Tolkien Cast – Lily Collins

Not so long ago, in fact it was earlier this summer, we had the piece of news that Nicholas Hoult will play the father of the MiddleEarth in biopic TOLKIEN and now ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ has got the scoop that Lily Collins might play the woman who inspired legendary Lord of the Rings!
The movie explores the early life of J. R. R. TOLKIEN as he finds love, friendship and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts. When the horrors of World War I envelope Tolkien’s life, they threaten to tear this “fellowship” apart, and he questions the very meaning and purpose of his art. Instead, he finds a way to use these experiences as inspiration for his famous works, among them The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lily Collins will play his love and wife Edith Bratt who inspired the elven princesses from his sagas. Anthony Boyle has also been cast!



We haven’t seen him much on film in recent years, but he is now moving onto the small screens: as ‘Deadline’ reports, Orlando Bloom will lead Amazon’s fantasy series CARNIVAL ROW an eight part drama set in a neo Victorian city. Mythical creatures fleeing their war torn homeland have gathered in the city, and tensions are simmering between citizens and the growing immigrant population.

In the series that follows the investi- gation of a string of unsolved murders that are eating away at whatever uneasy peace still exists, Orlando Bloom will play the man in the centre of it, Rycroft Philostrate, a police inspector investigating the murder of a faerie showgirl on CARNIVAL ROW. Rycroft is not supposed to care about the death of another faerish refugee, but he does, and getting to the bottom of what happened to her will come at a big cost.
Bloom is also a producer on the show, with Teen Wolf and Castle veteran Rene Echevarria writing and acting as showrunner while Victor Frankenstein’s Paul McGuigan directs. Carnival Row will begin filming in the fall, and it’s expected to be available on Amazon Prime in 2019.
8 Episode Series
2019 Expected on Amazon Prime
Orlando will be a police inspector


‘GUNPOWDER’ Epic Mini Series – November 5th BBC


Something positively delicious this Monday! BBC has released first images and a promo teaser for their upcoming new epic mini series GUNPOWDER which should air sometime this Autumn (twould be fun if it starts on the 5th of November!)! Kit Harington plays famous rebel Robert Catesby who, back in 1605 tried to blow up the king and the parliament. Guy Fawkes, another famous rebel, is played by Tom Cullen, with Liv Tyler also in the cast.  Kit Harington has revealed that he is actually related to Catesby

The three part historical drama follows the story of the Gunpowder Plot, the 1605 attempt by a group of provincial English Catholics to blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I in order to help restore

The series will have a Saturday evening airing slot

a Catholic to the throne. Although to this day people mostly associate the famous Gunpowder Plot with Guy Fawkes, the mastermind was nobleman Robert Catesby, a 30 year old committed Catholic at a time when Protestant England persecuted the church’s members

Liv Tyler plays Catesby’s cousin who is worried about the success of the plot

relentlessly. He himself lost both his father and wife and is forced to raise his little himself on his own. That is when he starts recruiting help for his plot among family and supporters. Liv Tyler plays his cousin Anne Vaux, who gets caught up in the plot. The cast also includes Peter

Guy Fawkes is still celebrated with bonfires every November 5th!

Mullan, Edward Holcroft, Shaun Dooley, Robert Emms, Derek Riddell and Mark Gatiss as Robert Cecil, the chief of the king’s spies whose network of informants pursued the plotters in a game of cat and mouse.



Image of the Week – Michiel Huisman

From The Ottoman Lieutenant / Game of Thrones




Huisman was born on July 18, 1981, in Amstelveen, Noord-Holland, which is near Amsterdam. Before Game of Thrones (2011), Huisman had a role in Paul Verhoeven’s acclaimed Black Book (2006), and he played Rudolf Nureyev in the BBC TV movie Margot (2009) about prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn. Before he became ubiquitous on television, Huisman also performed in a band called Fontaine that wrote music for soundtracks. (Huisman released a solo album in 2005.)  more =

This guy is getting hot!!   Between 2017 and 2018 he’s got 6 films.


