Sunday, November 18, 2012


I have discovered some novel new music: a form of addictive 'Balearic dance', which covers the eclectic nature of the Dance Scene which erupted from Ibiza. I can actually listen to it while I write, and do the ironing!

A sublime Disc Jockey called DJ Howard (read about him on his blog), whose Eclectika Sessions have been building a worldwide following with his monthly broadcasts on the US dance station Frisky Radio, is my new best friend.

 (Listen and download his eclectika sessions sounds on this iCloud link, and download them onto your computer).

 Fortunately for me and his besotted fans, Howard, who performs all over the globe will be appearing in the Upstairs Bar at London's Groucho Club on Friday, November 30th from 9-3ish pm until 3'ish.

'I am a child of the Sixties raised on Zappa, Grateful Dead, Beatles etc but in the late 80's became entranced by the emerging dance music culture because I recognised the creation of new sounds in it. Subsequently the movement has mutated to form many different sub genres embracing everything from Latin, Jazz and minimal Techno. I try to reflect this diversity with Eclectika Sessions,' he said.

 'I play lots of echoes from things gone by which serves as a doorway,' Howard informed me after I asked him to try and describe his eclectic sounds.

 So how did I initially meet DJ Howard? I had a crisis with my ancient MacBook and heard on the Mac grapevine, Howard's alter-ego by the name of MAC MAN was a genius with anything to do with Macs.

 In desperation, I contacted the MAC MAN at his address.

 'I  go to offices and homes. I have been doing this for ten years and have literally hundreds of satisfied and long standing clients round  London. I am rarely defeated,' Howard said, while I sobbed hysterically.

 He was right. Not only did he revive my old Mac in one session, he also alerted me to his refreshing, addictive sounds.

 I predict I shall be dancing at his illustrious gig at Groucho Club on Friday, November 30th. I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Blood Month

Matthew McAllister

If Patricia Highsmith, the psychological crime thriller writer was able to read the newly published crime novel Blood Month in the solitude of her grave, I am certain she would award Matthew McAllister, the book's fictitious author a Medal. For the novel's central character 'DV' makes Highsmith’s psychotic creation 'Tom Ripley' pale in comparison.

"DV is one of the most terrifying young men since Tom Ripley," says Karen Duffy, Publicity Director of Atlantic Books – one of the many glowing quotes from the rave reviews on Blood Month's publishers' Atrium Editions umbrella website.

Iain Finlayson

 In fact, if Highsmith were able to award Blood Month’s author a medal, she would have to donate three medals.

This thrilling crime novel, which incidentally I was unable to put down after I started devouring it on my Kindle, was co-written by two authors: the playwright/novelist Simon Burt, and the acclaimed writer, journalist and book critic: Iain Finlayson.

For buffs: Iain, who scribes non-fiction book reviews for Saturday’s The Times, as well as being the book editor on Saga magazine, is also the author of numerous highbrow biographies including Browning, Boswell, and other literary non-fiction titles, including the sublime Tangier: City of the Dream.

Finlayson and Burt are not only the co-creators of Blood Month, they have also penned two other titles in the Blood Month trilogy, details of which are on the Atrium Editions website: The Benevolence of the Butcher, to be published in 2013, and No Go to be published in 2014.

(Atrium will, over a period, publish Iain and Simon's back list, including some of Simon's unpublished stuff, plus some screenplays they've written together. And,  if other good writers want to come under the Atrium umbrella, they will be able to do so).

 So why are the illustrious writers Iain Finlayson and Simon Burt bypassing Traditional Publishing for their crime novel trilogy and releasing their titles as e-books?

Firstly, Iain's top literary agent declined to read Iain’s first (co-written) fiction novel. I.e. Blood Month. And secondly, Iain predicts digital publishing is 'the way to go'.

The Atrium Editions Publishing site boasts glowing reviews from a conglomerate of major publishers who have already read Blood Month.  Could this indicate a future traditional publishing book deal for Blood Month and its sequels?

 All I can say is Blood Month is the most compelling crime novel I have read in as long as I can remember, and I drool to read the rest of the trilogy. Patricia Highsmith, eat your heart out!

