Category Archives: lifestyle

Marie Jermy, Erotic Romance Books/Novels

Marie Jermy Author - Together Forever
Marie Jermy Author – Together Forever

Marie Jermy is an upcoming new author that is already on her 3rd book. The genre is erotic romance, and after her first book was rejected by Mills and Boon, it was quickly accepted by Siren Publishing, and since then it has become a string of books, one after another! Well, Mills and Boon have certainly lost out there! Marie Jermy a dedicated author who enjoys writing will continue this unique art form of hers, currently working on her third book called ‘Animal Insticts’, where there is a mention of Mark Ovens, an online marketing expert in Norwich, that spent some years growing up with Marie amongst a group of friends through their high school years.

So far Marie has released Secret Eyes and Together Forever, the latest books are available at:, keep your eyes peeled for the 3rd book Animal Insticts. She is already thinking about her 4th book and will be revealing some information on that sometime soon. Feel free to read the reviews of her books on the website.

Siren Publishing (Siren-BookStrand) is a fast growing romance e-publishers with many authors writing exclusively for Siren, all are distributed in electronic form and available for devices like the Kindle. Successful books moving on to paperback form and can be bought from many online retailers. Marie Jermy I’m sure has a very bright and successful career ahead of her, and we look forward to reading many more of her books!

Inferior films and DVD’s

What’s really started to frustrate me is the increased number of DVD’s that are hitting the shelves with similiar titles to iminent new and big budget blockbusters. Only yesterday I saw what I thought was the latest blockbuster hit the shelves in Sainsbury’s called ‘Battle of Los Angeles’, I remembered it because I had previously seen the previews/movie trailers hit the TV and on the Apple movie trailer section of their site. So I knew that it was advertised for the cinema and that time may have passed so potentially being release on DVD at some point; so I thought! So although I was surprised that it hit the shelves so quickly which isn’t unusual these days, I decided to purchase it.

That evening I had settled down for the evening and put the DVD on, really looking forward to the film. I had got my snacks and a few drinks in preparation of what I thought was a big budget movie. The DVD started and the first advert was a film called ‘Snakes on a Train’, I thought this was the well known film which led to ‘Snakes on a Plane’, but as the film trailer progressed it was clear that it wasn’t the original and a very poor low budget remake of it, at this stage I was shocked to see this advert on a big budget movie as this!

The menu appeared which I was disappointed with, as there was no graphical animation, I selected ‘Play Movie’, and the first thing I noticed was the poor quality picture, this is when I knew something wasn’t quite right!

The film started after the very disappointing intro, and straight into an action schene with fighter jets flying through the air, which actually looked like model aeroplanes that had been previously suspended on cotton, the effects were poor and the flying saucers/alien aircraft were un-imaginative and were created in very low resolution effects along with the explosions. I knew at this point that either there was something suspicious about the movie or I had picked up a DVD that was produced from a company that was selling a DVD, that was cheap to make to fool the public and the consumer in buying, letting them think it is the new awaited big budget movie. This poor DVD was even produced this year, so to me it looks as though it was deliberately produced to coincide with the upcoming big movie, and I’m sure it isn’t a coincidence that the titles are so similar, the inferior film called ‘Battle of Los Angeles’, compared to the upcoming big budget movie called ‘Battle: Los Angeles’.

I had looked up the movie I had bought ‘Battle of Los Angeles’ online to find out more about it, and found that the movie I had bought was also being sold at some other retailers such as HMV which I was shocked about, it is obvious that this company that created the movie had deliberately made a film with a very similar title and science fiction theme of an alien aircraft battling over Los Angeles, which was exactly the same as the upcoming big movie that hadn’t been released yet and will be on the cinema’s later this year, November 2011, even though the trailers have already been on the TV, which I can’t help but think that this poor remake has benefited from, and I’m very sure they were fully aware of this which is why they have created this inferior film/DVD and released it prior to the release of the big budget movie.