The Reclusive Aristocrat – Part Nine

Chapter Five (completed)

Alex gestured to a chair opposite his across the large desk in his library. The chair scraped, when John Wallis seated himself.

“So, Mr Wallis, let us discuss the terms of your employment. I had thought …”

“Begging your pardon, my lord, but I am yet unsure if I want to work for you under the circumstances that present themselves here.”

He must have heard wrong, Alex thought. This elderly, former steward had reservations about working for him? “What circumstances, Mr Wallis? Pray explain.”

“My lord, I mean no disrespect but I am appalled that Miss Drake is living here without a decent female companion. I worked for her father for forty years, and he was the best employer I could have wished for. A good man, an excellent landowner and a doting father to the child from his second marriage. Sir George would be devastated to know that his daughter’s reputation is in tatters. Only you can remedy that, my lord.”

Surely, he was not cut out to be an earl, Alex thought. How was it that he did not burst out in fury and have this insolent man thrown out of his house? Instead, he found himself wondering and thinking over the man’s words, as if they had a hidden meaning, or second contents. And feeling not a bit uneasy about it. Yes, he would explain the situation to this man, who was to be a servant in his house.

“Miss Drake is and has never been my mistress, Mr Wallis, if that is where your thoughts are going. She told me her fiancé – the father of her child – was a cavalry officer who died at Waterloo. She also told me that her brother wanted to hide her, until the baby was born, and then give the child away. Miss Drake fled her home with the intention of seeking employment in London. Her funds ran out long before she reached the capital, and she was forced to continue on foot, without having the slightest notion of her whereabouts. My batman Porter and I found her on my driveway during a snow storm. She would have perished, had I not taken her in. All this happened a week ago, so I cannot fathom why Miss Drake’s reputation would suffer from it. I do not entertain socially, Mr Wallis, because I have been a recluse for months since I returned from the battle. Moreover, I am as good as blind; how can a wreck of a man harm a woman’s reputation?”

There was an awkward silence in which Alex – and not for the first time – cursed his damned affliction. What he would not give to just have a glimpse at Wallis’ face. The man should say something, and then Alex would be able to discern his mood and his thoughts.

“I apologize, my lord, for my rudeness, and I thank you for your patience in explaining the facts to me. Miss Drake is the closest my wife and I have to a daughter; we could not have children of our own. We have known Rowie since the day she was born, and Meg became her nanny, and later her confidante. We love her dearly, my lord, but we are at a loss as what is to become of her now.”

Alex could picture his father’s reaction to a speech like this one; the third earl of Ketteridge would have called for his burliest footman and have Wallis thrown onto the cobles. Even his mild brother Reggie would not have tolerated this lack of propriety. Yet all Alex felt was a deep gratitude towards the Wallisses who had cherished and guided Rowena Drake as if she were their own. It was not proper for him to listen to a commoner’s insolent speech, but Alex could not care less, at the moment. He was just interested in all things concerning Rowena, and the Wallisses were the source he needed to tap into, since they had known her all her life. Rowie … what a ridiculous name … and yet also an endearing, very appropriate name for her.

However, Rowena could not stay here without a female companion. In that, Wallis was right. It was a good thing that Meg Wallis was here; when her time came, Rowena would need help. Alex knew he was prepared to do everything that was necessary to help Rowena. And … he needed to keep her here, after the baby was born. That was paramount. Alex’ mind focussed on that thought and began working out plans to secure it.

John Wallis cleared his throat. “My wife will take Miss Drake with her to live with Meg’s sister in Leicester. That way, propriety will be satisfied, until we find a proper solution for her.”


“You will come with me, Rowie, and we will go and live with my sister Millicent in Leicester. Her Hannah is expecting her second child. She has an excellent midwife and a decent wet nurse at the ready, when your time comes. After that, we will have to make arrangements for you.”

