hidden!

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Carolyn, thank you so much for sharing that and for the lovely photos of Adelaide! Oh, and you do not live in a backwater. I do. LOL! And I just have a feeling you are going to meet up with Richard Armitage. That’s my gut talking to me, and it’s usually right! :D

The next winner is Bluebunny:

I am delighted to have found myself as one of the winners of the competition run by Frenz to have the audiobook The Lords Of The North by Bernard Cornwell read by Richard Armitage. This audiobook will be a valued and rare addition to my vast collection of Richard Armitage works. I wish to thank Frenz and the BBC for this competition. It goes to show that the BBC take notice of fan websites and are checking up on blogs. I am thrilled to have found a website that shares my interest in all things Armitage like this website.

How I came to be a Richard Armitage fan is quite simple, I saw a random episode of Robin Hood in 2009 and thought who is that guy playing Guy of Gisborne? I wasn’t hooked on RA at that moment in time but throughout 2009-2010 was keeping an eye out for what he was acting in every once in a while. From watching Spooks I was hooked on Lucas but actually fell in love with the whole Spooks series from start to finish. When he was cast in The Hobbit I was overjoyed because he was in my part of the world the Southern Hemisphere.

In 2012 I was quite randomly on holiday in New Zealand and was able to go to the Hobbit Premiere in Wellington. I saw Richard Armitage first hand in the flesh and was lucky enough to get an autograph from the man. Anyone who says he can’t get any better looking hasn’t seen him in person. Since Wellington I have become a huge Richard Armitage fan. I have most of Richard Armitage works but my collection is still not complete. I know for me being a RA fan makes me a happier person because the man is well just a man but he has a conscience and seems to be genuine. These days people like him don’t exist. Thanks again for the lovely competition.

Bluebunny, well said. His character is wonderful to observe, and I’m so glad you got to meet him! Maybe you can advise Carolyn? :D

To both of you, thank you so much for sharing, and please know it was my pleasure to give away these books. I hope you enjoy them immensely.

A Momentous Date

November 14th is fast approaching, and it’s a date that holds a great deal of meaning for me. First and foremost and way more important than any other event on that day, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl about 3:00 in the morning and became a mother for the first time. It was after 23 hours of labor, and no, I’m not going to tell the rest of my labor story. Yes, I have a labor story. Almost every woman who has given birth has a labor story, but again, I’m not going to say anymore about that except to say it was possibly the most momentous occasion of my life and of SO‘s life too. To watch a human being coming into the world? I can’t describe it. So I won’t. You had to be there. And this year I wish I could be with that beautiful girl on her birthday, but that won’t happen except via FaceTime.

Enough about that, since I realize this is two posts on my kids in a little more than a week, and I’m not here to talk about my kids although I’ve given into temptation to do just that on more than one occasion. I can’t help it. They’re great, and I don’t care how that sounds. Love them and can’t say enough good about them.

Okay, I think I got that out of my system although I now have tears in my eyes.

*wiping the tears away long enough to finish this post*

As some of you may know, November 14th is also Prince Charles’s birthday.

Here are a few other notable events that occurred on November 14th:

1666 – Samuel Pepys reports on 1st blood transfusion (between dogs)

1732 – The first US professional librarian, Louis Timothee, hired in Philadelphia

1840 – Claude Monet, the painter, is born in Paris

1900 – Aaron Copeland, the composer, is born in Brooklyn

1908 – Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light

1994 – 1st trains for public run in Channel Tunnel under English Channel

2004 – North and South is first broadcast by the BBC

All of these are somehow tied together in my mind.

More on this as the date gets closer. :D

A little something while we’re waiting:

Sometime I need to write a post about picking these tunes out on the piano. One of the greatest pleasures I’ve ever had in picking out pieces.

Oh heck, something from one of my favorite composers and a piece befitting John Thornton and how his character has made it to so many shores:

Now that I’ve gotten some corny thoughts out, maybe I can return to the snark.

Dreaming about Uhtred

Truly, it would be a dream to see Richard Armitage in this:

BBC AMERICA Announces New Drama Series The Last Kingdom
Published: July 9, 2014

An adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling book series by BAFTA nominated and Royal Television Society award-winning writer Stephen Butchard

New York – July 9, 2014 – BBC AMERICA, Carnival Films – the Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award-winning producers of Downton Abbey – and BBC Two announced today that production will begin this fall on The Last Kingdom, a new historical 8 x 60 drama series.

BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning writer Stephen Butchard, (Good Cop, Five Daughters, House of Saddam), will adapt Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling franchise “The Saxon Stories” for the screen. Cornwell is also known for his much-loved “Sharpe” novels that became the long-running TV series of the same name starring Sean Bean and aired on BBC AMERICA.

Set in the year 872, when many of the separate kingdoms of what we now know as England have fallen to the invading Vikings, the great kingdom of Wessex has been left standing alone and defiant under the command of King Alfred the Great.

Against this turbulent backdrop lives our hero, Uhtred. Born the son of a Saxon nobleman, he is orphaned by the Vikings and then kidnapped and raised as one of their own. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are ever tested. What is he – Saxon or Viking? On a quest to claim his birthright, Uhtred must tread a dangerous path between both sides if he is to play his part in the birth of a new nation and, ultimately, seek to recapture his ancestral lands.

The rest here

Those of you who are so adept at PhotoShop need to make us a cool graphic to swoon over. :D I’m serious despite my grin. It would be an even bigger grin if there was a graphic.