The correct title to look out for, for all those science fiction fans is ‘Battle: Los Angeles’! What made it even worse, is that after I had found out this information on the Internet, I noticed that on the back of the DVD I had bought, right at the bottom there was a note that said ‘NOT Battle: Los Angeles’. So to me legally they covered themselves to let people know that this wasn’t the big budget movie that consumer’s would be expecting, but this was not obvious from the front and I felt was still very misleading. I’m sure the company will also make a lot of money from other consumer’s who would not have been aware of this, and even if they had, they may not think that they could take the DVD back to the store they bought it, thinking that the error was made on their part.

I’m now starting to wonder how many other companies are starting to do this by creating cheap budget movies with the same theme and similar titles of upcoming big movies, and benefiting from the upcoming big budget movie trailers on the TV and online, helping these poor remakes being sold in the high street and online stores.

Beware that this appears to be on the increase. It’s even more scary that these poor remakes can be bought so easily online as it looks like the upcoming blockbuster movie, it has the same theme and storyline, and the cover of the DVD also reflects the science fiction genre, so you would buy it as it was also produced this year. Once you received it, and if you discovered this is a poor remake, then you may be relunctant to send it back due to the hassle in returning/sending it back to the retailer, and again think that the mistake was made on your part. So more sales for the makers of this inferior film/DVD.

So if you don’t want to be disappointed by a cheap science fiction film called ‘Battle of Los Angeles’, then wait for the new upcoming, big budget movie called ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ later this year.

I hope the producers of ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ are aware of this, and that the new upcoming blockbuster is not affected by this poor remake.

If you have suffered with similar experiences with DVD’s, then please feel free to adding your comments at the bottom of this article.

Skydiving and Parachute Jumps

This is an activity I’ve got into over the last couple of years, but unfortunately one that I’m not able to do as regular as I’d like, and that pretty much boils down to finding the spare time, as family commitments and even weather can be an issue for this type of adventure sport.

I first got into it many years ago when I decided to do some parachute jumps for charity, it was for cancer research, the static line parachute jumps took place in Peterborough at the Sibson airfield. I managed to do two parachute jumps but I never had the time or determination then to all the perfect jumps to then progress to the skydiving level, but things have changed since then.

AFF skydiving courses, which stand for Accelerated Free Fall, which allows people to try skydiving but you don’t jump out on your own, this is a very controlled sport, and whilst training you start with exiting the plane with two instructors holding onto you.

I decided on attempting the AFF training course after doing a couple of tandem jumps, I enjoyed it so much that I just had to attempt to at least try AFF level one. For the first level, there was practical and theory training for a day which is quite in depth, you go through how to deal with parachute malfunctions, how to check your parachute when you’re coming down, canopy control, how the parachute works such as the vents in the canopy, heading awareness, body position, how to land, when to be facing upwind or downwind. You are also even taught how to deal with emergency situations, if they were to occur such as opening your reserve shoot.

Although on the first AFF level, you still have to be taught how to exit the plane, jumping out between 13,000 and 14,000 feet, and how to stablise yourself when in the air, even though you’ll have an instructor on both sides of you checking to make sure you do all the manouvres correctly. You have to go through the full process of arching your back correctly, positioning your arms and legs properly so that you will level out when free falling, you must check the horizon and then your altimeter, turn to the instructor (secondary) on your left and shout out the reading from your altimeter, then turning to the instructor (primary) on your right and doing the same again. There are various hand signals you learn to ensure that you understand what the instructors are telling you, as there is no way you can talk at that altitude falling up to speeds of 130mph, so it’s important you know what the instructors are telling you.

Although skydiving is classed as a dangerous sport, there are some mechanisms in place to ensure your parachute opens, of course there will always be some risks, but if you were to pass out in the air or you didn’t open your main parachute in time, there is an altimeter on your parachute which will detect the speed you’re going at a specific altitude, and if you’re still travelling too fast then a small mechanism will cut the metal chord of your reserve parachute. The device is very clever and will make sure the parachute is open ready for your landing.