Rowena let Meg’s words ripple over her like running water. Words that had no meaning except for one horrible notion; Meg wanted her to leave Ketteridge, and that was just too unbearable to grasp. Rowena could never leave Raventhorpe. Alex … no, she must not think of him that way, he was His Lordship, a man far above her station, far above the fallen woman she was. But not to see him each morning at breakfast, not to be near him when they visited tenants or talk about the improvements she planned for Ketteridge? She could never live without that. Raventhorpe – Alex – had become a vital part of her life over these few days. Rowena shook her head while she took Meg’s hands in hers.

“No, dearest Meg, I could never leave Ketteridge. I want to have my child here, under His Lordship’s roof and protection.”

Protection … how well Rowena recalled the warm joy that had flowed through her when Alex had spoken about his duty to protect her. She felt so safe at Ketteridge, safer than she had ever felt at Daveston Hall. Impulsively, she hugged Meg, feeling full of confidence and joy.

“Oh, Meg, I will be fine! Do not fret so. I am in good hands. His Lordship assured me of his support and protection. After the baby is born, I will have to reassess my situation, I grant you that; but for now I am safe, and that means all to me. Can you understand that?”

“But why, my pet, should you need to stay here to be safe? You have reached your majority now, since your twenty-first birthday was a few days ago. Therefore, you can come into your inheritance and make a life somewhere where they do not know you. I mean not now but after the child is born. In the meantime, …”

“Meg …” Rowena’s quiet address startled Meg, and she looked at her former ward with a sudden anxiety.

“Meg, there is nothing to inherit for me. Father bequeathed all to Roderick, leaving me to fend for myself. That is why I need to stay here as His Lordship’s housekeeper and make some money first.”

Meg’s mouth fell open. “But, Rowie, that cannot be true! Your father loved you so dearly! He cannot …”

“Yet he has,” Rowena cut her off, quite sharply. “As of yet, I am penniless and homeless. His Lordship kindly offered me employment, and I took it. That is the end of it.”

Rowena rose. “Now I must see to my duties but I will come up when I have finished.”

Meg stared after her dearest Rowie with utter disbelief and also, deep concern. Her dearest had fallen prey to the charms of the master of Ketteridge. Oh, it was a bad thing, indeed, because Meg was at an utter loss how to be of help.



The little word – spoken with quiet emphasis – was out of his mouth before Alex could stop it. Silence followed. John Wallis seemed to have stopped breathing.

“Miss Drake stays,” Alex continued. “She is needed at Ketteridge House. And now, Mr Wallis, we will proceed to more urgent matters. I want you to go over my ledgers and the post that came this morning. We will work in the mornings, and in the afternoons, you can accompany me when I do my rounds on the estate. You ride, I presume?”

“Y … Yes, my lord, I do. Please show me the books.”

Alex reached for the small bell on his desk and rang it. He had bells on every table he used in every room he usually was in during the day or night. Soon Porter entered and asked what was required.

“Show Mr Wallis where we keep the ledgers and documents. Stay with him and lend a hand where necessary. I will be upstairs.”

“Aye, major. Will ye manage to …”

“Yes, carry on.”

With long strides, showing more confidence than he was truly experiencing, Alex left the library and went upstairs. He needed a break and he would accomplish it in the only way he knew; through sheer physical exertion.


On the second floor, the bedchambers were in a dismal state of neglect. When Alex’ father had still been alive, house parties had filled the manor on many occasions. Then these rooms would have been occupied and splendidly furnished. Alex’ brother Reggie had frequently entertained many guests, many of them carefully selected friends, who must have been – Alex realised that only now – of the same sexual disposition. Reggie had never used the rooms on the second floor, and when he came into financial difficulties, he had sold every scrap of furniture he could. The second floor was now mainly used for storage.