(Read this fascinating interview about Iain Finlayson on Madame Arcati).

 Blood Month: a new Kindle release (currently priced at £1.92), is also on the Kindle app for iPad.

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Universe's most sizzling Astrological Website

WOW! Victor Olliver, my international Fave Rave Astrologist, whose e-book Lifesurfing: Your Horoscope Forecast Guide 2014) will be released (in paperback too) by Equinox Books on July 13 2013 has got a spectacular new Astrology Website: Click Here to ogle: Victor Olliver's Astrology Site.

 Incidentally, Lifesurfing:Your Horoscope Forecast Guide 2014 sounds fascinating, as Victor's book includes astro-profiles of Twitter newbie Hilary Clinton (will she be the next USA President of the USA?), ‘How evil is’ Google Inc, the ‘legendary’ Molly Parkin and Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, who according to Olliver has got a ‘spectacular new Astrology Website.’ This is one book I shall be pre-ordering on Kindle.

When you explore Victor Olliver's site, you will see Victor, who is a member of the Professional Astrologers International has even left you his personal audio messages, which  humanises and makes his site appear three dimensional.

 It was this time last year I blogged about Victor.* He had just done my Solar Returns/my astrological forecast for my year ahead. I.e. 2012.

 Now, a year later, I'm amazed how accurate he has been (he even correctly predicted President Obama would win the USA 2012 election on his Madame Arcati site). In fact, I'm so impressed I have just ordered myself a forecast for 2013 from his OnLine Shop, which has a wide spectrum of astrological goodies to purchase for Christmas presents.

* Incase you missed my blog entry about Victor in 2011, here it is in its entirety:

I was on the verge of treating myself to some bespoke perfume for Christmas, but decided to get my astrological chart done instead after reading Victor Olliver's astrology column in The Lady magazine.
When I listened to my personal audio message on his (new) Astrology site, I was sold.

Both my horoscopes were so uncanny, I thought Victor Olliver, who is also the resident astrologist on the global Peter Ross Show on Apple FM, and The Astrology Show could well be a rival to the late Patric Walker, who once wrote the compelling Celeste column in Harpers & Queen.

In fact, I was so impressed with Victor's forecast of my horoscope that I decided to consult the ex-showbiz journalist.

I cautiously decided to first ask Victor do my Birth chart and solar returns. If I thought he was accurate, I would then hire him to do my birth chart (normally about 5-6000 words) followed by a solar return chart which 'identifies major themes ahead'.

The first thing Victor Olliver asked me was the location and date of my birth.

'Please note a horoscope is based entirely on time and location of birth. If the birth clock time is not accurate then the chart won't be accurate,' he warned me.

Luckily I knew which time of day I was born, and after he assured me my personal information - i.e. my birth date would be strictly confidential I gave him my personal details.

Literally a day later, I received my Birth chart and solar returns analyses complete with my own astrological chart.

Fortunately, Victor used to be a prolific showbusiness journalist, renowned for his identifiable well-written prose. So my 'basic introduction to my birth chart' was beautifully written in comprehensive Astrology Speak.

I was so impressed by the accuracy of Victor Olliver's Birth Chart and solar returns analyses, I immediately hired him to do my in-depth chart and be my own personal astrologer.

I thought I would get my request in quickly, now that Victor Olliver is already regarded as an accurate and fashionable astrologer.
Madame Arcati

Victor also moonlight/writes the 'controversial'Madame Arcati blog, which in the past has had so many louche scoops about his victims: disgruntled hacks, shamed politicians, convicted showbiz pedophiles (Jonathon King) that the National Press, all of whom openly subscribe to Madame Arcati printed the stories immediately afterwards.

One of Madame Arcati's pet subjects was actor/Old Victor Artistic Director Kevin Spacey, who was so provoked, he eventually banned Victor from his Twitter page.

It was thanks to Victor Olliver's legendary Madame Arcati blog, that Rachel Johnson, hired him to write The Lady's astrology column.

'It happened by accident. Rachel read Madame Arcati and loved my review of her Channel 4 documentary The Lady & The Revamp. She wrote me a lovely fan letter wishing that the likes of me endured forever.