Wait a minute. Google yields all sorts of goodies. Here we go:

uthredviv1

and another one:

uthredviv2

These are both by Vivayn and can be found at RichardArmitageNet.com

Yes, my grin just got much bigger, and for anyone wanting to make their own, some inspiration:

Thorin cum Uhtred

Before you ask, no, I have not forgotten I promised to have a giveaway of Lords of the North audio book.

Zombie Apocalypse Overcomes Regional Restrictions, Or I Want My TV Now!

A pivotal event is about to happen, and it comes none too soon. In fact, it’s several years late, but I’ll take it and hopefully it will lead to some relief of the frustration I vented earlier about the slow distribution of shows to other countries than their origin, and how this facilitated piracy, but it didn’t have to be that way. The Walking Dead wil be making global distribution of the new season within 24 hours of its release in the U.S.

“The Walking Dead” wakes up and fights piracy by releasing global versions earlier

jason-profileBy Jason Lynch

Jason Lynch is the former television editor at People magazine.

In the coming days, zombies are going to take over the world. Again.

On Sunday, the horror series The Walking Dead kicks off its fourth season on AMC, and its premiere episode is packed with stomach-churning gore, nail-biting suspense and of course, zombies galore. It’s a brutal, bloody show that is seemingly not for everyone—except that everyone seems to be watching. In March, the third season finale drew its largest audience ever, with 12.4 million viewers tuning in, and if the show’s viewing trends continue, Sunday’s ratings should be even higher.

But US audiences won’t be the only ones getting their zombie fix. Within 24 hours of its US premiere, international viewers in more than 125 different countries will be able to watch as well... read the rest here

Yippee! No, I’m not a watcher of The Walking Dead, but this is huge! May other producers be so overcome that they follow suit like lemmings. Are you hearing this, BBC?

Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? For years we’ve been watching shows from other countries shortly after their release.” Yeah, I know, but you weren’t accessing them through legal means, and if you were, it was usually with quite a delay in watching, and many shows were not dubbed into other languages. So this is new, and more important a sign that the networks are waking up to the fact that not only do viewers not want to wait for their tv, but they won’t!*

*Last year a new show called Touch had a simultaneous global release, so The Walking Dead is not breaking entirely new ground but rather will receive more attention for this phenomenon, and that’s a good thing!

Note: I’m debating about putting the Richard Armitage tag on this one. I’m not entirely sure that he’s going back to tv, but he’s the one who got me interested in watching tv again, and I have wondered why HBO Game of Thrones is following me when I have never written about that show. Interesting. Yeah, this is getting the tag. :D

On a related note: if you’re smart, and I assume all of you who read this blog are smart :D, and you like to invest in the stock market, I hope you are doing research on the revolution about to happen with Google TV and Apple TV. Many of you folks in Kansas City know what I’m talkin’ about.

Okay, I feel another tangent coming on, so I’ll stop that line of thought.

Here We Go — Spooks (MI-5) Returns Early

For those who are new to Spooks (MI-5) in America or if you have been living under a rock somewhere in the UK, the BBC has finally told us it is going to air in September (sometime the week of the 18th) as opposed to October or November as it has the last two years. I can barely wait. Not because Lucas North is my favorite character. He’s not, but I just love watching RA in action, and I usually love to read/hear his interviews.

The latest one on the BBC site is very interesting as it seems to say something by what it doesn’t say. When RA has been interviewed about an upcoming series, he oftentimes gives something away in how he talks about his character. This particular interview makes me think Lucas survives. There is absolutely no language implying he will be no more. If anything, there is language to the effect that he will survive as head of section D. The talk of him being under the microscope is mere plot summary. What’s interesting is when he speaks of Lucas’ bittersweet receipt of the job and of having to acquire Beth. There is everything in this language to suggest it will be difficult but nothing to suggest he will not succeed. Then there is the telling comment about Lucas’ past and new revelations taking him to the “very edge” but nothing in those comments to suggest he might go over it.

I have a confession. I’ve found myself wanting RA not to be quite so talkative about the characters and plots in these interviews and sometimes find myself wanting to say, “Richard, shut up. I love you, but shut up.” And of course I can’t help but think of him having talked in past interviews about spoilers being the bane of his existence, so then I want to ask: what are you doing? I realize these interviews are done in advance of the series wrapping, and with a show like Spooks, the actors can give something away without realizing it, so I’m not really down on RA.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Maybe I should read the Spooks Forum to find out what others think; however, for a while now I haven’t been inclined to read such places for fear the exposure will have a chance of making my voice stale. That is nothing against the forum. It is me. I’m weak and need to stay away so I can form my own conclusions, put my own spin on things. But sometimes I need a little confirmation of what I’m thinking. Hence this post. And certainly it’s fine to disagree with me.

Honestly, I hope that once again RA’s character has a fantastic death or end where we are still talking about it years later ala Tom Quinn. So I would love to be wrong in what I’m thinking about his survival. Unfortunately, I’m almost never surprised by endings and don’t need any help understanding what’s coming. I hate that about myself, and I probably am being a little harsh on RA in resignation that once again the end will be a foregone conclusion. But oh, how great if Richard really has thrown us a red herring.

For the regular readers of this blog:

I’m struggling with my diary entry on BTS. That entry is very personal, and no, it’s not what you may be thinking. I write about my family a lot in my journal entries, but it’s one thing for me to write about them and obviously another to publish. I want to leave in enough that it has some energy but don’t want to compromise anyone, and again, it’s not what you may be thinking. Hope you understand and will bear with me, and I hope the wait is worth it.

Screencap courtesy of the BBC website. That’s not exactly a capture, but it does appear to be RA in character for Lucas.