As soon as Alex was again fit enough to leave his bed, he had chosen the largest room, and instructed Porter to install a gymnasium. That way, Alex could physically exert himself, and he would frequently do boxing, stretching, weightlifting and push-ups, until he was exhausted. He desperately needed to build-up his lost strength.


Rowena knew she was a coward to have fled Meg and her many questions. Yet she needed to do her work, as was her duty, and the surest way to quell all upsetting thoughts. When she reached the second floor landing, Rowena first turned left.

This floor was new to her, and she wanted to make a survey of the rooms. They seemed abandoned but not empty. The long corridor stretching out before her was littered with spare furniture from the lower floors, and every item was buried under layers of dust. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling, reaching out to touch the cupboards, chairs, desks, and the many adornments one finds on the surfaces of side tables and pedestals. There were boxes filled with china figurines, oil lamps, stuffed animals and framed paintings, and everything was dull with dust. All doors were closed, except the last one at the very end of the corridor, from which sounds reached Rowena’s ears. Sounds of sparring, if she was correct. She recognized them from those her brother Roderick made when exercising his duelling skills in the gymnasium he installed when he came into his title.

Quietly, Rowena continued her way down the long corridor, opening doors and inspecting the rooms behind them as she went. She made notes in her small household ledger of what needed to be done in each room. Later she would come up here with her cleaning staff and assign the multitude of tasks that were required to have this floor set to rights.

When she finally reached the last room, Rowena froze and realised she must have come upon something that she was not supposed to witness. The Earl of Ketteridge, clad solely in black breeches, was vigorously pounding his fists into a large sand-filled bag hanging from the ceiling.

With a jolt of panic tightening her insides, Rowena’s eyes quickly darted around the room. It did not contain any furniture safe a washstand and a plain wooden chair, but there were other items lying around on the bare wooden floor. In a corner, a heap of black balls was stacked neatly against the wall, and beside it, a large wooden crate showed ropes, sticks and other things unknown to Rowena. This was clearly a sort of gymnasium.

Rowena’s gaze came to rest upon the earl’s semi-naked form, and her throat constricted with sudden lack of air. No wonder, for he was utterly magnificent.

His torso was toned to perfection, his dark skin, the colour of polished bronze tightening over hard muscles. Flat nipples showed through a sprinkle of dark hair that circled them. The fine mat of hair tapered into a line pointing to the rim of his breeches. Breeches that moulded his powerful thighs and led one’s gaze to his well-shaped legs and strong bare feet.

Rowena blinked when she noticed the large scar that ran over the right side of his abdomen. It spread from beneath his armpit to his navel in a diagonal line. A thick, red, ragged line flanked on both sides by a row of red dots, where the surgeon had stitched him up. All saints in heaven, it was a miracle that he had survived a wound like that. Yet the scar did nothing to mar his perfect body; he was all strong, virile male.

Due to his semi-blindness, Raventhorpe was unaware of Rowena’s presence, and she was free to feast her eyes on him, as he was pounding at the sandbag with hard yet well-balanced blows, that made the muscles of his shoulders ripple and roll.

Rowena stood in the doorway, utterly still and mesmerized. Heat erupted all over her body, and the nipples of her breasts, already swollen by her pregnancy, achingly tightened with sudden desire. Almost instantly, she felt a painful ache throbbing low in her abdomen, while the skin of her inner thighs dampened. She could feel moisture pooling at her core, hot and wet like warm honey. How well she knew these sensations; they were lust and passion, and she had experienced them with Peter when they had lain together in her aunt’s house in York.

Shame lanced through her, together with raw sexual need. What business had she, a pregnant woman who had almost reached the end of her term, to feel desire for a man she was not married to? But there it was – she longed for Alexander Raventhorpe with a fierceness which left her burning with sudden urging need.

Realisation that she was shamelessly trespassing hit her, and she forced herself to turn away. Her little notebook fell to the bare wooden floor with a loud bang.