'Then, she wrote another letter pointing out that Madame Arcati was mentioned in her book, A Diary Of The Lady. A number of tweets later she asked me what I would like to write for The Lady and I replied that what the mag needed was a horoscope. She instantly asked for a sample, loved it and hired me – through Twitter.

'When we talked later on the phone, before I started the column, she plainly did not realize I was an actual astrologer.

She said, ‘You’re not really an astrologer, are you? But all astrology is rubbish, isn’t it?’

She thought that as Madame Arcati, I was posing as a stargazer for satirical purposes. I firmly believe to this day that my hiring was a lovely misadventure on her part. She always calls the horoscopes the ‘horrors’.'

I remember the jealousy surrounding Victor Olliver when he was anointed as the features editor of the defunct Woman's Journal at the age of 'twelve' in the Eighties.

'It was a dissolute place. My favourite person was the Martini-sipping deputy editor Betty Reyburn who sadly became incontinent before her enforced retirement. One always knew where to find Betty – follow the trail!" Victor fondly reminisces.

Victor was originally trained to be a lawyer and was even called to the Bar.

'The law didn’t interest me. I much preferred reviewing magazines every week on Lorraine Kelly’s old LBC radio show.'

Besides working for IPC, the Mirror Group and the Daily Mail and General Trust in various editorial roles, Victor was also once editor of  The People's magazine supplement.

'Robert Maxwell would fly in on his helicopter and drown out phone conversations as he hovered aloft.'

Victor, who also pursued a freelance writing career and won two PPA awards in the 90s even worked for Teletext for a while.

'I swanned off to Cannes every May for seven years on ludicrously high expenses. No wonder the company died (almost).'

Becoming an astrologer is a complete juxtaposition from Victor's showbusiness hack days culminating in his infamous Madame Arcati blog, which Olliver describes as, 'a potty-mouthed media warrior who took on all comers and engaged in psychic warfare with swine, bullies and useless c.....k c......ters. I am now above all that sort of thing.'

I couldn't resist asking Victor why he decided to become an astrologer.

'In my teens I was fascinated by astrology and read books but was put off by all the calculations – this was pre-personal computer wizardry. In any case, how could planets influence life? I thought it was rubbish.

'I just couldn’t see how celestial bodies could influence Earth life. A modern view of astrology doesn’t speak of influences any more, but of ‘correlations’. In a sense, the skies and life have come to reflect each other through long evolutionary development. I firmly believe that one day physicists will be able to explain these correlations in scientific terms. I can’t believe astrologers, who are usually highly educated, intelligent people, are all deluded.

'Then in my 40s I took a course at the respected  Mayor School of Astrology in London, and was instantly intrigued at how accurate astrology could be, provided you have the correct time of birth. I passed the Mayo’s advanced certificate course, and am now in the final stages of the diploma.

'My family is steeped in Spiritualism. My brother reads Tarot cards. My mother is clairvoyante and has uncanny predictive powers. But astrology is a practical divinatory tool and may have nothing to do with mysticism. I once had my chart done in Sri Lanka on a travel trip and the astrologer said I’d end up being a guru – whatever that means. At the time I thought he was rubbish but perhaps he foresaw my astrology career.'

'Media astrology is very different from casting birth charts, much simpler as a methodology, but tricky to interpret. It’s been a huge learning curve and I am delighted to be The Lady’s debutant astrologer – the first in its 126 year history.

'The Lady is my first media gig as astrologer and naturally I intend to break into other markets and media. I have had private clients via The Lady but I can’t mention names.
Laura van Wormer 

'I am however allowed to mention the American author Laura van Wormer, who wrote the Dallas novels and co-wrote a history novel with the Duchess of York.

'Laura van Wormer found my astrological birth analysis and forecasts to be spot on and it’s generous of her to offer me a public testimonial.'

Currently, Most of Victor Olliver's private clients are based in New York but as I have now alerted all of my London friends about his clairvoyant astrological reading, I predict he will be shortly doing charts for people on both sides of the pond.