For me the sport is very exhilarating, liberating, and is a completely different experience to any other. For me it is very addictive that you feel you want to complete all the levels so that you can exit the plane completely on your own and skydive without any assistance, that is a very big achievement. A very big wow factor for me, that I guess is why it’s so addictive, it’s not an every day sport, it takes determination and time to work your way through the levels to eventually be rewarded with your full skydiving license.

Here is an overview of the 8 AFF levels you have to successfully complete to get your full skydiving licence:

Level one – Your first skydive with two instructors, climbing out of the plane, standing at the edge, hotel check and exit count, arch on exit, HASP, 3 x PRCT’s, small circles, lock on, wave off and pull parachute chord.

Level two – still two instructors , climbing out, hotel check and exit count, arch on exit, HASP, PRCT’s (as required), team turns, altitude check, forward movement (optional), small circles, lock on, wave off and pull.

Level three – now down to one instructor, climb out, hotel check and exit count, arch on exit, HASP, PRCT’s (as required), altitude check, heading maintenance, hover control, small circles, lock on, wave off and pull.

Level four – still one instructor, climb out, hotel check and exit count, arch on exit, HAP, 90 degree turns until 6,500ft, small circles, lock on, wave off and pull.

Level five – with one instructor, climb out, hotel check and exit count, arch on exit, HAP, 360 degree turns until 6,500ft, small circles, lock on, wave off and pull.

Level six – no instructors, solo exit, climb out, hotel check and exit count, HAP, instability test, altitude check, forward movement (optional), small circles, lock on, wave off and pull.

Level seven – solo exit, climb out, hotel check and exit count, altitude check, instability test, altitude check, 2 x 360 degree turns, altitude check, forward movement, small circles, lock on, wave off and pull.

Level eight – solo exit from 5000ft, pull within 10 seconds.

Once you have completed all 8 levels and the necessary consolidation jumps, and they are happy with how you perform your freefall and under canopy, then you will be able to apply for your full skydive license. My AFF training took place at the parachute centre which was in Attleborough, Norfolk, but has now moved to the airfield in Beccles, Suffolk.

Hapkido Martial Arts

Hapido is still pretty new to me, but during the last year learning this very active cardiovascular form of martial arts, I’ve come to realise that you have to be very dedicated. I have been committing myself to one session per week, while others may do two or three sessions. Not only is this great for self defense but it’s great way of keeping fit, but to also learn how to relax, destress by meditating and breathing exercises. This is a very disciplined art just like other martial arts.

These classes start by 10 minutes of warming up, it’s important to warm up all your joints so that you don’t pull any muscles when you later start trying some of the hapkido moves. This may consist of a little runing, star jumps, and other exercises to help warm up your wrists, elbows, hips and knees.

This form of martial arts is a lot more active than others, Hapkido involves a lot more jumping around compared to Karate, for me, I needed something that was going to keep me moving and have me working up a sweat, as I was looking at continuing with this sport as a replacement for my cycling through the winter months.

The exercises really does get all your joints moving, learning side kicks, punches, how to hold a good firm stance, break falls, forward rolls, jump kicks and some judo moves. Regular grading gets you progressing through the different colour belts, but the order is very different to karate, and there are about three tabs on each colour belt too, starting at white as a beginner then moving on to orange, gaining three tabs before continuing on the next colour belt.

All I would say, is that this is martial arts, you can still get hurt, so you must be very carefull, so it’s still classed as a dangerous sport so best be careful, and you have been warned. I learned after a free-fighting session, when I dislocated a finger and fracturing a knuckle, at the time I didn’t think  too much of it, so I just popped my finger back in and carried on fighting, I just thought it was the right hardcore thing to do, and nobody at the time seem to be too phased about it, except for the instuctor. I had another free-fighting session before I thought it was time to talk more about what happened and whether my hand needed looking at. After the instructors realised that it was the first time it had happened and that it wasn’t a regular occurrence, they strapped my fingers together. It was only the morning after, that my fingers started looking a little grey and knuckle almost black that I have to make a trip to the doctors on the way to work, although that wasn’t enough. They sent me to A&E! It was then they found the fracture after an X-Ray, it took a while for my three fingers to heal properly especially the dislocated finger, this took a good six months…! So beware…!