Latest casting info from Netflix movie OUTLAW KING in which Chris Pine will play the titular character, legendary Scottish hero Robert The Bruce, the king who led his country to freedom from the oppressive rule of England in Scotland. The latest addition to the cast is Billy Howle (we saw him last year in BBC’s Witness for the Prosecution Agatha Christie series) who will play Prince of Wales, a direct rival to Robert The Bruce in the fight to secure the Scottish throne. Aaron Taylor Johnson is playing another legend from the isles, Scottish knight James Douglas, Robert the Bruce’s right hand, while Florence Pugh is the female lead.
Billy also starred in New Worlds epic TV series




2nd book The Defiant is out next February

CW is, meanwhile, preparing an epic new series for us! As ‘Variety’ reports, they are looking to adapt Lesley Livingston‘s novel THE VALIANT into an epic TV show about a female gladiator! After they ended Reign last season it could be CW’s replacement in the genre of historical shows. The series would follow a Celtic princess on the run from an arranged marriage and a sheltered life who is captured and forced into slavery under Julius Caesar. She ends up training among the first wave of female Gladiators to compete in the Colosseum for fame, fortune and, ultimately, her freedom.




Coming to the History Channel in Autumn

History hasn’t yet announced the official air date for their new historical series KNIGHTFALL but it will be sometime this Autumn. Starring Tom Cullen as a knight Templar it will go deep into the clandestine world of this legendary brotherhood of warrior monks. From their battles in the Holy Land, to their complex relationship with the King of France, to the betrayal that would ultimately lead to their tragic dissolution, the story of the Knights Templar has never been fully told until now. Check out the gallery of characters!


Will be played by Tom Cullen, he is a noble, courageous, and headstrong Templar Knight who serves as a driving force behind the Templar’s quest to retrieve Christianity’s most prized relic: The Holy Grail. After years of lamenting the loss of the Grail, Landry’s hope reignites, sparking him to guide his fellow Templars on a journey of mystery, faith, and bloodshed.





Knight Godfrey is played by Sam Hazeldine. He is their greatest warrior, a man of immense faith and wisdom who conceals many secrets surrounding the Holy Grail. His number one priority is to protect the Grail, at all costs. He is also like a father to Landry.


Will be played by Simon Merrells. Steadfast, brave, and resolute knight he imagines himself as the heir apparent to Godfrey, the Master and Commander of the Paris Temple. On the quest for the most-prized relic in all of Christendom, Tancrede comes to understand what his role must be.


Gawain is played by Padraic Delaney. Crippled by an injury sustained in the Siege of Acre, with his heroism no longer celebrated, he struggles to maintain his loyalty to the Order, just as he struggles to come to terms with his physical limitations.


Is played by Ed Stoppard.  He seeks to control his family, while dealing with the politics and power moves that are an inevitable part of running his kingdom. Philip longs to be a great monarch, and to transform France into the greatest power in Europe.


Is played by Olivia Ross. Queen of France, and Queen Regnant of Navarre, Joan is both King Philip’s wife and a powerful Queen in her own right. She is a devoted mother and a formidable diplomat, but a burning secret threatens to unravel her.




William De Nogaret is played by Julian Ovenden.  Driven by a passion to destroy the power of organized religion. His mother and father burned at the stakes as heretics, and the cool and supremely calculating De Nogaret is more haunted than he might at first seem.


Is played by Sabrina Bartlett. Queen Joan and King Philip’s daughter, Isabella is an energetic and self-aware young woman whose youth belies a capacity to go to extraordinary lengths to get what she wants.


Is played by John Carter.  Warm and avuncular, but also a seasoned politician, Pope Boniface is a stabilizing, incorruptible force within a
corrupt medieval world. The Templar Knights value him as their Holy leader, and they’re willing to execute his orders
without question.
Article and images courtesy of Hollywood Spy