This is a great sport, it well get you working up a sweat, keep you fit and help you learn some self defense too!

Product Placement is Back

Product placement is back on TV today, the ban has been lifted for this form of advertising, with the first programme being This Morning today in the UK, 28 February 2011.

This is great for many companies and big brands to get their products on the TV, but there are many new rules which apply to this form of advertising.

So, references and displaying of products are now allowed in TV shows, soaps and one off drama’s, but some of the rules are that gambling services, unhealthy food like high fat, sugar and salt, tobacco, medicines, alchohol, weapons etc are not permitted for this type of advertising.

Also, product placement won’t be allowed for BBC, News, childrens programmes, current affairs and such like programmes.

The one important factor for product placement, is when any product or service is referenced or displayed on the TV, then it must clearly display the ‘P’ for 3 seconds at the beginning and the end of the programme/film to make it clear that an item is being advertised as a product.

Product placement is an advertising channel that must be controlled to ensure that it is not abused as there are many concerns that TV programmes would be full of adverts in addition to the already advertisement breaks during programmes, but this will be a great way to pay for the programmes but also to fund new ones, and in time hopefully improve the experience of watching TV. The telecoms regulator Ofcom has said that product placement must be editorially justified and not unduly prominent.  So hopefully we won’t see this form of advertising go all out of hand!

The first appearance of product placement was on this morning’s TV programme called This Morning, it was a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine which was placed in the background of the cooking feature of the programme, at the back of the kitchen, it was said on the TV News that Nescafe had paid £100,000 to display the product for three months on the show.

I’m hoping this is a good thing (in small measures), but only time will tell if we will be invaded by big brands by seeing their products displayed on films and programmes on the TV, we’ll just have to wait and see!

Who would your date be?

I hear this all the time, but if you could have a date with anyone, who would it be? A celebrity, a friend, a teacher, a scientist, an entrepreneur, a rock star, the choices are endless.

For me I did struggle a bit too when thinking about that question, as it really did depend on whether it was from a business point of view or a personal, selfish point of view, so it did mean that I had to put my thinking cap on and decide whether it would be more on a personal level.

So yes…it should be more on a personal level, and if that was the case then it was easy for me to come up with two celebrity individuals, both of them for very different reasons. Of course, as I’m male then there is more of a chance that the individuals being female, just as a young lady may choose someone like Brad Pitt, wouldn’t that be the case…!?

Ok, here we go, for me my first choice would be Natalie Imbruglia, for starters and the most obvious, she’s very attractive and naturally pretty and the curiosity for me would be to see it was still the case at first hand, is she really as good in the flesh as she is in the pictures and on TV. The other reason would be because I was brought up watching the Australian television series called Neighbours which Natalie Imbruglia appeared, playing the part of Elisabeth ‘Beth’ Brennan Willis (did she really have two surnames?), which led her to then focus on her music career, which was the type of music that really appealed to me, in fact I have two of her CD albums!

For me, Natalie Imbruglia appears to be down to earth, modest and keeps herself very private, which I belive are very good qualities in a person, I just hope she would be like that if I ever had the opportunity to meet with her in person. So, that’s one of my selections, now onto my second…!

Now, we all have that fear, of meeting someone for the first time and deciding whether to eat or drink with them, but how awful would it be if you find that you have nothing to talk about and nothing in common to discuss or debate about…!? Well, that’s why my second selection would be Fearne Cotton, the girl can chat for England, she’s funny, young and quite creative, but she also has some very good qualities such as making you feel at ease, she is very down to earth and appears to be very laid back, the conversations she hold never appears to be strained nor does she appear to struggle, it all comes very naturally for her, so that seems like a great evening to me…also if you’re lucky, she’s a bit of a party girl and there might be drinks and a late night too, so hopefully an eventful night, and of course, she’s pretty cute too…!!

So now the question for you is…if you could choose anyone, who would you go on a date with…!?